EAST/WEST – Mariusz DUDEK

Mariusz Dudek lives in Cracow, a city at the border between Western and Eastern cultures

The Paintings of Mariusz Dudek are made of deep browns, ocher, faded oranges and reds, sepia, sienna, yellows and soft purples. Elegant calligraphic lines and solid structured shapes in black emerge from this background. These precious blacks are accompanied by warm and bright colors. Mariusz Dudek plays on colors with his large scale paintings filled with instruments, as well as with the graceful figure of women naked or wearing an elegant dress or of still life. These patterns appear as pieces, as if they were accidentally cut, sometimes on the left edge, or on the right edge of a thin and rectangular canvas.

A very large painting is cut into vertical stripes, and now, we have to put the parts together. The way the polyptyc is offered to the viewer’s gaze depends on the artist’s fantasy, as the paintings are concerts in which the conductor freely interprets the score that he previously created. More than a concert, there are numerous concerts and as many possible combinations. We must imagine a great steel band. We must also imagine a symphony orchestra with double basses, cellos, violins, altos. Many double basses, cellos, violins and altos. We still must imagine the painting of Mariuzs Dudek, in love with music, with the harmony of shapes, and with the colors, put to music. We always have to imagine beautiful women listening carefully and imagine… the paintings of Mariusz Dudek.

There is a variation on the warm colors, scarcely marked on some places. The color is brought out the background. This way, the painter can underline some parts of the woman’s body or of an object. The colored background that freely penetrates into patterns changes the character despite the same tonality stains. The artist focuses our attention on the tightening and the slackening of the distance limit.

When we look around on these fragments, we can feel it as huger sets, or plunge us into the contemplation of a piece, or even only of a detail thanks to the will of the painter but also of our fantasy.

The composition is precise up to the smallest particularities. Dudek builds his images with the fickle cloth of our sensitivity, of our memory and its perceptive mechanism. He paints, leaving some substantial unsaid, unpainted and undrawn. Dudek collaborates with our fantasy to build his work.

His paintings are not a copy; it’s a living place, moving. This is a fulcrum that shows how the painter sees the events.

Mariusz Dudek keeps a certain distance with his Theme, the painting and himself when he paints. It’s a type of painting that exists since the Ancient world in East as much as in West, and that features in the byzantine icons as much as in the workshop of Theophanes the Greek. The painter shows how to paint. The open shape of these images is a particularity that we rarely find today. It’s not only the convertibility of the polyptych, but a way of painting proper to the artist.

Zbigniew Makarewicz

Wroclaw, November 2009