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.
Budny questions the role of vision as a primary cognitive tool, favoring the ambiguity of geometric abstraction instead. Outside Inside (Relief nr 1, oil), 2021, a two-module wall relief is based on formal and spatial opposition principles. The convex and the concave, on the one hand, materialize the idea of interiority and exteriority, while on the other hand, they become a three-dimensional conceptualization of the spectator’s movement around the work. While the lower part of the relief moves away from the spectator’s body, creating an illusion of micro-interiority, its upper protruding part rejects approximation, creating a safe distance between the body and the work. The sleekness of the oil painted surface, further enhances by its materiality the ambiguous relation between the piece and the body, creating an ongoing negotiation between the work’s physical and the conceptual layer. Composed from inexpensive, everyday materials, such as wood, fabric and oil paint, the sculpture echoes the artist’s older works made from cardboard, the aesthetic of which counters traditional understanding of art as a precious object, making it instead, a space of projection, an activator of movement and thought.
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.