Joanna M. Wezyk. Courtesy of Tina Kim Gallery.
Tina Kim Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Polish-born painter Joanna Wezyk.
Wezyk’s paintings are both beautiful and haunting meditations on the intersection of past and present in abandoned gothic cathedrals and churches. Though the spaces she depicts are wrought with religious implications, Wezyk instead exposes them as decaying signifiers of centuries of use and functionality. In many instances, the anachronistic presence of modern implements of construction, such as caution tape or cherry pickers, serves to underscore the disrepair that has befallen not only the buildings themselves, but also the culture and the religion that they once stood for. But, where darkness should permeate, Wezyk seeks out light and the resulting chiaroscuros are dynamic studies in color and form.
Wezyk’s exploration of such spaces is deeply personal. Having grown up during a period of great cultural vitality in Krakow, she witnessed firsthand the violation and destruction of these ideals under the tyranny of Martial Law in the early 1980s. To her, the interiors of these disused churches provide not only a space for reflection, but are also affirmations of survival and endurance.
Wezyk was born in 1966 in Krakow, Poland. She graduated the Akademia Sztuk Pieknych in Krakow with her BFA in 1990 and emigrated to the US later that year. In the spring of 2008, she will receive her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the National Library of Congress in Washington DC, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in New York, and the Muzeum Archidiecezjalne in Krakow. A full-color catalogue is available in conjunction with this exhibition.