Natasza Niedziółka 273 Days – Sean Kelly, New York

Natasza Niedziólka, Zero258, 2023 (detail), silk and cotton thread, crayon on linen, 110 1/4 x 74 13/16 inches
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Sean Kelly is delighted to announce 273 Days, Natasza Niedziółka’s first exhibition with the gallery. Niedziółka’s formally vigorous and sensual works occupy a space between drawing, painting, and textile. Her repetitive patterns of multi-colored threads are hand-stitched onto various fabrics, often accentuated with colored pencil or ink. Presented in the front gallery, the exhibition features a selection of new works from her Zero and At One series and debuts a new series by the artist titled, Protest Song. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 14, from 6-8pm. The artist will be present.

Over the past decade, Natasza Niedziółka’s practice has featured hand-stitched thread on supports made from different materials including linen, cotton duck, and silk, highlighting the interplay between irregular manual embroidery and uniform structure. In her works, Niedziółka employs techniques of hatching and flat chromatic gradations. With each puncture of the needle, Niedziółka integrates modernist traditions into her interpretations, calling to mind artists such as Agnes Martin or Marcia Hafif. Her distinct materiality, use of subtle color, and intricate textures distinguishes Niedziółka’s work from more orthodox techniques, and offers the viewer meditative, visual experiences.

Niedziółka’s series Zero draws inspiration from the 1950s-60s German artist collective of the same name, whose radical postwar modernism was characterized by their intrinsic use of common materials, monochromatic colors, and repetition. Incorporating subdued variations in fields of color and repeating minimalistic patterns, Niedziółka’s compositions employ similar aesthetics to demonstrate her relationship with time. Abstract forms and color shifts create an optical illusion that give a fluidity to the work. Reflecting on the series, Niedziółka stated, “The work is about committing, allowing, and letting go.”

Whereas the series Zero is a personal examination of time, At One encompasses a state of unity wherein the artist searches to create equilibrium. Often planned and designed before its execution, the work is composed of panels of color in her signature embroidery technique.

In response to political unrest brought on by current events worldwide, Niedziółka’s newest series, Protest Song considers how language is used as an act of protest. Writing in English, Polish and Ukrainian, the artist is inspired by the lyrics of songs that have come to represent a resistance to the abuses of power, empowerment, or glimpses of hope. From Stephan Czarnecki’s 1914 Ukrainian folk song Czerwona Kalina (Red Viburnum) to Lil Baby’s 2020 song of solidarity The Bigger Picture, the series spans a vast range of history defining moments. With careful precision, Niedziółka embroiders each word using reclaimed Italian silk in various hues. The verses weave across the canvas, occasionally leaving behind loose ends of thread, obscuring other words, evoking a sensual haptic quality.

Armed with a needle and thread, Niedziółka’s intricate and laborious stitching offers a nuanced reflection on time, collective consciousness, and resistance. Blurring the lines between the personal and the political, the artworks in 273 Days are a visual representation of the interwoven connections between self, one another, and society.

Natasza Niedziółka lives and works in Berlin, Germany. In 2020, Niedziółka received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and she was an artist in residence at the Gyeongju Art Centre in South Korea in 2018.

For additional information on Natasza Niedziółka, please visit skny.com

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