Somebody walked around our home – says Elżbieta, the heroine of Feliks Falk’s film “In the middle of summer” from 1975, to her husband Adam. A husband, a rational scientist, ignores her. “In the middle of summer” is one of Olga Pawłowska’s favorite films. Apparently nothing happens in it, few dialogues, creaking of the gate, rustle, silence and growing tension. Something will happen, something hangs in the air, the silence around you and the emptiness of the house filled with Haydn’s music are just waiting. A house by the lake, the symbol of a summer idyll becomes a bad home. We have such houses with a secret on the exhibition in the Fresz Gallery series. Immersed in the dark, surrounded by a crown of tree leaves, they emit strange light, invite and threaten simultaneously.
Express unspoken, hidden. And just as Falk accomplishes this task in his film, Olga Pawłowska’s painting is every time an attempt to remove the obvious and visible layer from reality. Paradoxically, this is done by using the obvious: in the Helium cycle on small formats we see letters forming the names of local towns, often incomplete as KUŹN, where the end of the word is missing, fragments of signs with a typical “signpost” font that direct us to Hel, but are also lost . This operation of obvious visual codes, combined with their incompleteness raises anxiety, the impression of discomfort, lack and necessity to complement – basic and deeply existential feelings. At the same time, it is a metaphysical element in these seemingly simple signs, we see a simple visual message, but we sense something more. The great American painter Ed Ruscha, the patron of Olga Pawłowska, said: “I am interested in the glorification of what in our world would be described as unworthy of glorification. Focusing on what is forgotten, as if it was the object of worship, something sacred. ” At Olga, even a cuboid suspended in space has the power of a painting depicting a supernatural phenomenon. Here, nothing happens by accident, everything is a harbinger, a sign. Therefore, it seems that the proper form of contact with the art of Olga Pawłowska is contemplation and we invite you to this contemplation in the black-painted Fresz Gallery.
Katarzyna Rzehak, March 2017