Her paintings are a visceral journey into the world of memories and fantasies, where reality takes on the uncanny aspects of a dream - even a nightmare.
Painter, examining the world of mamories and fantasies.
Born in 1978, the Wroclaw-based artist got her education at the city's Academy of Fine Arts. Over the past several years, she has garnered attention on the contemporary art scene in Poland and throughout Europe, exhibiting at such prestigious events and venues as the Edinburgh Art Festival, BWA Studio in Wroclaw, Art Agenda Nova Bestregards Gallery in Frankfurt, and even Brazil's A Gentil Carioca w Rio de Janeiro.
Her approach to painting takes a cartoonish, pop-art lean, with recognisable shapes and scenarios taking on a gothic, unnatural character. Her paintings of young girls splayed out in the woods, seeming victims of the cruelty of unseen predators are no less disturbing than her iconoclastic tributes to sacral art. There is an air of guilt and suspicion that pervades all these works, as if they were documents of an ongoing investigation - whether it is one of the past or the immediate present.
artists of the 21st century
painters of the 21st century
Urban's take on painting is certainly a post-modern one, taking on a similar attitude as her fellow contemporaries from Poland - Radek Szlaga or Magdalena Burdzyńska - in using the technique of painting in order to undermine its authority by shifting its subject from noble portraits and still-lifes to a pop-arty take on contemporary culture. She also examines the nature of fear from the perspective of a victim or a martyr, in both the physical and spiritual realm, as well as the fear of being a witness to a crime, or even acting as the aggressor. In this way she aims to explore the human mind and motivation.
In her most recent show At the Tip of the Tongue, exhibited at the Leto Gallery in Warsaw in autumn 2012, she sets her focus on the way the mind meanders around a topic, straying from the subject at hand and keeping the mind guessing as it weaves through a series of associations which are just shy of what one is looking for. She says this is a similar to what she feels when working on a paintings, explaining, "I'm trying to find meaning, I arrange elements in the hope that the right solution will dawn on me".
Aleksandra Urban is represented by the Leto Gallery in Warsaw. For more information, see: www.leto.pl
Author: Agnieszka Le Nart, November 2012