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 are 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.
Untitled (Closed Pavilion) (2021) questions the role of vision as a primary cognitive tool, favoring the ambiguity of geometric abstraction instead. Reminiscent of a spatial drawing, the work explores the idea of separation by generating, through spatial division, a sense of interiority and exteriority. Highlighted by the use of a thin layer of foggy plastic, a physical barrier between the inside and the outside, the work generates a sense of estrangement, isolation, and longing through its partial transparency and the distortions it creates. Composed from inexpensive, everyday materials, the sculpture echoes the artist’s older works made from cardboard, the aesthetic of which, counters the traditional understanding of art as a static object. Making the body and subjective experience of space central to the piece, the work’s conceptualization is defined through its relation with the body. The sleek and fabricated surface of the sculpture, however, leads to further estrangement from the body. A body that has been removed from the production process, resulting in tension and ongoing negotiation between the work’s physical and the conceptual layer.
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.