Xanadu Gallery invites for the opening of solo exhibition of Magdalena Gogół titled "The Choice of a Scene". The opening will take place on November 9th 2017 at 6-9 p.m. Partners of the event: Chivas Regal, Cuisine Chic, Artinfo.pl, Onebid.pl, Wnętrza 3D.
On the opening evening excellent drinks will be served by Chivas Regal brand. Cuisine Chic experienced chef Daniel Michał Szmidt will take care of guests' culinary experiences. Partners of the event: Artinfo.pl, Onebid.pl, Wnętrza 3D, Cuisine Chic, Chivas Regal.
On the exhibition there will be presented the most recent series of paintings by Magdalena Gogół - over a dozen of artworks that deal with the subject of modern technologies in a very traditional form of masterly oil paintings. The artist treats the canvas as a sketchbook for everyday situations. She pictures landscapes or places that she passes each morning as seen through the screen of a smartphone. On the one hand it is a very private series - the viewers get an access to some personal information about the artist, such as when and where she took the photo, what was the weather like in that time etc. These information though only seem specific, but in fact they do not say anything important about the artist.
Magdalena Gogół (born in 1974) is a graduate of Cieszyn Institute of Art of the University of Silesia. In 2009 she completed a Ph.D. programme at the Faculty of Arts of Katowice Academy of Fine Arts in fine arts-painting. Since 2004 she has been working at the Institute of Art of the State Vocational College in Racibórz. In 2014 she was appointed as the Head of the Department of Fine Arts. She had 27 solo exhibitions, e.g.: Mine and Nobody’s, Salon Art Arena, Gliwice (2017); Between, Piast Castle, Racibórz (2016); Between Places, Gallery in the Old Monastery, Rudy (2015); Places Between, Gallery at the City Promotion Agency, Bytom (2013); Places Between, Profil Gallery, Zamek Cultural Centre, Poznań (2012); Places, Municipal Art Gallery, Częstochowa (2011); Physicality of Space and Metaphysics of Light, Piętro Wyżej Gallery, Cultural Centre of Upper Silesia, Katowice (2009); Viscera from the Outside, Epicentrum Gallery, Jastrzębie-Zdrój (2008). A finalist in the 2nd International Painting Competition organised by the Trzy Mosty Foundation (2016). She is a winner of important competitions, e.g.: Honorary Distinction of the Jury at the 3rd International Art Competition: Contemporary Landscape, Częstochowa (2016); Honorary Distinction of the Jury at the 6th International Biennale of Painting and Textiles: Colours and Textures, Gdynia (2011); 1st Prize during the 2nd International Painting Competition: Public Space – Contexts, Poznań (2010); 1st Prize during the 19th and 14th National Art Competition named after Vincent Van Gogh, Rybnik (2010, 2005).
From the earliest days, painters have been using helpful tools to analyse the reality and translate the analysis to art. Initially, it was camera obscura, then analogue photography and eventually digital photography.
Yet, using a mobile phone to take photographs is something entirely different. First of all, it is a sign of the times. It makes the series of paintings by Magda Gogół very current and places it “here and now”. Secondly, it has one more feature typical of artists, especially artists who feel close to realism. It is like exploring one’s personal surroundings and experience. “The Choice of a Scene” is a series of paintings by Magdalena Gogół which places somewhere at the intersection of a sketchpad and a diary. Although the works do not resemble sketches, on the contrary, they are spectacularly precise, they present the scenery that surrounds the artist on a daily basis, on her way home, on her way to work, on walks. They are a record of the surroundings, a note on captured moments, like in mobile photography, of everyday life. The scenes include something offered by mobile applications: superimposition of information about the location, weather, time of recording. This information is personal and diary-like, but still suitable to the civilisation of technology. Does it in any way bring the artist closer to us? Well, no. Naturally, we can learn where she lives, whether she got caught out in the rain, but we do not get to know her as a person, human being, woman.
The pictures that we take in thousands, shared on social media, of our cats, coffees, mushroom picking, shopping and holiday destinations, essentially say very little about us. They convey to our close and less close friends, sometimes even strangers, superficial information and information that will win applause and recognition, deserve likes and emojis. We make our pictures look pretty and attractive so that they climb the online rankings and get us a growing number of followers.
This is yet another similarity to the work of Magdalena Gogół. Isn’t it pretty and attractive? Of course it is. Whenever anyone uses words like “pretty”, “attractive” or “decorative” to describe art, that is not what the artist would like to hear. After all, art should be difficult, it should be a challenge to viewers and it cannot appeal to people, simply like that. So is that the difference between smelly oil paintings and images shared by Facebook users? That would be a simple definition that would make choices easier. But it is not right. Honest painting, perfect technical skills, ability to reflect the reality and special atmosphere of a place can be as valuable in painting as they are in photography. They make art equally remarkable. What makes it different from the online publications is that it is about something more. It is a groundwork for reflection. In this instance, about the surrounding world, our typical imagery and photographs. So the difference is that I had something to write this text about. Still, Magda Gogół selected for us some scenes that we may find simply appealing.
- Agnieszka Gniotek