18. 03. – 16. 04. 2022
Grzegorz Siembida’s Biotope is a comprehensive and holistic exhibition. The entire space of the gallery complements the pictures, creating a peculiar environment.
Siembida’s abstractions pulsate with bright colors. They are created by forms overlapping one another, spreading like lakes on a map, additionally speckled with points, zigzags, stripes and spirals. The specific structure of his art seems to be an inanimate environment in which some species could find a habitat. Each of the elements of his large-format canvases is dependent on the others; the lack of a single ingredient would immediately disturb relations in this environment. The Biotope as an exhibition is a system in which nothing can be added or subtracted, so as not to disturb the equilibrium. The spirals drawn with a spray resemble the illustrations of the DNA double helix, a symbol of the interdependence of individual parts with each other, but also the manifestation of life and its evolution in general.
If you try to read the creative process as a metaphor for evolution, it can undoubtedly be done on the example of Siembida’s practice. Each of his cycles is separated by a clear caesura – before starting a new one, he hides all finished works and paints the walls white. Each cycle starts with collages. The pieces of torn pages come in different variants, although they have common qualities within one cycle. These “organisms” adapt to existence, transforming into acrylic, gouache, spray and oil pastel on acid-free paper. Various stages of development seem to lead to canvases.
Siembida’s biophilic tendency to expose the non-representability of life and its emanation makes him use a paradox. The shapes used evoke images of inanimate matter, but at the same time vibrating, as if life processes were taking place in it, taking place in spite of it, in order to emphasize the unstoppable organicist energy. By substituting for a habitat, the artist offers nothing more than a surrogate for it. It is a test of our adaptability; according to Benjamin’s “second nature” concept, we should cope with it, as the Biotope is a structure inspired by nature.
From the formal point of view, Siembida’s art is not only an encounter between Tashism and Pop Art; it also contains qualities that can be derived from biomorphism, and moreover, by inviting the viewer to build a specific ecosystem, it intriguingly extends the artistic experience with a participatory strategy. The viewer, being a fake biocenosis, completes the biotope, thus closing the artist’s work. Everything that is living and organic will create an ecosystem, and evolution will adapt life to function in it.
– ROBERT DOMŻALSKI
Grzegorz Siembida is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (diploma at the Faculty of Painting in the studio of Prof. Andrzej Bednarczyk). Since 2017, he is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Art of the Pedagogical University of KEN in Krakow. He deals with painting and painting installation. His expressive works are a collage of various means of artistic expression. In his art, the artist uses both experiences and practices related to the trend of American expressionist abstraction, as well as artistic treatments associated with pop art or street art. Culture animator, coordinator of artistic projects. He presented his works, among others at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, F.A.I.T., LeGuern galleries, UFO Art Gallery and AS in Krakow and Warsaw, and the Polish Institute in Vienna. He is a laureate of the Creative Scholarship of the City of Krakow in the field of Visual Arts 2020 and a laureate of the 3rd Krakow Salon in 2020. He lives and works