As I mentioned previously, I would like this blog to serve not only as information about the residence in Bialystok, but also function as a place for information about contemporary Polish artists, Polish art in general, Polish culture, music, food, as well as regional information about Bialystok and Podlaskie province – of course, stuff you won’t find in most guidebooks or art books (in English).
Today, I present Leon Tarasewicz, one of the most interesting contemporary Polish painters. Leon Tarasewicz comes from the village Walily in the Podlaskie province located near the eastern border with Belarus. He was born on March 14, 1957 and continues to reside in Walily. He studied at the Fine Art Academy in Warsaw (1979-1984) and debuted in Galeria Foksal in 1984. Since then, his work has been widely exhibited in Poland and around the world.
Tarasewicz’s work challenges the ideas of what painting and art are. His paintings are monumental, architectural installations, where the viewer is not a passive viewer – we are able to physically experience the “paintings”. These works exceed the traditional understanding of painting. In his work, painting in not limited to the canvas – it covers floors (like at the Venice Biennale in 2001), pillars, ceilings, entire walls. It isn’t flat, but three-dimensional. Some installations are like mazes, where the viewer literally gets lost in the painting – or maybe the comparison should be to a fun house; the artist uses the architecture of his paintings along with mirrors to completely disorient the viewer.
There is a lot more I could write about this artist, but I think this is enough for today.