Painter, graphic designer, illustrator. Burdzyńska is not afraid of bright colours and contrast, and conjoins various means of visual expression with plain geometrical forms.
Burdzyńska was born in 1977 in Tarnów. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, where she graduated in 2002 under the academic supervision of professor Adam Brincken. Burdzyńska’s consistency in pursuing her passion resulted in exhibitions both at home and abroad.
Her paintings, saturated with expression and symbolism, are resemblant of fairy-tales yet realistic. This tension was excellently exposed at the exhibition Rzęsa z oka wilka [editor’s translation: A wolf’s eyelash] in BWA Gallery in Tarnów. The title is a reference to a Latino narrative about a girl who ignored warnings and decided to go into the woods where a wolf lived. Thanks to her courage she set the imprisoned animal free and received the wolf’s eyelash in return. Since then, she has been able to tell good and evil apart, she’s become just and strong. The artist’s works are expressive and surprising. The frosty landscapes, soft animal furs and the childhood world juxtaposed with bleak reality don’t bode well. You need to enter the forrest to see how the story really ends.
Since 2013, Burdzyńska has been co-operating with BWA Gallery in her hometown. She creates visual identification of the exhibitions, runs artistic workshops and is responsible for the arrangement of many shows taking place in the gallery. Burdzyńska also works on the catalogues of the exhibitions which undoubtedly can be treated as autonomous works of art. The low number of copies further emphasises their exceptionality.
Błądzić jest rzeczą [editor’s translation: To err is] is one of the most interesting publications. It accompanied a design exhibition which was displayed not only in Tarnów, but also Zielona Góra, Wrocław and Kielce. Burdzyńska designed a book whose form was polemical towards the contents – she experimented with colours and the aesthetics of error. Aktivist magazine dubbed the book one of the best designs of the year, arguing that
The hard-cover publication is subordinate to one norm – beauty. Just like the creators of the exhibition treat mistakes and errors as a source of inspiration, Burdzyńska is looking for new graphic solutions at every page of the album. And she doesn’t err.
Print Control, a yearly publication presenting the panorama of Polish graphic design, appreciated the catalogue for the exhibition Ars moriendi / Sztuka umierania. Burdzyńska depicts the artists’ emotions and their approach towards death: fear, refusal, attempt at familiarisation, messing with fate, distance. She achieves this effect thanks to contrast and repetition. The soft cover looks like a marble gravestone. A rainbow gradient was printed onto the paper and a coffin-like shape was cut in the cover. Moreover, the symbol is multiplied inside the book, creating an overwhelming illusion of three-dimensionality. The pastel colours serve as a mild background for reflection on passing away and the confrontation of contemporary and traditional approaches to mortality.
A similar palette of colours – this time in vibrant shades – dominates Dźwięki i szwy [Sounds and seams]. The publication was created alongside a series of lectures, workshops and concerts organised at BWA Gallery in Tarnów in 2015. Marcin Dymiter’s essays about contemporary music, included in the book, are announced by sinusoidal white waves against a black background, resembling the graphic notation of sound intensity. By analogy, the introduction to the part devoted to fashion – treated as a fully fledged branch of culture – is illustrated with a set of diagonal lines imitating a seam. Similarly as in the case of the repeated motif of a coffin, the design of Dźwięki i szwy produce an effect of protuberance and rhythmical space. The author of the project has also left space for the recipient’s invention by including a few empty pages for notes. This proves how crucial it is for Burdzyńska to create graphic design consistent with the content of the book.
The catalogue Sprawna ręka [Skillful hand] can serve as counterbalance to the aforementioned visually intensive projects. The large format, slightly coarse texture of the cover and purple as the main colour create a harmonious visual setting to the paintings by Moshe Kupferman and Marek Chlanda presented in the book. Not only has Burdzyńska designed the visual identification of the exhibition and the publication accompanying it, but also enriched it – together with a few other artists – with her own work. As the catalogue says:
In 1993, when I was still a student at the artistic high school in Tarnów, I saw Moshe Kupferman’s exhibition at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. After several years, when I was studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, I revisited his paintings and created a cycle inspired by his work.
In the beginning of 2016 Burdzyńska has started co-operating with the graphic studio Podpunkt – laureates of European Design Awards and creators of the visual identification of Warsaw University of Technology, among others. Burdzyńska’s work, characterised by sophisticated use of geometric shapes and mathematical precision of execution excellently fit into the design team’s strategy. The visual identification – minimalist yet very dynamic – prepared for the French research institute IRIF can serve as an excellent proof.
Zrób sobie teatr [Theatre: DYI], a book published by Wrocławski Teatr Lalek, diverts from minimalistic aesthetics. The colours are vivid and the drawings sometimes seem child-like, thus bringing the reader into the fanciful world of stagecraft. The publication, conjoining education and fun, is intended for kids.
Burdzyńska is also the author of the design of the book Śmietnik [Trash bin], a visual documentation and interpretation of Tadeusz Różewicz’s 1989 happening, photographed by Adam Hawałej. Burdzyńska explored the multi-dimensional event to extricate its essence. The cardboard cover, scattered typography and graphic elements imitating rumpled foil symbolically present the peculiar action of the poet taking out the trash. This time Burdzyńska decided to refrain from using bright colours and turned to hues of grey instead. This allowed for creating a kind of a temporal bridge joining the modern design of the publication and the process of recording the happening using black-and-white photography. It can be said that Burdzyńska created a set design to the spectacle displayed to the reader contemporarily.
Burdzyńska has co-operated with many cultural and artistic institutions and participated in exhibitions both at home and abroad.
Originally written in Polish by Agnieszka Warnke, April 2016, translated by NS, May 2017.