Pia Krajewski

Hut, 2018

Oil on Canvas

180 × 150 cm

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Pia Krajewski’s considered paintings depict enigmatic arrangements of objects, which, rent from their usual worldly surroundings, become out-of-place actors in surreal and barren still lives. In Hut (Hat) our central protagonist is a lone beige hat, mysteriously embraced by an orange proboscis.

It is impossible not to ponder the meaning of this strange arrangement, but Krajewski gives her viewers no clues. Yet asking and not receiving an answer is part of the fun. The artist delights in producing a pleasurable experience of searching. Her work teases the viewer gently, presenting a puzzle that has no solution, and rather than being frustrating can therefore become a place of delightful contemplation.

There is something very pleasing in the formal composition of this image and the objects within: the orange tube appears to fit into the neat groove in the top of the hat like a hand in a glove. There is a real frisson of touch in this delicately expressed moment. To add to the sensuality of this material connection, one can note that the orange shape represents an arm or a hand in Krajewski’s other works. Although present here in an abstracted form, its gentle weight upon the crown of the hat further cements the sense of embrace present in these other works.

For Krajewski, these hands materialise a theory of vision as something sensible: a tactile and physical sensation, rather than disembodied and cerebral. This approach is consistent throughout her paintings, and asks the viewer to call into question their own way of seeing, approaching everything they encounter anew, whether it be a vase, a lemon, or a small beige hat.

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 throughout her work. The objects’ appearances are clear, but removed from their everyday environments their meaning is annoyingly elusive and puzzling. 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.

The images Pia Krajewski creates 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

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