By Małgorzata Czyńska, Wojciech Tuleya
I have forgotten one can be so young, says Homo Faber, the eponymous character from the Max Frisch’s novel, seeing Sabeth – a girl with a ponytail. She’s smart, pretty and curious about the world. She’s becoming an adult and she may already be a woman, but she still plays table tennis with childlike enthusiasm. The terror of the future, the shadows of the past, all that real life is just an intuitive feeling.
This may actually be an appropriate beginning for this short introduction to the exhibition of paintings by Katarzyna Karpowicz, since all her paintings combine childlike beauty and somewhat naïve trust, but are already streaked with fear and the experience of the cruelty of fate. The carefreeness is not so absolute and the future not so simple any more. And it’s this duality, this blend of innocence and maturity of outlook that contribute to the making of the charm these paintings have.
Painting seemed to have been the only obvious choice, a necessity of life. Brought up in Kraków, in a family of famous artists, since early childhood she had had contact with art and painters. She has had a really good look at numerous paintings. The masters she always goes back to are Beckmann, Picasso, El Greco, Balthus, Hockney, Giotto, and Velazquez.
The girl, who once used to "create worlds", who drew children, humanised cats, circus acrobats, gymnasts and swimmers on sheets of paper, has grown up.
Still, let’s put an end to all these analytical attempts, let’s do away with searching for causes and discussing consequences. Maybe, just like the character from Homo Faber, with his eyes fixed on a stone sculpture – a girl’s head in a museum – we should ask:
- What is she dreaming about?