MALAGA.- The Center for Contemporary Art in Malaga
presents, in collaboration with the Polish Institute of Culture in Madrid, the first large solo exhibition of Wilhelm Sasnal in a Spanish museum. Both his pictorial and film work, which he considers particularly important, are part of a freeform game that blends a variety of styles, techniques and representational methods. He works in a wide variety of mediums including comics, drawing, film, photography and painting. An oeuvre that moves between the abstract and the figurative; daily life and its relationship to the world is the central theme of this exhibition and the mainstay of his work.
This exhibition reveals the spontaneity and the banality that govern the work of what could be considered the most renowned member of a new generation of European artists, to whom the day-to-day of the world that surrounds them becomes the central theme of their creations: art as a stage on which to re-edit their own life.
Willhelm Sasnal arrives to the Espacio Central in the CAC Málaga to show around twenty paintings and a film shot on Super 8, transferred to DVD, which will be projected in the Espacio 5. 'The Ranch', 2006, is a kind of road movie that investigates the innermost aspects of heartland America.
His exceptional sensitivity and the critical charge that emanate from his work, discover Sasnal's great ability to transform apparently banal situations into pictorial reality, making him a kind of chronicler of contemporary life.
The artist has referred to himself on some occasion as a realist painter, due to the fact that everything he creates originates from personal experience, communication media, images taken from books or via Internet, music... and definitely, events from his own life. This is what is most important to him. He tries to base his work on something that exists. His images do not represent fictional situations.
Wilhelm Sasnal, (Tarnów, Poland, 1972), studied painting at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. In 1996 he founded, along with other artists of his generation, the now defunct Ladnie Group, a group of young artists that joined forces in order to gain some notoriety with gallerists and the public at large, and that reacted against academic painting with a rebellious and ironic attitude. Sasnal quickly stood out from the rest, driving him to leave the group and allowing his work to acquire relevance of its own. The definitive backing came in 2006, when he received the Van Gogh Art Award thanks, curiously, not to his paintings, but to his films.
Fernando Francés, director of the The Centre for Contemporary Art in Malaga, believes that the Wilhelm Sasnal exhibition uncovers the work of an artist that makes a subjective and intimate interpretation of the world around him. His paintings are loaded with intellectuality and disguise the great complexity of an underlying story, despite being works that originate from daily life.
Perhaps this is the reason that he manages to establish direct communication with the spectator, since the motifs he captures in his work are easily recognisable to everyone, they are part of our lives.
We can deduce from this statement that intuition and honesty play an important role in his representational method; his paintings are a sort of television rerun, as though they were shot in slow motion and close up, as can be seen in the 'Untitled' (Athletes) series, 2001, 'Ohne Titel' (Burning Cartoons), 2002 or 'A club', 2008, all of which can be seen at the CAC Málaga.
Sasnal alters reality and invites us to better understand its meaning and to be able to recreate emotions that accompany perception. Using images that physically are no more than oil on canvas, Wilhelm Sasnal attempts to define his personal experience within an impersonal world and to explore that no man's land where the private and the public converge to generate a kind of shared memory.
Once again, the Center for Contemporary Art in Malaga makes clear its interest in bringing the work of the most significant artistic tendencies in contemporary art to the public. Sasnal's reputation has made Poland a reference of current European art.
For this reason, a Polish city will share the title of European Culture Capital 2016; Málaga initiates an artistic relationship with Poland to rise as the Spanish city chosen for such an important and significant cultural event.