Speaking of nothing of love nor reproaches / Remembering nothing, harbouring no ghosts / saving us nothing at all but raspberries.
-From Wild Raspberries by John Fuller
In Poland Malinowski is a relatively common name. It’s thought to come from Malina, a place where raspberries were cultivated. It’s perhaps appropriate that this exhibition takes place in the fruit growing season, as the paintings on display share some of the brevity, delicacy and glut of summer fruits.
The Malinowski’s are a family of Polish artists living in Birmingham. This is the first time they have exhibited their work together. Of course there’s a long history of painter’s families, most notably the Brueghel family, alongside the Picasso’s, Pissarro’s, Klein’s, Francken’s, Duchamp’s and Boyle’s, and through to the strange landscapes of the Montmartre painter Maurice Utrillo, the artist son of Suzanne Valadon. There’s a sense of that gamesmanship and influence and of a shared subject matter and upbringing, between figuration and abstraction, brushmark and scrawl. There’s also the aspect of collaborative practice at play. This hybridity can be hallucinatory and compelling. In this work it’s possible to glimpse some of the cultural, historic and artistic context of the last four decades, between two different cities and art schools, namely Wroclaw and Birmingham.
Using paint squeezed through syringes onto concrete, Roman Malinowski casts a fresh eye on the trivial nature of the snapshot and the holiday photo. A self-portrait depicting himself carrying a cross is given the same weight as someone visiting a museum. Belief, tourism and art are all valid subjects. In an age of mass digital culture how is it possible to reclaim this photographic imagery? Perhaps concrete paintings with the patina of a paving slab are the answer - giving everyday weight to the ephemeral. Anna Malinowska is also engaged in a dialogue with drawing, painting and photography. The question seems to be about what drawing and painting can do that a photograph cannot. Wedding pictures, children, butterflies, portraits, pearls, paintings of her daughter and son point to the home and notions of a personal space and domesticity, rendered with the soft focus techniques of old master paintings crossed with back street photography studios. With work that is characterised by such deliberate celebration it also raises interesting questions about how to incorporate private spaces into the contemporary visual arts.
Deleuze writes of sensation as impacting directly on the nervous system, bypassing the modes of communication which need cerebral decoding. At first glance Miroslaw Malinowski‘s paintings appear to superficially resemble landscapes seen from the air- continents from space, are reminiscent of rock formations or seascapes. Scraping beneath their textured surface they are more eschatological and apocalyptic than that. He wants his paintings to reach “the beginning of consciousness by touching the depths of personality, where memory has no grasp but there is vague but indelible impression or a feeling of existence of immaterial reality which will be revealed when the earthly life ends.”
This is an exhibition of abstract and figurative paintings concerned with memory and the passing of time that looks at the relationship between photography and painting, families and familial influences, East European art, spirituality, portraiture, public taste and the question of painting itself.
Roman Malinowski is currently a Fine Art student at Birmingham City University.
Miroslaw Malinowski was born in 1957 and studied at Wroclaw Academy of Fine Art in Poland from 1977 – 1982. He then worked as lecturer at that university. Over the last 25 years Miroslaw has exhibited in various exhibitions across Europe and has taken on large scale commissions. The work has diversified across a wide range of skills, from the fine arts such as paintings and vast murals to most of the graphic arts, including advertising and interior design.
Anna Malinowska was born in 1957. She studied in Wroclaw Academy of Fine Art in Poland from 1977 – 1985. She specialises in painting, sculpture and graphics. She has exhibited in numerous exhibitions across Europe.