March 4 to 28: Tadek Sobierajski, “Memories, Lines and Paint”, new drawings and paintings in ink and acrylic on paper and canvas. Sat Mar 6, 2-5 pm: opening with the artist
Fri Mar 12, 7-10 pm: James North Art Crawl, artist present
Sat Mar 20, 3 pm: artist talk in the gallery: Tadek Sobierajski answers the riddle “How is an artist like a marathon runner?” Tadek is currently training for the ‘Run Around the Bay’ on March 28. He’ll tell you how running changed how his understanding of his work as an artist.
Tadek Sobierajski’s new drawings and paintings are explorations of repetitive mark-making with line and colour that reveal unexpected subconscious imagery. Tadek begins with many loose gestural lines overlapping and intersecting in layers. These coalesce into patterns of light and dark energy that sometimes suggest a form, bodies, a face.
This new work began in fall of 2009, triggered by his memories of his father, who passed away in the summer of 2009. Tadek drew to reflect on how memory fades €“ his father’s memory in his final days, and Tadek’s own memory of the face of his father. €œEverything becomes more foggy, until it is just lines and scratches. I paint that process of memory changing.€
€œI am interested in appearance and disappearance. I produce much activity on the surface of the paper or canvas, until it is ready for an image to appear €“ but sometimes it never does. It’s like a stage. You are in suspense about what will appear. I like ambiguity €“ suspended between two things, but never declaring itself.€
As this new work evolved, other forms emerged. The mark-making took on a life of its own, leading Tadek in directions he did not expect. This is the new work in the exhibit at Artword Gallery.
€œI draw every day. I capitalize on that almost compulsive need to work. I have always done work with many marks and many repetitive elements. In the process everything clarifies itself.€
Tadek became aware of the link to his marathon running. €œNine years ago, I began long distance running and since then I have run 17 marathons. I realized that running is similar to my art making €“ one step repeated over and over, although as you go the environment changes. The desire to go through pain to achieve that high at the end. Once you start the course, you have no choice to keep going. After about 10 kilometres you start to enjoy yourself. I found that realization of the similarity between my art and my running very comforting.€
Tadek is currently preparing for the 30k Around the Bay run. €œMy favourite training run is about 16 kilometres along the Escarpment Rail Trail from the Kenilworth stairs to Albion Falls and back.€
Tadek Sobierajski studied painting, drawing and graphic arts in his native Poland. In 1980 he went to Sweden to study with Stanislaw Doborniak, a painter known for his geometric abstractions. In 1983 Tadek moved to Canada and studied painting at the University of Alberta. Moving to Toronto, Tadek took the Experimental Arts Program at the Ontario College of Art from 1985 to 1989, where he received awards for his painting and film animations. He has had numerous exhibitions over the past 22 years in Toronto, at Gallery St. Luke, Gallery Hittite and Meg Gallery. Internationally he has exhibited in Sweden and in New York City, and in Warsaw is represented by Gallery Milano. In 2008 he moved to Hamilton. He has had two exhibitions at Sunrise Gallery, where he also teaches. He is also a Faculty Member at the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts, where he had a retrospective exhibition in 2009. For theatre, he has done set design and scenic painting for Kensington Karnivale in Toronto and in Hamilton for the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts and Village Theatre Waterdown.
Review by Stephanie Vegh:
“Artword Gallery, meanwhile, is gradually setting a pattern for exhibiting cleanly vibrant abstractions with a show from Polish-born, Hamilton-based painter Tadek Soberiajski, whose densely layered canvases are intended to evoke the transformation of memory. That objective is perhaps best realized in some of the works pictured above, in which open spaces lend an ambiguous subjectivity to his chaotic whorls of paint. The majority favour an impenetrable screen of brushstrokes that suggest something more troubling and indifferent in this mind, and the inclusion of an isolated portrait amid all this seemingly non-objective work is a little jarring. Excluding the latter, the impressive quantity of these repetitive paintings does make for an intriguing installation.”