press release

Bartek Materka took the title of his debut exhibition in Raster from a dialogue in Antionioni's "Blow up": "What did you see in that park? - Nothing". Bartek is a painter, and his works often reveal something else from afar, and some other thing from a close distance. Their subject is seemingly common: a view of a block of flats in his hometown Gdansk, close-up of a face, a tree, a beach, car lights at a junction. The paintings however are surprising and intriguing. Sometimes they resemble photographs which have not been completely printed, sometimes an image form a broken TV or works from an album of abstract paintings from the Sixties. One of Materka's unusual advantages is the fact that he does not have a single distinguishable style or method, every picture is painted in a completely different way: some are dense and detailed while other have poster-like simplicity. Though each of them derives from the everyday observation of the surroundings, they seem somewhat unreal, be it because of a surprising color palette (as if taken from printing and digital imagery), or a curious method of "image transmission" - like in the scenes or portraits made of several layers of numbers and letters, resembling ASCII computer code. The unreality makes one see more than what's actually depicted. We perceive the images as they become deformed and processed, revealing unexpected effects and zones of the visible realm. This is how Bartek "blows up" the reality and opens new and tempting areas for painting. "What did you see in that park? - Nothing", this "nothing" however, becomes exciting and vivid like never before. In our opinion this is, for the time being, the best and the most conscious painterly debut in the new century.

the artist in brief: BARTEK MATERKA was born in 1973 in Gdansk. He grew up in Przymorze, in one of the famous "falowce" - the longest blocks of flats ever built in Poland. He graduated from electric technical college, but pursuing his interest in photography, he decided to leave Gdansk and take entrance exams at Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, where he came while the Famous Ladnie Group was at its heroic period of activity in pubs. Having settled in Cracow he got married and had children. He received his diploma in painting in May 2004. Exhibition in Raster is his first individual show.


Bartek Materka "What did you see in this park? - Nothing." / "Co zobaczyles w tym parku? - Nic."