Pia Krajewski

oT (Haarspange), 2019

Oil on Canvas

150 × 100 cm

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Pia Krajewski approaches painting as a highly sensual experience: instead of inviting the viewer to focus on narrative and symbolic meaning, her paintings prioritise the sense of touch, or the illusion of touch, achieved through the act of looking. Indeed, the viewer of Krajewski’s paintings should not be asking ‘why did the artist choose this object?’, but rather ‘if I could reach into the painted space of the canvas, how would this object feel under my fingers?’. In this work, two tubular shapes stretch over a field of green, as if zoomed in from a photograph of a bigger object or arrangement, the elements are completely de-contextualised and frustrate any attempt of interpretation.

Instead, synesthesia is the key to unlocking this visual experience: haptic vision, the artist explains, has the ability to physically alter the viewer in the act of looking. That feeling that makes us hold our breath at the wafer-thin petals of a flower in a Flemish still life, or instinctively know the materiality of a beautiful porcelain painted by one of the great masters, does not actually require a concrete objectivity: it is triggered even when the object is unknown. Perhaps, Krajewski seems to argue, in an even stronger way.

the artist

Pia Krajewski (b. 1990, Cologne) spent seven years at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf studying painting under Dietmar Lutz and Andreas Schulze. Following her graduation, Krajewski participated in the Winsor & Newton scholarship program at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany. She has been part of ARTUNER’s inner circle of artists ever since the residency completion. In 2022 she received the inaugural NRW State Parliament Prize for her painting "Untitled (Vorsitzende)". Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition entitled "Kunst Jetzt" at the Städtische Galerie in Lüdensheid, the group show "From Michelangelo to" at the Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck, and the Artuner group exhibition "Uno, Nessuno, Centomila" in Turin.

Krajewski's practice draws from a wide array of sources of inspiration, extrapolating details from architectural ornaments, fruit, armours, and hair, pushing its viewers to question what they are facing—disarming orientations and recognition with a playful approach to scale and nuances of monochromatic colour schemes.

With its three-dimensionality, sculptural approach and textural references, her work brings abstraction to life, though its subjects are not always decipherable at first glance. There is a "tension" between familiarity and foreignness of the shapes. The combination of the foreign and the familiar found in Krajewski’s shapes are reminiscent of the oscillations of perceptions. The sense of familiarity that the viewer experiences when encountering her works is ever-present but ultimately impossible to pin down to an identifiable subject. The almost "déjà-vu" aspect of her works leaves the viewer eager to fill the blanks of their perceptions.

The large scale of Pia Krajewski’s works captivates the viewer and transports them to a world where their sight can solely guide them to grasp and appreciate the subject matter. This unique format, where detail is highly visible, enhances the larger-than-life persona of her subjects.

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

Pia Krajewski
on Artuner

Part of the

October 12th, 2019 until
October 30th, 2019
Curated by ARTUNER