Kmita's works crack the pervasive codes of visual identification, through bold arrangements of global brands with the cutout techniques of the traditional Łowicz patterns - suggestive of a new folk style.
Source: BWA Wrocław
Wrocław-based artist Kasia Kmita’s latest project revolves around the issue of aesthetic transformations that occurred in Poland after 1989. It offers a mocking commentary on the mental matrices of present times, the desire for luxury goods, everyday maniacal labeling, worshiping logos and pop-culture icons
Kmita's works crack the pervasive codes of visual identification, through bold arrangements of global brands with strenuous techniques of the traditional Łowicz patterns - suggestive of a new folk style. Kmita is known for combining the traditional, hand-made with pop-culture symbols, using themes from the world of media and advertising on the same basis as previous folk artists would perpetuate motifs from the surrounding them nature. These works not only draw attention to the phenomenon of new Polish folk art; by using a traditional medium- paper cutouts- she emphasizes their local and feminine dimension which can be an act of humility as well an act of provocation.
The series including "Channel", "Konverse" and the "Victoria Bag" are works made by using the cutout technique, stylized as large format glamour photographs presenting fake 'must have' accessories, symbols of foreign brands which at the turn of the '90s - thanks to advertising and colorful magazines- became fetishes of the nascent consumerism. In response to this 'necessity' the country has been flooded with a whole mass of more or less artificial fakes. Authenticity was not an imperative quality here; for the yet enriching Poles, the most important thing was the possession itself of something close to the original. Today the phenomenon of counterfeit goods is slowly is fading away, but at the same time elicits the unique symbolic charm of capitalist transformations.
"Black" monochrome cutout
The exhibition also displays two billboards: "White" and "Black"- monochrome cutouts, hand-made by Kmita in the so-called European (5,04 x 2,38 m) billboard format. The carefully composed elements represent traditional, stylized floral motifs that intertwined with the lace composition of logos and advertising inscriptions, comprising the modern urban flora.
Kasia Kmita was born in 1972 in Nowa Ruda. She graduated from the Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts with a diploma in painting. She participated in numerous individual and collective exhibitions in Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, London, Budapest. Recently, her works were featured at the exhibition "New Art. from Poland and Beyond" in London and at her individual exposition Sklep z Pamiątkami / Souvenir Shop at Warsaw’s Kordegarda Gallery. She is winner of the Eugeniusz Geppert Competition (1998), Fish Eye 4 Biennale in Słupsk and received an honorable mention by the Łossskot TVP magazine as one of the most interesting figures in culture of 2007. Kmita is this year's stipendist of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. She lives and works in Wrocław.
Curator: Joanna Stembalska
After a short run in late December 2011 the exhibition returns to the Awangarda Gallery, BWA Wrocław between the 3rd of February - 4th of March.
ul. Wita Stwosza 32
PL 50-149 Wrocław