The surface and secret (2004)

Review of my exhibition in the Art-Galerie an der Stadtkirche in the “Nord bayerischer Kurier 24.11.2004”

Art Galerie shows pictures by Jan Niksinski and jewellery BAYREUTH By Ute Eschenbacher

“Art begins where reality ends.” This quote aptly describes the works of Polish painter Jan Niksinski. The Art-Galerie an der Stadtkirche is currently exhibiting his abstract works. These highly reduced, minimalist works of art, which can be seen until Christmas, radiate something mysterious and unusual beauty.

It is not so easy to find waiting rooms for them, especially as many artists are often not at all comfortable with this. Gallery owner Hildegard Büttner has often found that the artists themselves don’t particularly like to talk about their work either. She was all the more pleased to be able to present “an exception” to the vernissage guests with Jan Niksinski.

But anyone who thought that the Pole, who lives in Warsaw as a freelance artist, would “explain” his work was proved wrong. Niksinski’ merely indicated that his art deals with nature and mankind. “When you see a stone or a couple, you don’t ask what they are,” said the artist, but simply perceive them as such. “Our perception turns individual images into a realistic overall picture,” said Niksinski. Although there is no such thing. In the paintings that the Pole is now exhibiting in Bayreuth, he has partly worked from photographs. His method is to “emphasise the essentials and leave out the non-essentials”. Incidentally, talking and writing about art has nothing to do with art itself. If everything that someone does and what someone else perceives is regarded as relative, it becomes difficult to discuss it.

Light and dark

But Niksinski’s works can also be described and interpreted in a completely unbiased way. On the one hand, he works very intensively with flats and lines and, on the other, with contrasts of light and dark. He is also interested in transparencies and veils, as can be seen in the paintings “Conversation with Different Times” and “Strange Light”, for example.

Photographic motifs shimmer through behind the colour, the surfaces treated with handmade paper or completely broken up and covered with loose ropes. The pictures are compositions and often in several parts, with the individual pieces communicating with each other.

Niksinski plays with materials, gluing and screwing on pieces of wood and metal frames that break up the surfaces. In this way, he prevents the pictures from appearing monotonous. Curved or intersecting lines bring movement to the compositions, while differences in colour create space and depth.