Tomek Baran – #808080
The exhibition #808080 is a narrative about relationships between the image, the setting, and the spectator in the context of concepts such as image surface, space, or the work’s materiality. All these factors are bound together by colour, which in Tomasz Baran’s recent works appears not as a precisely defined parameter but as a subjective element, closely related to the act and conditions of perception. Freed from precision, the intuitive elements of Baran’s painting (compositional divisions, titles) are discussed by the artist in the context of the limitations, both formal (the regime of precise geometric compositions) and technical (the use of chlorinated rubber paint or bent wooden strips whose shape determines the painting’s size and format). Monumental, seemingly monochromatic swathes of colour are contrasted with the materiality and physicality of isolated effects visible on the image plane. Due to the reflections and offsets appearing on the surface of the canvas, there is a tension in Baran’s painting between the plane and a sense of depth. This dynamic transition occurs, however, in the spectator, as every new observation weakens our sense of solidity, enhancing instead the fickleness and ephemerality of visual impression. A sense of three-dimensionality is inevitably accompanied by an exposition of the plane, and that which has been pushed deeper will return to the surface, fixing the viewer’s gaze on it.
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