Thursday, September 3, 2009

Artist of the Week: Wilhelm Sasnal

Sasnal's impulsive, rapid style of execution, heavily reliant on intuition and spontaneity,
communicates directly to viewers, underscoring his capacity for translating complex
scenarios into painterly reality. Sasnal is not concerned with defining a recognizable
style, but instead with an intelligence of the gazethat is as individualistic as it is contemporary.

Like few members of his generation, Sasnal conceives of the painted image as reflecting
themes and aspects of the present moment, whether local or global. His artistic development
began in Kraków in the first post-communist decade. Around 1999, through a
rapidly-executed, deliberately banal mode of painting which concentrated entirely on
individual objects, he rebelled against Kraków's academic tradition together with the
artist's group Ładnie (pretty). Deemed "portrait worthy" now were objects such as an LP
turntable, a steering wheel, an airbag, and an ashtray. Paintings containing lettering,
price tags, or newspaper texts allow real prototypes to become identifiable. Today, nearly
all of Sasnal's paintings are based on either found or self-made photographs. In this
context, his artistic activities are conditioned by an awareness that by virtue of the
retarding effects of the Communist period in his country, he himself is a witness to a
still unconcluded postwar era – a consciousness that forms the subtle substrate of many


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