ArtsUNC Charlotte

Marta Kubiak At Charlotte Rowe Side Gallery Feb 23-March 22

Sincere Indirection
Co-curated by Erik Waterkotte
February 23 – March 22
Reception: February 23, 5:30-7:30pm

Rowe Side Gallery

In 2009, Marta Kubiak graduated from the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland with a degree in Graphic Design and Graphic Arts. Since 2009, she has been working in the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław in the Serigraphy Studio, becoming the head of the program in 2020. She is a graphic designer who works in the field of printmaking, using in particular the techniques of screen printing and photopolymer. “I am fascinated by what to others may seem unworthy of attention, pointless. My works are a kind of personal commentary to reality, an attempt to capture everyday life.”

Scribbles, a doodle, a random note, a bit of quick arithmetic, some incidental scratches, a scrap from pop-culture or a random dialogue screen from a video game…are all fodder for the graphic artist Marta Kubiak. Situated somewhere along the periphery of printmaking, drawing, and painting, Kubiak’s work seems to disavow the pretensions of what is typically exported as Contemporary Polish printmaking. And yet, imbued within the bright colors, incidental marks, and humorous mentions, are unsettled layers, jarring juxtapositions, menacing repetitions, and prophetic glyphs, that create a solemn poetry of contemporary life. The artwork in Sincere Indirection examines our contemporary, complex, existence by reconfiguring the detritus of an everyday life (sometimes mundane, sometimes artificial). In Kubiak’s reconfiguration, what at first appears banal becomes suspect. And as we peel through the graphic layers we discover an apprehension towards the cliché. In her 1965 essay, The Imagination of Disaster Susan Sontag foretold: “ours is indeed an age of extremity. For we live under continual threat of two equally fearful, but seemingly opposed, destinies: unremitting banality and inconceivable terror.” The cartoons and pop-culture referenced in Kubiak’s prints appear almost like a defense mechanism against the horror that underlies contemporary life. Seemingly in-step, Sontag writes and Kubiak’s prints illustrate “…the inadequacy of most people’s response to the unassimilable terrors that infect their consciousness.”

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