Pia Krajewski

oT (Matratzen Sushi), 2019

Oil on Canvas

180 × 300 cm

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The world evoked by Pia Krajewski’s paintings is one that is completely governed by sensuous feeling: haptic vision, or the ability to ‘touch’ something with one’s eyes, is at the core of the German artist’s practice. While on the surface her works might look like still lifes depicting bizarre assemblages of objects, on closer inspection it soon becomes clear that the subject matter is just an excuse to explore her main area of interest: the feeling of touch associated with different textures and the physical points of contact between various bodies. Indeed, Krajewski’s paintings often depict subjects blown wildly out of proportion, extremely magnified, cropped, or isolated in such a way that they become unrecognisable. Although the viewer’s first instinct might be that of decoding the subject matter, they should abandon such pursuit altogether: there is no symbolic meaning in Krajewski’s choice of objects, no narrative intent.

It is particularly telling that when thinking about Baroque and Flemish still lifes, the artist doesn’t waste a second to ponder their iconology, and instead she focuses on the “incredibly detailed, sumptuous paintings that almost make one believe that one could smell the flowers and eat the berries. Their almost physical presence is fascinating. They leave you breathless, as one is afraid of disintegrating the wafer-thin fragile covering of a painted physalis with one breath. Or you might want to touch the cool-smooth, marble-like surface of a shell that has been discovered shimmering at the foot of a vase. The painted objects unfold an unbelievable grandeur, as if they were inhabiting all the beauty and vulnerability of the world. But I do not believe this is simply because of the ‘true-to-life’ portrayal. This haptic vision, where one is physically is altered in the act of looking, does not necessarily require a concrete objectivity.”

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