Ask and wander. Finding the fullness with Edyta Duduś

It is difficult to unequivocally define the field of Edyta Duduś’s activities, because her artistic activity eludes easy classification. In the exhibition entitled Wandering of Fullness at the Centre for Creative Attitudes, the artist presents her painting, but it is also accompanied by objects and spatial works, as well as commentaries or even some kind of captions, which are the result of in-depth reflection on her own work. The author paints impressive, large-format paintings, inspired by a human figure in motion or even by ballet choreography, oscillating between afterglimpses of expressive figuration and formalistic compositions close to abstract art. Moreover, the painter notes and makes public her reflections and observations and builds spatial structures from her works, thus drawing us into the creative process and asking us questions about satisfaction, well-being, purpose, meaning and, most importantly, fullness. For the author, this is a value that sums up the creative process, in which – according to her practice – we find both successful and unfinished works, or even considered by the painter as a kind of disaster and painted in grey. All this, including the so-called waste from the process, subjected to a kind of deconstruction, builds an exhibition form close to an installation, after which – despite the one preceded by a deliberate concept – we wander to find a long lost goal.

The aforementioned installation character of Edyta Duduś’s latest exhibition, entitled Wandering of Fullness, is based on four works created from used paper templates previously used by the artist to paint paintings. It is thus, on the one hand, artistic recycling, which – by using waste material – gives it an additional new value, and on the other hand, a symbolic act of incorporating into newly created objects traces of another creative process, apparently not directly related to them. These works, creating free, almost random structures, reminiscent of sheets or bedspreads, or shaped by the author into spherical forms, are somehow nourished by the memory of previously created paintings, mainly due to the paint remaining on the edges of the paper in various shades of the color palette used in Duduś’s painting. It is not without a hint that I mention here the category of memory, because it appears in the artist’s work in an extremely interesting way, it seems to create new possibilities for interpreting her body of work and, perhaps most importantly from the perspective of the artist-researcher, it can also affect the well-being of the recipient of her art.

The interpretation of Edyta Duduś’s work, supported by the analysis of the structure of the current exhibition, leads us to the eponymous wandering, from which close to both a romantic journey and avant-garde quests. The artist’s latest exhibition includes both painting and post-painting works, as well as flat paintings and spatial structures. This kind of opposition can be pointed out more, because, for the author of the exhibition, the fullness of the title is not only the sum or median, but also the result of opposites or additions, e. g. in the form of impressive paintings and – removed from the painting looms – canvases considered unsuccessful by the artist. The aesthetic provenance of the painter’s works, indicating an interest in expressionism, is broken on the one hand by associations with silhouette forms drawn years ago by Teresa Pągowska, and on the other hand by graphite-grey, macerated surfaces of Jacek Sempoliński’s paintings. Thus, it can be seen that the artist, as a “child of postmodernism”, fits into post-modern aesthetic collages and clusters of seemingly distant visuals, which does not prevent her from creating recognizable art, with a strong, individual character, with ambitions for a total work, which, using various aesthetics, especially space, invites the viewer to wander among the fullness proposed by the artist.

What does the art of Edyta Duduś touch and what constitutes the essence of her research? The simplest answer to these questions seems to be the statement that the artist comments on the relationship between the creative process and the final work, the question of the perfection of the work – in relation to its truth – and the question of the meaning of creation. It seems that Edyta Duduś also wants to talk about courage, joy, fear, shame, excitement and frustration, and therefore about the emotions that accompany every person, regardless of the baggage of experiences, state of possession, age, gender or race. She does this primarily through the recordings made available to the recipient, which are narratives supported by self-observation of the creative process, concerning specific works. This kind of artistic exhibitionism is a kind of permeation of the traditional model of how art works and how it is made public in the form of an exhibition. Edyta Duduś shows what is usually hidden for the viewer and shameful for the artist. Such, however, are the conceptual framework and rules of her activity, which, by showing all the elements that make up the artwork, build the title fullness.

Edyta Duduś offers the audience not only a conceptual and autotelic reflection on artistic creation, but also presents the work in the form of an exhibition. Regardless of the further analyses or deconstructions to which the artist subjects her works, the viewer – here and now – is confronted with a wealth of forms, content and emotions which, apart from the material side and sensory experience, leave an important theoretical reflection and reflection on art in general. These holistic artist’s inquiries cause that even the demanding viewer, with all certainty, will find in this exhibition an ambitious artistic proposal. That is why I recommend wandering proposed by the artist and wish all recipients of her works to find meaning in the fullness she has created.

Arkadiusz Karapuda