• Where Pawilon Sztuki ERGO Hestia
  • Date 07 September 2019

Dorota Pawiłowska “Everything ok?

When confronted with the work of Dorota Pawiłowska for the first time, one can get the impression that her painting is of a pleasant, extremely colourful, even decorative nature. However, the more carefully we observe it, the voice of certain subliminal anxiety becomes stronger and stronger. Pastel or neon colours whirl, pile up, intersected by expressive strokes of black paint, seem to fight with one another for attention within the canvas, too tight for all of them. Is everything really OK? Dorota Pawiłowska is a master of black humour. She has already marked her inclinations towards grotesque and tricky games with the viewer in her diploma project, which consisted of poster designs - covers for a few of novels by Kurt Vonnegut, a literary provocateur with the surreal twist. In her paintings, Pawiłowska also seems to reveal the linkage, though not necessarily formal, with the trend of the interwar surrealism. Similarly to the creators of that time, she gives voice to the unconscious, coincidence, unfettered expression. In this sense, artistic creativity can act as a kind of self-therapy – the processing of unnamed emotions into painting matter. The titles given to works by the artist are, in fact, are not likely to explain their meaning, but make it more complicated and obscure. They are more of an ironic dodge and a wink at the viewer, who – plucked out from the reality communicating with exclamation marks – is faced here only with the question marks. Pawiłowska herself calls her painting "a visual muttering". You have to strain your senses to read his message. In addition to painting and graphics, Dorota Pawiłowska cultivates another field of art, a little more distant from those – improvisation theatre. Still, as she herself admits, stage performance teaches her to follow impulse, sincerity and authenticity, which successfully translate into artistic creation, equally sincere and equally "improvised." On the stage of the Warsaw Comedy Club, Pawiłowska deals with the absurdities of reality, processing them into a performance seasoned with a hint of irony, often targeted at herself, too. Her pictures seem to be gaining the same quality. One may wonder if, in times of increasing crisis in various walks of life, fleeing into a joke, sarcasm and laughter is just an expression of helpless escapism. Or maybe it is the only effective tool for dealing with reality? As it is in her habit, Dorota Pawiłowska does not give ready-made answers, but rather provokes to ask further questions. One thing is certain though: black humour can be successfully "dressed" in art which is extremely colourful, sensual, pulsating and vibrant.