Nominated by art critics and collectors alike for the exhibition in POSK Gallery, in London, Magdalena Kwapisz-Grabowska places a woman in the center of her artistic practice. She is fascinated not only by female bodies, but explores the world of woman emotions and search for identity. Kwapisz-Grabowska’s art is never obvious, because her paintings remain in between figuration and abstraction, drawing a thin line between beauty and ugliness. One can find many body parts suggestions across the artist’s canvases. Nipples, feet, hands, hair, but what Kwapisz- Grabowska tries to capture is a female body, with its constant metamorphosis, which leads to the continuous transformation of personality. Looking at her works is akin to witnessing the creation process, search for identity and ‘the process of becoming’. The spectator can feel anxious, because of synthesis and deformation, two of the artist’s favourite strategies. This unique, intimate atmosphere is intensified by her exploration of colour. Gray, white and black are counterpointed by strong pink and red accents. The artist experiments with paint layers, covering her canvases unevenly, sometimes with strong, impasto brush strokes, sometimes gently, like in a watercolor. She has developed her own painting style, in which she remains truly consistent.
Kwapisz-Grabowska painting stands in broader Polish and global artistic context. She is influenced by Teresa Pagowska, a prominent Polish painter and the leading personality of the New Figuralism movement. Echoes of Tadeusz Kantor’s esthetics are also apparent, especially of his informal period. Major European 20th century art icons, like Francis Bacon, had strong impact on her. Kwapisz-Grabowska shares a similar, brutal way of handling a human figure, deformation, love of colour and smooth backgrounds, leaving painted figures out of context. Some of those backgrounds are just unprimed canvases, another similarity with Bacon. The Polish painter challenges the long tradition of female nude, which has always been a domain of male academic artists. She follows the nude iconography laying women models down, undressing them, but she confronts the whole tradition from a different, woman perspective.
Kwapisz-Grabowska graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland in 1999 (Graphic Workshop and Painting Department). Since then her paintings have received attention in Poland and internationally with the recognition in the 2010 Chelsea Fine Art Competition in New York, which was juried by Guggenheim Museum in NY. In 2015 she participated in course of theory of art and painting at the Universitat der Kunst in Berlin. She has presented her art in many individual and group exhibitions all over the world including Poland, Germany, USA, United Kingdom and Italy. She lives and works in Berlin, Germany.