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Professor Leon Tarasewicz

Studio of Painting Space

> Irmina Staś

I paint border situations. According to Karl Jaspers, a German psychiatrist and
philosopher, representative of existentialism, the notion of existence is closely related to the notion of border situations. These situations are the moments
in which humans experience uncertainty and instability of their being in the world. “In border situations humans decide on the meaning of their own existence.” Jaspers claims that only particularly dramatic experience can lead to full realisation of a human, in other words it is only in a boundary situation that a human really exists.
I think that art cannot be “made up”, it needs to be authentic. I refer to my own experiences of boundary situations in order to address universal issues and values. My boundary situations are related to the experience of illness. Consent to subsequent surgical operations while being aware of the risk of failure, were the most difficult choices in my life. Body scars are merely subtle marks compared with the memory of fear, when you are on the boundary.
I look for measures to present balance on these boundaries.
I build organisms out of my personal experiences, decomposing fragments of nature, products from the environment and purely abstract elements. I assume that my structures work so I create optimistic paintings. Each of them is absolutely indispensible, each following on from the results of the previous one. I try to get rid of the desire to design a canvas, to implement ideas – in favour of observation and following my thoughts.
With the use of painting as a means I want to reveal what is inside. Study, sensational or abstract fragments blend together and change their properties. With each painting I cross my inner boundary of painting.

> Professor Leon Tarasewicz

It is the first time in a long, long while that I have met such a young artist whose life and artistic work form such a coherent whole.
Irmina Staś comes from the small Masovian town of Pilawa but her personality in no way shrunk or melted away after her encounter with the big city of Warsaw. She also did not accept contemporary fashions and superficial aesthetics.
Her individualism probably solidified due to a long period of isolation in hospitals. Long moments devoted to serious thoughts produced – too early for someone her age – a reflection on the meaning of life and the role of painting in it.
Her methodical approach to work, her analysis of the present day and the slow shift of her art towards the other side of visibility and invisibility, to the interior human world and sensations, all fuelled the development of her private painting space.
This diseased painting world of hers has individualised increasingly, becoming the scene of dramas, invisible to us, where life and death intertwine with each other, in the silence of the painted over canvas. Although we look at her paintings, this world is not easy to see, not easy to read, not easy to be together with. Hardly anyone would think that it could provide such a rich space for creative activity.
Therefore this quiet voice of hers is what we have needed so much in the Polish young art arena. This really does mark the first time in a long while that such a young artist has done so much in such a short time to show us a world we never realised even existed.



Study, 2010, oil on canvas, 24x27 cm


Organism 3, 2010, oil on canvas, 60x60 cm


Fragment of the dyploMY exhibition, 2012, aTAK Gallery, Warsaw


Organism 13, 2012, oil on canvas, 160x160 cm


Organism 17, 2012, oil on canvas, 210x210 cm


Organism 19, 2012, oil on canvas, 160x160 cm


B. 1986, studied at the Faculty of Graphic Arts and Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź (2006–2008) and at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2008–2012), with her degree piece receiving the Rector’s award. She has participated in several group exhibitions.