Pedro Cera is pleased to present the first exhibition of Michał Budny at the gallery.
Despite Budny’s sculptures’ undeniable physicality, the artist’s relation to spatial objects is marked by a profound sense of ambiguity, where the meaning and “purpose” of an object is determined by the nature and potential of its interaction(s) with its surrounding. Making the language of elementary geometric shapes and reduced color pallet the point of departure of his work, Budny’s practice is a negotiation between the spatial, physical, and the emotional, pointing to a complex web of inter-dependencies concerning spatial relations and perception. Although the body occupies a crucial role in this process, namely, regarding its physical involvement with object(s), it is, in fact, the immaterial engagement with the work, that which is brought by the spectator, which is at the core of Budny’s practice, transforming his work into a deeply personal experience.
Composed as an open space absent of images, Budny questions the role of vision as a primary cognitive tool, favoring instead geometric abstraction, which allows for personal projection and interpretation, as explored in Open Pavillion and Closed Pavilion (2021), the central works of the exhibition. Ideas of opposition in spatial perception, the possibility and the impossibility of bodily movement, and the nature of bodily language generated as a consequence of spatial interaction, are crucial elements when considering these works. With the body as a primary tool of outer space experience, Open Pavillion and Closed Pavilion materialize these relations through a play of visibility and invisibility and through spatial availability and unavailability. They point to the subjective experience of space, where each work can be completed only through interpretation. The formal quality of the work reminiscent of a spatial drawing, on the one hand, illustrates this process while simultaneously inviting, through its ambiguity, for new engagement. Despite their conceptual relation to the body, these works’ sleek and fabricated surface estranges them from the body. Its removal from the production process, results in a tension and an ongoing negotiation between the physical and the conceptual layer of these works, creating a sense of separation.
The spiral, an outwardly expanding shape, associated commonly with the representation of life, evolution, or growth (among others), outlines through its geometry this separation. Here outward, circular movement generates spatial division, resulting in a sense of interiority and exteriority. Our understanding of these two opposing spatial terms has been subject to change, a consequence of an increasing virtualization of space, where the physical side of these categories has been rendered obsolete. They have been abstracted from life, and their experience transformed into an immaterial and increasingly subjective matter, driven by imagination and memory. The undeniable physicality of the sculptures, determined by repetition and fragmentation of a common geometry, reconsiders the relation of the object to the body, while creating a sense of nostalgia and longing of the objects’ availability through the boldness of its forms and the hidden depth of its surface.
Michał Budny (1976) lives and works in Warsaw. His work has been part of exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland; Stiftung Saarlandischer Kulturbesitz, Saarbrücken, Germany; PinchukArtCentre, Kiev; National Gallery, Vilnius; Neuer Kunstverein, Vienna; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Krakow, Poland; NAMOC National Art Museum of China, China; Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany; Manifesta 7: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Rovereto, Italy; Kunstverein Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany; Museum of Art, Łódź, Poland; Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw among other. Michał Budny’s work is part of the collection of Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Museum of Art, Łodz, Poland; Contemporary Museum Wroclaw, Poland; Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany; FNAC (Fondation National d’Art Contemporain), Paris; Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany; Saarlandmuseum, Saarbrücken, Germany; Ege Kunst-und Kulturstiftung, Freiburg, Germany; Munich Re, Munich, Germany; Frederic de Goldschmidt Collection, Brussels, Belgium; Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey; Berezdivin Collection, San Juan, Puerto Rico among others.