Sense of Beauty

Dr Irena Eris World

Oil painting is a woman's art

Oil painting is a woman’s art. Female artists are taking the lead in contemporary art. Meet the female painters who are changing the face of the Polish art scene – Agata Kus, Martyna Czech and Agata Słowak – you simply must know these names!
Young Polish women painters are developing new visual languages to depict their experiences, emotions and relationships with the reality around them. Often in the guise of everyday life, they talk about political and social issues, reflecting the concerns of contemporary women. Agata Kus, Martyna Czech and Agata Słowak are among the most original and interesting contemporary Polish women artists. For them, painting is more than therapy, it is a form of survival.
She graduated from the Faculty of Painting and completed her doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and has collaborated with many institutions and galleries in Poland and abroad. In 2021 she earned first place in the Young Art Compass ranking published in the Rzeczpospolita daily. She focuses on realistic painting, subscribing to the trend of classical figurativeness, which has become popular in recent years. In compositions based on, among other things, found photographs, the artist juxtaposes fragments of reality, creating an impression of unease. Producing innovative narrative concepts, she uses numerous formal plays: collages, cut-outs, blurring and destruction. The multi-layered, mysterious and ambiguous nature of her paintings opens up many possibilities for interpretation, finding new meanings in them and following their intriguing story. Kus combines excellent traditional technique, the spectacular panache of old academic painting and contemporary themes, narrated with a feminine sensibility.
Agata Kus, „Pocałunek”
Agata Kus, “Kiss”, oil on canvass, 2020
Martyna Czech, “Elusive hypocrisy”
100 x 120 cm, oil on canvass, 2017
Martyna Czech, “Domna”
oil on canvass, 140 x 90 cm, 2019
The works of this Busko-born artist are both scary and funny. In her paintings, autobiographical motifs merge with themes from the fields of anthropology and feminism, with surrealist tropes also to be found. The artist draws from 19th-century academism. The hybridized, deformed bodies and objects that transform on her canvases become a metaphor for toxic social relations, human relationships and the exclusion of women. The motifs of magical rituals that characterize her art play the roles of alternative forms of transmitting knowledge and creating female communities that fight patriarchy. The spaces of her multifaceted paintings become a meeting place for dark instincts, hidden desires and carnal urges. Constituting an alphabet of symbols and enigmatic signs, magical, biblical and erotic motifs intermingle, creating a wide field for bold associations. The artist plays a witty game with viewers and herself - juggling familiar motifs, she undermines their previous meaning, creating a mood of anxiety and tension.
Agata Słowak, “Painters mark with blood”
oil on canvass, 100 x 140 cm, 2019
Agata Słowak, “Possibilities”
oil on canvass, 120 x 105 cm, 2020

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