If I were to introduce Nikita Krzyżanowska’s exhibition using just a single poem, I’d choose Jan Lechoń’s Pytasz, co w moim życiu z wszystkich rzeczy główną (“You’re asking about the central thing in my life”), from the 1924 volume titled Srebrne i czarne (“Silver and Black”). Death and love – in the poem, these elements of destruction and desire are equal sources of fear and fascination and the ultimate cause of the “eternal sadness of the soul” and “eternal bliss of the body”. The final line in the poem reads, “death protects from love, and love protects from death”. In Krzyżanowska’s art, the tension between death and love means more than its affective dimension. In her post-vandalist practice, creative energy leads to productive interpretation of the aesthetics of destruction.
“Death’s Lover” is an exhibition of Nikita Krzyżanowska’s new symbolist oil and spray on canvas paintings as well as fumage images created in the space of the gallery. While observing excluded and forgotten urban margins, the artist became interested in the smoky pictograms visible on staircase ceilings in blocks of flats. Krzyżanowska associates the characteristic marks left by cigarette lighters with ceiling and plafond paintings, typical of sacral architecture. Krzyżanowska offers a new context to the vandalistic effect of boredom, transferring the technique to projects inspired by the elevated large-size paintings. By decoding the alleged profanations, she extracts new variants of sacredness from them.
Nikita Krzyżanowska (born 1995) – visual artist and painter. Graduate of the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture at the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław: in 2022, she defended her master thesis under the supervision of Prof. Łukasz Huculak. Member of Kościół Nihilistów (The Nihilist Church) – a para-religious art group and art gallery. She lives and works in Wrocław.
Title: Death’s Lover
Artist: Nikita Krzyżanowska
Address: Galeria SZARA, Bracka 23/28, WARSZAWA
Opening: 11.02.2023, 4 pm – 7 pm
Exhibition: 14.02–18.03.2023
Opening hours: Tue – Sat, 1 pm – 6 pm