Ewa Juszkiewicz paints, draws, and creates collages and animations. She was born in Gdańsk on 3rd September, 1984. She lives and works in Kraków.
She holds a master's degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk followed by a PhD earned at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. She is a member of the VJ collective AAA Tanie Wizualki. In the autumn of 2014, the publishing house Thames & Hudson released the album One Hundred Painters of Tomorrow, which lists Ewa Juszkiewicz as one of the painters mentioned in the title.
As an artist, she chiefly deals with portraits of women. She creates paintings that refer to well-known early modern works, especially Flemish ones. The only difference lies in the way of presenting the portrayed persons’ faces. Juszkiewicz imaginatively distorts these faces or substitutes them with large polypores, the bodies of insects, bouquets of flowers, tribal masks, or draped fabrics. Surrealistic, disturbing paintings loosely based on the originals are created as a result. These works by Juszkiewicz sometimes are copies with a single, subtle alteration.
At a certain point, I became tired of repeating the motif of the human face, I began to look for forms, phenomena existing in nature, which could substitute faces. I began to transform the traditionally understood portrait and research the effects of such devices as substituting a face with a mask, integrating a face with that face’s surroundings, completely erasing a face – said Juszkiewicz in a conversation with Agnieszka Rayzacher, published in the catalogue to the artist’s exhibition Pukle, which was held at local-30.
The artist is interested in analysing the ways of portraying women in painting throughout history. She analyses for instance the superficial, objectifying ways in which female beauty was shown in accordance to prevailing ideals of beauty. In her works she researches the phenomena of transgressing aesthetic norms and canons of depiction. She interweaves formal presentations with seemingly mismatched elements and asks questions about the boundaries of beauty and ugliness.
(…) I’m trying to find out whether art that looks noncontemporary, traditional or even archaic can engage today’s viewers and provoke discussions about current issues.
She is one of those artists who are highly concerned with technique. Juszkiewicz’s works can be admired for their textures, weight and the qualities of the matter presented. In this respect the paintings by the Polish artist are similar to the works of the old masters. The choice of technique and the way of painting are always linked to the concept of borrowing.
When my work is based on reproduction, I deconstruct certain fragments of the painting, trying at the same time to recreate the other fragments faithfully. In this process the following of the strokes of the original author’s paintbrush is an important element, which enables me to meet, metaphorically, the original author – said Juszkiewicz in the aforementioned conversation with Agnieszka Rayzacher.
In 2013 she was awarded the Grand Prix of the 41th Polish Painting Biennial 'Bielska Jesień'. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Zachęta of Contemporary Art in Szczecin and Bielska Gallery BWA, Poland.
The Descent Beckons, Present Future Section, Artissima, Contemporart Art Fair, Torino, Italy
The Descent Beckons, Galeria Bielska BWA, Poland
Curls, lokal_30, Warsaw, Poland
Damage has been done, Juszkiewicz/Kokosiński, EL Gallery, Elbląg, Poland
Up to my head, Juszkiewicz/Kokosiński, Zona Sztuki Aktualnej, Szczecin, Poland
What you don't talk about, Baltic Gallery, Słupsk, Poland
Rosamunde, the Princess of Cyprus, Centrum Kultury Katowice, Poland
How It Is, Asks Agnisia, That We See a Teddy Bear in the Painting, Otwarta Pracownia, Kraków, Poland
Wild in dreams, Garbary 48 Gallery, Poznań, Poland
Ewa Juszkiewicz- painting, Sławek Jaskułke-piano, PiTiPa Gallery, Poland
Young Artists' Presentation, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Sfinks, Sopot, Poland
Author: Agnieszka Sural, 16.09.2014, transl. MK, updated Nov 2015