Studio. Wojciech Gilewicz

Studio. Wojciech Gilewicz is the fruit of many years’ collaboration between the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Biłgoraj-born painter, photographer, installation artist, performer and video artist. The cornerstone for the present publication was Wojciech Gilewicz’s Studio exhibition, which took place at the Bunkier Sztuki in 2012. This was an extension and a new chapter of the Sale project begun in 2011 at the Awangarda Gallery. In both Wrocław and in Krakow Gilewicz inhabited the space of his exhibition. He laid out his painting studio and got down to work. He thus met the viewers of his work every day. He answered questions, explained the basics of the painter’s craft, and let people try their hand at experimenting with oil paints. The creative process was opened up, and layers were applied to pre-prepared canvases. Time, paint, time, paint, time, paint…

We took the same path in working on the Studio. Wojciech Gilewicz book. The time that came between the exhibition and the publication gave us the opportunity to re-enter the artist’s studio. This time we took the back door. Gilewicz’s studio was somewhat neglected, the artist was increasingly using the video camera. The studio we attempted to describe in the book is no longer illuminated by gallery lights. It is a private studio where time goes at its own pace, and the action plays out in two parallel spaces: the illustrations and the texts.

The former have been scrupulously composed and follow the chronology of Gilewicz’s work, as reflected in the graph created by the book’s designer, Agata Biskup. The dates, single or joined, indicate the time periods when the series of works in the publication were created, as well as the location of the captions belonging to various illustrations. The intentional separation of series of works and preservation of chronological gaps aim to turn the reader’s attention to the artist’s tactic of returning to and continuing works sometimes begun much earlier.

The book’s second component is the textual analysis of selected motifs in Gilewicz’s work. Here, too, time played a significant role – some articles were written immediately after the end of the exhibition at the Bunkier Sztuki (2012). Before releasing the present publication, the authors decided to revisit their works. Thus Anna Markowska’s ‘Just the Two of Us’ received a new ending, and Kinga Olesiejuk wrote an appendix called ‘Repainting: A Conservator’s Comments on Wojciech Gilewicz’s “Pictures 2002-”’ to the interview with the artist titled ‘Infinity Tempts’. The greatest number of changes were made to the conversation with Gilewicz titled ‘Hints’, begun in 2012 by Piotr Stasiowski and Karolina Vyšata, and taking on its final shape in 2016. The most recent material (2015) is Magdalena Kownacka’s essay ‘The Cases of Wojciech Gilewicz’.

Chronological gaps, changes occurring in the artist’s work, and widening the authors’ perspectives in approaching their topic have come together to create an exhibition catalogue that is far more extensive than originally conceived; it is a proper study on Wojciech Gilewicz’s work. bilingual and richly furnished with iconographics.