“While my work is anchored in representation, I try to not only focus on depicting the details of my subject, but also try to capture the emotion - the essence of it. That particular “something” that drew me to that subject in the first moment. My paintings tend to transform a lot during the painting process and take a life on their own, like they want to be telling their own story…” – Agnes Grochulska
Outlined emotions and impressive physiognomies – Agnes Grochulska’s “Outline”-Series deals with the representation of feelings carved into splendid human faces.
In the search for deeply hidden sentiments, Grochulska's paintings resemble a psychological and spiritual dissection. With the help of distinctive and deep looking eyes, a connection between the sitter and the viewer is established - this is to be understood as a decisive characteristic within Grochulska's body of work.
The artist emphasizes the feelings and thoughts of the portrayed with the help of a continuous abstract line. In her paintings, Grochulska switches between the line as a frame and at the same time as a connecting element. The color psychology finds its starting point in these studies: Grochulska chooses the hues of the outline based on a particular emotion.
With the use of the impasto technique, she gives the sitters incomparable materiality and carnality: the thick brushstrokes are almost three dimensional and tear themselves out of the flat canvas.
The juxtaposition of strong contrasts and of color fields placed next to each other without mixing them can be considered Grochulska's signature - she invites the viewer to an optical game in which the colors are mixed only by the eye of the beholder.
In direct contrast, the nine charcoal drawings feature dark, saturated black and grey hues over a white ground. These works are detailed studies of the portrayed figures and allow us to gain insight into the artist's creative process.
Born in 1974 in Poland, Agnes Grochulska studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. She lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.
Her works have been exhibited among others in New York, Denver, Miami, and Virginia. Her solo exhibition “Archetypes” at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art was on view from November 27, 2021, until March 6, 2022.