Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut

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Agata was born in 1983 in Poland. She graduated from High School of Fine Arts (Czestochowa, Poland) with the specialization in Graphic Design. She graduated from the Academy of the Fine Arts in Wroclaw this year with the Master degree in Painting.
She has participated in several art events in Europe and North America. Her paintings can be found in many private collections in Belgium, Great Britain, Poland, Austria and United states.
Agata’s works do not have any philosophical or theoretical background. She purposefully tries to eliminate everything which is only an attachment to the painting and its quintessence, and to achieve pure sense of each work. Too many distractions kill the painting, she says.
Agata’s style can be described as a mixture of a new figurative representation and geometric movements of the 20th century, when color was the most important. But for years Agata’s main theme has remained the same – the human body. The way she paints the body is becoming clearer and clearer and she is more conscious of it with each work. The new series of her oil paintings are inspired by the human figures in pure biological sense.
She gets inspiration from mass media, especially from pictures and texts.
Franz Kline, Francis Bacon, Teresa Pagowska, Robert Rauschenberg and Emilio Vedova have greatly influenced her, too.
Chuck Close once said:
“ The best time for the painting is when everyone around announces it’s  end.”
For her,  it is really true quintessence.

 

Translated by Anna Laver

 


statement

 

“I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory trace of past events, as the snail leaves its slime.” Francis Bacon

The “Skin on Skin” series is a record of emotions and observations … often subconscious, not always deliberate, or at least not thought over – rather felt and very intuitive. It revolves around human beings, their functioning in the personal and social sphere (the relation between ME – YOU or ME – THEM). “Skin on Skin” is about people depending on each other, about mutual relations, influences, pressures and manipulations. It’s a turn toward the inside – from a noisy and chaotic street to the intimate sphere. The fascination with structure, the pulse of a living metropolis, and life in anonymity and isolation that accompanies it, are the two poles between which we are suspended. As a result, the surrounding reality is no longer realistic and does not fit the template to which we got used to … it comes crashing down and leaves us puzzled.

 

Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut

translated by Patricia Frankowska

 

Essays:

We are constantly being bombarded with images,

that engrave into our subconscious, control behaviors.

Created by humans, now living their own independent life.

We have brought them to life and lost control of them.

 

Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut

 

Paper – canvas – wall is an exhibition of exceptional value. It shows a choice of works created

in a very special time for the young painter – Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut – being also a

summary of her five years of active creative work. This exhibition is also important because it

presents a number of paintings from the period between 2010-2013, when the artist was

already living in Warsaw and devoted herself fulltime to painting, departing from any other

forms of professional work. But that’s not all. The title of the exhibition is not accidental as

well. Despite the somewhat enigmatic ring to it, it carries a large, symbolic meaning. It refers

to the three main media of painting, which Czeremuszkin-Chrut uses in her creative work.

Both paper, canvas and wall are of particular importance to the artist – sometimes penetrating

each other, sometimes combined in the painting process, and at times separate works.

The collected objects in the Gorzów exhibition are the perfect material for the analysis of the

evolution of style that has been gradually changing. Since 2010, there has been a noticeable

shift to simplicity, taming of color and a reduction of massive letters. The dominants

nowadays are: thrift, graphic and drawing style that can be regarded as determinants of the

style proposed by the painter. The cleaning of composition most probably began in 2010,

with the painting Dreaming (diptych, oil/canvas, 46x76cm, 2010), which became for

Czeremuszkin-Chrut an unrepeatable design form. A sort of – as she says – icon that paved

the search path of more thriftier and calmer shapes and colors. This painting can certainly be

regarded as insightful and maintained at a high level, however, by the nature of the image requires

more involvement from the recipient. Because, contrary to appearances, it is not an

easy and obvious art. By choosing the appropriate means of artistic expression (such as deaestheticization,

deformation, schematization, geometrisation) the painter creates a world

that provokes the viewer to explore the realm of human experience, which is usually pushed

into the background or is completely overlooked. It is all about emotions and relationships.

About loneliness, being lost, misunderstood and the internal heroic struggle inside us. Therefore,

the work of Czeremuszkin-Chrut can be defined as neo-figurative art, whose basic assumptions

have been processed into individual language of expressional painting.

Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut paints in cycles – less or more complex – that are arranged in a

logical whole in terms of style and form, clearly showing all problems that are bothering the

artist. And these are issues related primarily to humans – human life, alienation, emotions

and anonymity. They are also all biological processes, physicality and energy, which are

transformed into paintings, which is not intentional and planned, but rather subconscious,

sensual and intuitive. Agatha Czeremuszkin-Chrut’s art is not autobiographical. As she points

out herself: When painting, I rely mostly on photographs, from the great artistic acts, to quite

amateur mobile snapshots and movie stills. I look for inspiration on the Internet, in newspapers,

on the streets. When I see something in various places, situations and circumstances,

it engraves into my memory. Later, I try to incorporate these pieces of images into my paintings1.

One of the most complex series is the one called Beds, which is devoted to a human motif in

deep sleep. However, this motif is not the most important aspect here, as it only provides an

excuse for experimental painting, a significant factor for the painter in the act of creation. This

is because – she says – it stimulates thinking and experimentation can go beyond your limits

and already known paths. Sometimes by accident you can create a lot more than when

achieved consciously.2 And perhaps this is the reason why the Bed cycle is not homogenous.

It consists of images that differ from each other – both in terms of size, design, as well as

theme, and the only element uniting all of them -, is the more or less literal – bed motif. Relying

on found photographs, the artist presents mostly anonymous people, deprived of individual

characteristics, that have been universalized. But there is a small exception. Paintings

inspired by the widely known photographs of celebrities – including Yoko Ono and John Lennon,

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward or Kate Moss and Johnny Deep – are recognized

intuitively. However, despite the obvious compositional references, it isn’t a direct copy, but a

free, expressive interpretation, which is closer to art than reality. It should be noted that in

some paintings, such as Lucian&Kate (oil/canvas, 150×180, 2012) and Johnny (oil/canvas,

150×150 cm, 2013) silhouettes of specific characters can be identified that have undergone a

relatively small deformation – typical for the artist. Deformation in her paintings is often farfetched,

in a manner that the main themes become blurred. The series give Agata

Czeremuszkin-Chrut an opportunity to play with the human body. Manipulating it on canvas,

deforming, deconstructing, putting together random pieces, building the human body from

scratch3. However, that is not all. Apart from the strictly painting value, this series explores an

area dedicated to dreams that Justyna Sikorska combines with the Freudian structure of personality

Id4. However, a certain form of metaphysics play a more important role here, as it is

 

associated with emotional – but also existential – part of human life. Czeremuszkin-Chrut attempts

to analyze the surrounding reality with her paintings, which is, however, seen through

the prism of symbolically treated bed – which subconsciously ensures the feeling of safety,

privacy, tranquility and relaxation.

The human body is also the leading theme of a series of paintings entitled Minimize (from

2010) that was displayed for the first time at the 022 Gallery in Warsaw (April, 2013). These

images are different from the rest of the artist’s works mainly because of their small format –

a majority of them are smaller than 30×30 cm, what gives them a more intimate character. It

is worth noting that most of these works were created as ideas of large paintings, so in terms

of compositional and expressive sketch they preserved the typical features: freshness and

spontaneity of gesture5. Despite the fact that each one of them is autonomous, when presented

in a group they turn into a piece of linear narrative. However, Czeremuszkin-Chrut is not

telling us a created, planned story – it forms itself by the arrangement of not clearly determined

scenes. The artist doesn’t want to impose her own rigid interpretation. Both in case of

larger paintings and the smaller ones, the sense of presentation is only gently being suggested

by enigmatic titles, such as for example, Brave, Something, Clumsy, Curve or Dull. This

is because Agata Czeremuszkin-Chrut appreciates the freedom, not only her own but also

the recipient’s. As she said – I avoid over-intellectualizing, I do not like to fill my art with gibberish

information, socially or politically correct6. We will not find literal and obvious messages

in these paintings, but will be allowed to read them individually – and that will make

them more reliable . After all, when dealing with art, this is considered a superior value.

Kama Wróbel

 

Unpublished interview for Sisu PR (unnumbered text).

Unpublished interview for Sisu PR (unnumbered text).

www.czeremuszkin.com (4.07.2013).

Justyna Sikorska, Bez tytułu [introduction to an exhibition entitled Beds in Elektor Gallery; 12.2012] on galeria

elektor.pl (28.06.2013).

5 Introduction to an exhibition entitled Minimalizm on artimperium.pl (30.06.2013).

6 Kama Wróbel, Nowa figuracja w ujęciu Agaty Czeremuszkin-Chrut [interview] on rynekisztuka.pl (02.07.2013).

 

Fully illustrated digital catalogue to accompany this exhibition. Catalogue includes an essay by Dorothea Rockburne.