What can one say about classically perceived easel painting today, at the wane and start of centuries? Is there anything that would not reek of the banal and not threaten a tautological grinding of words, juggling of notions, critical views, and more or less weighty arguments. And finally, what is there in that inconspicuous, usually closed surface of canvas that so strongly attracts us?

The answer is simple. It's the difference or, if you prefer, dissimilarity. Each and every work, regardless of time and artist, will carry in it an imprint of individuality, inaccessibility, or for a change of full clarity. It will always, however, remain a difficult equation between the painter and audience, one that has to be resolved.

You might ask, why should anyone painstakingly, manually apply layer after layer of colors and harmonized shades, when it is much simpler today to create similar compositions through different "electronic" media? Here lies the primal source of misunderstanding. Because a painting will always be a unique manifestation of human creativity, derived from both spirit and matter. And this is the case of Malina Wieczorek’s paintings, which we are looking at today, where emotions seem to burst through the canvas.

The figures of the women she portrays are reflected as if in venetian mirrors, unaware of the observations to which they were exposed and in a way sentenced to. Usually they emerge from the inside of the painting, as if shameful, with but a slight gesture or in profile. Ostensibly unified, enchanted in cocoon forms, they defend their individuality. Similar yet different. Alone, yet vividly present among us.

The artist calls them nudes, and this definition can be ascribed both to the body and spirit. Their apparent monochromy, which may irritate the less sophisticated audience, absorbs our attention.Following successive displays of this quiet spectacle, we become more ordered, silent, and friendly towards others.

Isn’t this enough as for the potential influence of several works placed in the context of one exhibition?

Jacek Werbanowski, Warsaw, April 2001.



Malina paints women. However, when I took a closer look at the female shapes, I understood that Malina paints contours. In fact, they are varying contours of women’s bodies as seen by the artist in her very individual manner. Each painting shows her interest in another variation of this theme.We can even say these are variations on the “secondary sexual features” of women. If hips are in the center of Malina’s attention, they are wide; if breasts, they are rather small. Legs, feet, hands and heads fade away somewhere in the background.

While I refer to it as “painting”, in fact Malina draws with a brush. These are drawn paintings. Rubbed backgrounds, always but a contour, some grey paint and lots of free space for free associations. The backgrounds against which the shapes appear are usually red, brick-red, orange or grey. A grey contour against a grey background is virtually the ideal of imperceptible painting.

There are some contradictions in her work. She uses strong colours, but in reality she doesn’t want this to be apparent. Strong colours are not her ideal. But on the other hand, how can you talk about feelings and emotions without using contrasting colours? Perhaps all her paintings explore the same theme - how to be loved?

These women’s contours provide a catalogue of all that can fascinate in the female body. Almost always lonely, they seem to be longing for affection. Not necessarily beautiful, they still want to be loved. Pictured in a way which will make them attractive to men. Women need to have expressive bodies.

I have a feeling that Malina is painting her own version of “The City of Women”, where men chase their unattainable ideal. And they will never reach it which is just as well. Malina has also set out on a continuous quest which will certainly prevent us from being bored. She is sure to surprise us over and over with her amazing paintings.

Bogusław Deptuła