excerpt from the text published on RADEK SZLAGA, Puritan, Leto, Warszawa, August 2014

“Radek Szlaga is a teller of the stories of his post generation. Modernism, rock, structuralism, colonialism . . . everything which could fall, fell, and passed not without consequences. Born in 1979, the artist became a witness of irrevocable changes and an author of the tales of a new generation that emerged on the ruins of old separations and identities. Divided between an anthropological need for mythical and founding narrations and the disruptive forces of contemporary visuality, Szlaga developed a hyper-textual language that continues to intrigue and question the relationship between the traditional medium of painting and the more recent possibilities of a digitally and technologically wide-world. After graduating in painting in 2005 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, Szlaga soon made himself known as a painter using of schizophrenic colors and popular subjects: such as the recurring word malarstwo [painting] in the Marlboro font. Mixing motives taken from diverse sources and backgrounds, he brought into canvases complex visual montages expressing his generation’s language and codes of interpretation. Szlaga co-founded (2007) the PENERSTWO group (with Bąkowski, Mróz, Smoleński, Bosacki, Starska and Tarasewicz) which, although sharing the same sense of cultural repression and seeking for new forms of expression, explored these questions in different media and themes. In Szlaga’s work, this resulted in a huge, voluntarily chaotic representation of reality in which the range of quotation sources extended, pushing at the limits of painting. In 2008, the group exhibition Establishment, held at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, constituted the event of a generation. The participation of Szlaga with critical paintings echoing with a heterogeneous multiple history and depicting characters coming from a global visual village established him as one of the most important voices of his time. Quasi journalistic and objective works, laughing at history and ironic about the contradictions in society, where the principal characteristics of his early research, presented for example in the exhibition Atlantis (2007), where moral corruption and weakness became the main protagonists, or in the series Bad Drawings (2007), where he painted only with the left hand.”

information about the artist can be found here


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