Jacek Swigulski
paintings / drawings



Contemporary Art Gallery, BWA, Sandomierz, Poland, (Chit)Chat – exhibition of painting




Trivial (chit)chat after-images. Jacek Świgulski’s paintings displayed on this exhibition unfold in a series of encounters.

Conversations of brightly coloured heads painted simultaneously from a few different perspectives seem to be spinning over hefty stone-like bodies. The bodies frozen in the postures of – withdrawn? forgotten? – impetuousity. Colourful combinations, though complimenting, inevitably gravitate towards black. The illuminated heads, mind still awaken and vigilant despite the fact that the talking personages have already begun their hideous transmutation into demons. They resemble charecters from Beckett plays – doomed to each other and utter loneliness. Yet the intimacy of two personages, their mirror image enclosed in a common frame is undermined by a split as the paintings consist of two separete canvas.

The series unfolds into colour-inverted couples.These alienating symetries form a broader pattern, repeated or confirmed also in diptych Women. Single figures sketched in a dinamic movement or hieratic postures meet through their colour likeness or silhouette, turn to each other looking out of the empty space from which they emerge. However, the attempt at the recognition disturbingly resembles a journey through a mirrored room, where all they can see is less and less or their own deformed reflection.

Thus, a chitchat as a title of this exhibition does not relate to a cultural talk. Neither is it a lighthearted gossip exchange. It is rather an attempt to meet the other – blindly, cumbersomely, thoughtlessly. The simplified composition makes the vividly coloured accents look like something that has just slipped. It’s the way you talk when you are still uncertain what can and what cannot be said, or when there is nothing left to say. The painting is mute and such are those dramatic endevours and trips shut in silence.

Two works seem to counterpoint the Conversations and Women series. In Dreamer a lonely figure – table – pinkening window compose a vividly coloured trail, the trail of what is undoubtedly present. Apart from this clear trail, black outlines suggest the impossibility to grasp the transition between what “is” and what “seems to be”. The Resting despite being painted in a sharp red line, smoothly sinks into the background.

Talking transforms into a frantic attempt  to reveal despite the monotonuous background. In Conversations and Women it is intertwined with a subtle murmur of uncontrolled thoughts, appearing lightly and without resistance.



Dr Agnieszka Skolasińska

Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, branch in Piotrków Trybunalski
Institute of Polish Philology


translation: Monika Kępczyńska