By Peter Harper
In her recent exhibition in New York Marta Wapiennik presented abstract monochromatic paintings and a series of figurative digital works. Working comfortably in both mediums the artist engages the ambiguous liminal zone bringing out for all to see how closely emotional, psychic and physical drives interrelate. Wapiennik successfully explores the principle of juxtaposition allowing the mind to find integration in dissimilarity pitting together a near claustrophobic intensity of enclosed space in which we see a liberating conflagration of surging female body and forces of nature.
These entities form part of and are set-off from what appear to be expanses of other-worldly terrain that are meant to defy human needs or desires. The artist’s visual experimentation is wide-ranging and her visual odysseys within the self offer a penetrating look at the primacy of passion and the irrational. Both paintings and digital works are expressive in process and content.
Marta Wapiennik’s talent includes the willingness and the capacity to project imagery that oscillates between outright emblematicization and forthright iconization. The middle ground is a good place to be for any artist simply because it’s inclusive and it integrates a number of antithetical interpretations about the work. Keeping this in mind, it would be fair to say that Wapiennik’s images are intimate diaristic encounters with the self. The artist’s vocabulary of mark-making ranges from being deliberate to accidental, from being gingerly to idiosyncratic, from random to mechanical, from assertive to self-abnegating. Such vacillation and equivocation serve to ratchet-up the dialectical tension that is maintained between opposite poles.