Iza Rogucka is a visual artist, who works with paintings, drawings, installation art, interior design, and performative arts. She was born in 1985 in Białystok.
Visual artist, working in painting, drawing, installation art, interior design, and performative arts.
Iza Rogucka graduated from the Faculty of Interior Design of the University of Fine Arts in Poznań. She completed her degree project in Maciej Basałyga's workshop. Two years later, she received another diploma from the same school, however, in painting this time, which she studied under Prof. Andrzej Zdanowicz. Between 2010 and 2013, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, in the masterclass led by Paweł Althamer and Julian Göthe.
Rogucka empoys a variety of media, but painting and drawing are at the core of her artistic explorations. Her early painting works resulted from an in-depth observation of nature, represented figuratively in her canvases. From the outset, architecture has been an equally important element of her work. What brings these two areas together is the memory of a place and the will to retain traces of ‘spheres of uncertainty.’ In the series Epitaphs, initiated in 2009, the artist represented places in Podlachia – her birthplace – which were fading into oblivion. The canvases bore illustrations of the landscapes, churches, old buildings, and unique atmosphere of the region, drawn from photographic documentation or preserved slides. Another which the artist started in 2009 was Spiele Der Stadt, based on geometric themes and architectural rhythms of such cities as Poznań and Kaliningrad. Axes, grid lines, and window arrangements were subjected to permutations and color manipulations. The artist played with the geometrised image of the city, multiplying the patterns, shifting scales, and introducing disruptions in the regulated arrangements of reproduced elements, by the same token rendering the original reference surreal, as if she wanted to transform it into an ornament.
More broadly, Iza Rogucka's practice can be described as an attempt to describe space. Not just the one which exists physically, but also the philosophical idea of space, containing the aspects of imagination and memory:
I see space as a multilayered structure which can be created and modified on various levels. Its form is always dependent on time, because its relations with space are key for understanding our surrounding reality. At the same time, I am interested in how our personalities, identities, and ways of perceiving the world are influenced by the spaces in which we operate.
Landscape returned in Rogucka's series of paintings Discomfort in Nature (2012). The title was borrowed from Slavoj Žižek's article, in which the author cliams that nature is no longer natural because of man and humans have become strangers to it. Nature in Rogucka's canvases is also modified and artificial, and modelled after landscapes found in Walt Disney movies, which were initially inspired by fairy tales and folk narratives from Austria and Bavaria. One year later, the artist developed the topic of nature in Please Love Austria, a short series of casual travel sketches, showing Alpine landscapes framed in a shape of eclipse. The charming painting miniatures were regulated by a rigid grid of geometric outlines, pencil-drawn on the canvas.
In her project Glyphs (2013), the artists used architectural plans of selected Viennese buildings, painting their multiplications in a way that mimicked traditional folk cut-outs.
In Glyphs, I tried to determine whether it was possible to translate views of specific buildings and the openwork-like pattern of the architectural landscape of Vienna into the language of painting and transfer it to the culture of the Białystok region, from which I come.
The painting series Forms of Constraint (2013) refers to the philosophically grounded architecture, more specifically the panopticon model, as a closed ‘form of violence.’ The artist brings up this phrase by Oskar Hansen, the author of Continuous Linear System and at the same time confronts it conceptually with his theory of ‘open form.’
If the background in my diploma projects was a narration on its own, then in my newer paintings the central space of the paintings is the beginning and the end. From there one needs to interpret both the formal values and the context. The source of inspiration is to be found in the architecture of 19th-century prisons, which was expected to reflect the industrial progress and the development of the views on the ways in which public spaces were to be shaped originating from the Enlightenment.
The Praga Tattoo
In 2015, Iza Rogucka won the competition for the best art project realised in Praga. Praski tatuaż (The Praga Tattoo – editor's translation) is an art installation created by the artist in collaboration with the local residents in an abandoned building in Ząbkowska Street. Together with the participants of the action, the artist produced a new map of Praga. In the process, they used stickers whose designs were based on architectural plans of the buildings of Praga: tenement houses, churches, and public service buildings.
Awards and honourable mentions
- 2009 – grant from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for the project The Dating Game
- 2010 – 2nd prize in the architectural competition REvita Wielkopolsko – revitalization of postindustrial buildings
- 2011 – Young Artists scholarship from the mayor of Białystok for the project Sacred and Profaned Love
- 2011/2011 – a 12-month Arts Scholarship from The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
- 2013 – finalist of the 11th Geppert Competition in Wrocław
- 2015 – The Power of Abstraction, Museum of Modern Art Minsk
- 2015 – My Name is Red, Sleńdziński Gallery, Białystok
- 2014 – Eliava Project, Adam Mickiewicz Institute and GeoAir, Tbilisi
transl. AM, March 2016