GRIMM announces international representation of Rafał Topolewski
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 13, 2024

GRIMM announces international representation of Rafał Topolewski
Rafał Topolewski, Sinking, 2024.

AMSTERDAM.- GRIMM announced the international representation of Polish artist Rafał Topolewski in collaboration with Alice Amati in London (UK). Drawing on dreams and memories imbued with an architectural sense of depth and balance, Topolewski’s work captures the liminal space between waking and sleeping. Barbed botanical subjects creep across the canvas, clock faces dissolve into landscapes, and vacant, glassy-eyed faces evoke the disjointed logic of the dream, balancing abstraction with a deft figurative approach. This fusion of fragmented objects with a softly muted palette and hazy, stippled brushstrokes creates the uncanny atmosphere unique to Topolewski’s work. The artist’s first exhibition with GRIMM in Amsterdam (NL), Slumber, continues until 6 April 2024. His work will also be featured in the upcoming group exhibition Self-Portraits at GRIMM, New York, NY (US).

Born in Poland and based in Lisbon (PT), Topolewski originally trained in architecture before moving to the UK to study Fine Art at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK) and the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). It was here that he developed his distinctive approach to working in oils with a dry brush, evoking the appearance of a grainy photograph. The photographic allusion of his work continues into Topolewski’s use of a personal archive of photographs in addition to digital and print research from which he sources his subject matter. These references are digitally spliced, overlaid, and manipulated collages that form the foundation of each painting. The process of painting itself takes an autonomous journey as the artist follows the idiosyncrasies and accidents of the medium to discover unexpected conclusions in the final work.

The subjects of Topolewski’s paintings share an earthy, ochre-hued tone – capturing the strangeness of the crepuscular hours between day and night. This curious environment draws an allusion between the subjects of the paintings and Topolewski’s interest in states outside of sleep and wakefulness, where memories, dreams, and reality blur together in the fragmentary language of his work. In this suggestible state, the artist’s work invites viewers to immerse themselves in an uncanny space where logic and reason give way to intuition and emotion. The frequent inclusion of the artist’s own portrait in his work suggests Topolewski’s interest in interrogating his own psyche as he picks at the seams of our collective consciousness.

Jorg Grimm comments: “I’m delighted to welcome Rafał to join our programme and proud to represent him going forward. His distinctive painterly style is unique in capturing sensibility and mood, and it has been a pleasure to introduce his work to new audiences with his first solo exhibition with us in Amsterdam. We look forward to working in collaboration with Alice Amati to propel his career forward in the future.”

Rafał Topolewski comments: “Having followed GRIMM since my days of study and admired their programme, I am beyond thrilled to be working with them. The energy and enthusiasm of the team are contagious and I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing crew to support me and my practice. It’s a great pleasure to be part of the programme and I am very excited for my growth with the gallery.”

Rafał Topolewski was born in Grudziadz (PL) in 1983. He studied architecture at the Wroclaw University of Technology (PL), before receiving a BA in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) in 2012. He went on to study Fine Art at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK), graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma in 2016. His work has been exhibited in the Netherlands, Portugal, the US, and across the UK.

Topolewski’s solo and group exhibitions include Slumber, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL) in 2024; Interludes, Alice Amati, London (UK) in 2023; The Belly and the Guts, Alice Amati, London (UK) in 2023; In Three Acts, Huxley-Parlour, London (UK) in 2023; Becoming a Creature, Tabula Rasa Gallery, London (UK) in 2023; Castelet, Simo Bacar, Lisbon (PT) in 2022; Corpo e Mente, curated by Lawrence Van Hagen, Palazzo Barbaro, Venice (IT) in 2022; If not, Winter, Simo Bacar, Lisbon (PT) in 2022, Nudes and Dudes, Lundgren Gallery, Mallorca (ES) in 2020; Isle, Smart Objects Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (US) in 2018; Fully Awake, Blip Blip Blip, Leeds (UK) in 2017; Royal Academy Show, Royal Academy Schools, London (UK) in 2016 and Premiums, Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK) in 2015.

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