Pia Krajewski

Haarnadel, 2018

Oil on Canvas

180 × 150 cm


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Artwork
Description

A sweep of cornflower blue rolls back above a wave of golden bars which curl inward, balancing a small rod in their centre. Pia Krajewski’s paintings are characterised by such poetic but ambiguous representations of textures and objects. The viewer is given no visual clue as to the nature of the objects, rather they are left to sink into the painting through their eyes and get lost in Krajewski’s beguiling shapes and colours.

But the artist has given the viewer a single breadcrumb to disentangle this image. The title Haarnadel translates as ‘hairpin’. In this context, the shapes start to make some linguistic sense: the blue wave is transformed into a soft felt hat, the gold bars into locks of hair, all held together by the eponymous hairpin.

However, just as things start to fall into place, one realises that the objects actually depart from the meanings that one has tried to pin onto them. The puzzle of appearance is replaced by a puzzle of context. Why are these objects depicted, here and in this way? Krajewski’s paintings explore the constant aesthetic negotiation we practice in our everyday looking, asking why images exert more visual pressure on us than the appearance of simple objects, whose form can be as powerful and pure as any artwork.

About
the artist

Pia Krajewski was born in 1990 in Cologne, Germany. She spent seven years at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf studying painting under Dietmar Lutz and Andreas Schulze. Selected shows include 72. Internationale Bergische Kunstausstellung at the Kunstmuseum Solingen and a clue at the bookstore Walther Koenig at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. In 2018 Krajewski was the Winsor & Newton Artist-in-Residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.

Krajewski’s paintings are characterised by a certain poetic representation of objects. Lemons, arms, tables and vases are carefully selected and depicted. The objects’ appearances are clear, but removed from their everyday environments their meaning is annoyingly elusive. Krajewski creates a world where coherent narrative is lacking, however physicality is never in doubt. Her imagery is formally meaningful where it is intellectually frustrating: the painted objects are given a uniformity by their presence on the same picture plane.

The logic of Pia Krajewski’s paintings is the logic of vision made bare. She shows the viewer a kind of parallel world, a world comprised solely of sight: a world which promises the knowledge of what it really is to see. In the absence of any cerebral cues, the viewer is moved to this understanding physically rather than intellectually, attaining a position of distance that allows revelations and associations to rise to the fore.

Krajewski’s images are sensible: just look at the hands and arms that reach under tables, point towards picture frames. In a move that recalls medieval theories of vision, sight is represented as a finger pressing a vase: one thinks of Giotto’s figure of Circumspection in the Arena Chapel, her eyes protruding tentacles, testifying to the physicality of seeing.

The artist sensitively guides our perception; her paintings are as pleasurable as they are gentle, reaching out to press softly on our eyes.


The logic of Pia Krajewski’s paintings is the logic of vision made bare. She shows the viewer a kind of parallel world, a world comprised solely of sight: a world which promises the knowledge of what it really is to see.


Pia Krajewski
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

November 1st, 2018 until
January 6th, 2019
Curated by ARTUNER