28.04. – 31.05.2005
Rafal Bujnowsk (PL)
"Last Saved"
Solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Zurich
Arndt & Partner, Zurich, are pleased to announce the inclusion of Rafal Bujnowski into the gallery program. In his solo exhibition he will present an installation as well as a selection of large and small format oil paintings. The works reveal the artist's unique conceptual methodology in ironically questioning the mechanisms of the artmarket and as the conventional perceptions of painting.
The exhibition is titled after the central installation "Last Saved", which consists of five identical wooden shelves. They are replicas of the only remaining piece of furniture from the home of Johannes Paul II's parents. The shelve is on display at the Museum Johannes Paul II in Wadowice, Poland, which is the home town of both the pope and the artist. In allusion to Marcel Duchamp's Ready-Mades reproduced in a limited edition of eight, Rafal Bujnowski had this ordinary piece of furniture - that after the pope's inauguration had advanced to a fetish - faithfully replicated eight times. The copies display every single scratch and stain of the original.
Most of his paintings are conceived as multiples as well. A few years ago he painted dozens of facsimiles of everyday objects, such as video tapes or remote controls, by stretching canvases true to scale in the exact form of the object and coating them with paint on all ides. Later he produced a series about pictures within pictures. The most intriguing works from this series are the fifty copies he painted of the framed oil sketch that is hanging in the background of J. A. Mc Neill Whistler's portrait of his mother. The portraits of the Pope presented at Arndt & Partner are part of a body of work, depicting poster motivs popular in the Polish middle class.
Rafal Bujnowski virtuously achieves to overcome the aesthetic antagonism of conceptual and painterly approaches. Due to their shadowy monochromatic colouring, his paintings depicting emptied walls of private homes, on which pictures and small objects had hung for years, have an auratic, nearly melancholic presence. Exhibited in the gallery space's White Cube, they invite the viewer to reflect upon the difference between private and public treatment of works of art.
Rafal Bujnowski, born in 1974 in Wadowice, Poland, studied at the Technical University and the Academy of Fine Art in Krakow, Poland. From 1998 to 2001 he ran the Open Gallery in Krakow in collaboration with the artist group "Ladnie" of which he is a founding member. He lives and works in Graboszyce, Poland.
He participated in interational group exhibitions at e.g. the Kunsthalle Wien, the Forum Kunst & Architektur, Essen, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warshaw, the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, and the Estonian Art Museum, Tallin. He presented solo exhibitions at the Polish Institute, Paris, Art in General, New York, Raster, Warshaw, Ibid Projects, London, as well as the Goethe Institut, Krakow. He had a restrospective "Malen" at the Bunkier Sztuki, Warshaw. The Düsseldorfer Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Germany, will open a solo exhibition in May 2005.
Text by Kristin Rieber