Pia Krajewski

oT (Kissen), 2019

Oil on Canvas

100 × 150 cm

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Pia Krajewski’s paintings of objects might appear at first sight as metaphysical still lifes: mysterious pairings of things – drapes, pinecones, locks of hair, berries, cushions – are cast against ‘void’ campitura backgrounds, accentuating their isolation from context. Their shadows are often very stark, as if the scenes were lit from the above from some unseen afternoon sun. Viewers of Krajewski’s paintings should not, however, give in to the temptation of finding a narrative in her works, albeit figurative. The German artist’s sharply focused object-scapes are as though magnified and the viewer loses all sense of proportion; like Alice through the Looking Glass, we find ourselves surrounded by monumental pinecones, berries as big as footballs, socks the size of a giant’s.

Pia Krajewski wants us to experience ‘haptic vision’, a peculiar way of seeing that encourages a synesthetic experience of the painted image: through this exercise of the mind, we are in fact capable of ‘touching’, and perceiving degrees of haptic feeling through the sole act of looking. In a way similar to ASMR videos, seeing depictions of objects gently touching each other, of shadows rolling off gentle hills of satin, of fabric lazily spilling out the edges, is enough to make us perceive those same sensations, slightly at the back of our minds, triggering a tingle, and pushing us to conceive of Krajewski’s paintings as more than mere painted surfaces: there is a space within the composition, that can be reached into with the power of our vision.

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