Duo Exhibition by Berenika Kowalska (PL) & Margaret Flatley (DE)
Pilipczuk Gallery are thrilled to represent the duo-exhibition by artists Berenika Kowalska (PL) and Margaret Flatley (DE) titled Before Dawn. Everyone is welcome to the opening on the 2nd of September 5PM-8PM. At 6PM we will be hosting a professional dance performance by contemporary dancer Nicoline Due and partner with a following artist presentation of Kowalska and Flatley. The artists will be present during the whole opening and available for any questions regarding their work.
Kowalska and Flatley met in 2019 at an art residency at Shiro Oni Studio in Japan. Here they discovered a strong connection between each other’s artistic practice, which, in addition to a curiosity for each other’s work, resulted in a deep friendship. Since their stay in Japan, their thoughts revolved around a duo exhibition where Kowalska’s oil paintings could be united with Flatley’s clay sculptures. It is therefore a great pleasure to be able to present the two artists’ duo exhibition Before Dawn, which has been a long time in the making and which Kowalska and Flatley have been looking forward to ever since their first meeting.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Kowalska and Flatley present new pieces using different media. The works are strongly related aesthetically as well as metaphorically and relate to dualities between earth and fire, darkness and light, body and sexuality, destruction and regeneration, matter and soul. The exhibition title withholds the core of the exhibition concept as it implies a contradiction between the beginning of all things as well as the ending – one cannot exist without the other. Before Dawn takes the viewer on a journey into the underworld and enlightens the necessity of darkness for light to shine.
Berenika Kowalska is a painter born in 1989 in Lublin (PL). In 2014 Kowalska graduated the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. She works and lives in Warsaw. The duo exhibition Before Dawn is Kowalskas second exhibition in Pilipczuk Gallery. For the exhibition Kowalska has created eight new oil paintings which oscillate around complementary concepts. Her paintings remain untitled as Kowalska’s work intentionally attempts to expand the viewer’s network of associations instead of reducing the thoughts around a specific narrative. Just as the sensations caused by the image change and go in different directions, the forms presented in the image may evolve in the viewer’s perception, thus evoking further associations. Therefore, one image can resemble both the folds of the earth and the tongues of fire, mountains, caves, valleys, male and female bodyparts. It’s up to the viewers mindflow to fulfill the works that are open to individual interpretation.
Margaret Rae Flatley is a conceptual artist working in Berlin. Her pieces draw on a mixture of photography, performance, poetry, clay and canvas. Each piece is installed in configurations specific to its environment, incorporating the setting into the piece itself. For the exhibition Before Dawn Flatley has created 24 abstract clay figurative sculptures divided into two series. Both series mirror the flame in Berenika’s work and are the beginnings of new bodies. Growing up from the earth, from the flame, from the darkness, from below. Flatley imagines her figures to be born of the earth and of the fire.
“Our bodies are made of clay; malleable, soft, vulnerable. When clay is fired, it becomes durable, resistant and strong but is still subject to crack. This analogy between clay and bodies was the starting place of an extensive group of sculptures which question our physicality. Each piece must go through ﬁre. The cowl, the wings, the pneuma, the source, the ﬂow. All must go the way that I have gone. Each may crack in the process, as I have cracked. But look, the crack has healed. I did not break. Without the ﬁre, the piece is untested, unloved, raw. Each must go through ﬁre.” – Margaret Flatley
Berenika Kowalska, Untitled, 2022, Oil on canvas, 66 x 48 cm
Margaret Flatley, Abstract clay sculpture, 2022
THEY COME TO ME IN DARKNESS
THEY SAY GOD INVENTED LIGHT ON THE FIRST DAY
THEY SAY YOUR EYES ADJUST
AND YOU CAN FIND YOUR WAY
THEY SAY A MILLION THINGS BUT
THOSE WHO SPEAK
DO NOT POINT
I’M HOLDING MY HAND
I CANNOT SEE
IT LETS ME GO
ALL THOSE HOLES THEY LET IN LIGHT
I PATCH THEM UP
TIGHTLY I WEAVE
CLOSE YOUR EYES
TURN INSIDE OUT
OUR BODIES HIDE
AND THEN IT WAS I
THEY CAME TO ME IN DARKNESS
THEY WHISPERED ME HER NAME
written by Margaret Flatley