The spaces of PAGE (NYC) present the New York debut solo show by Aneta Kajzer, a Polish artist, born in 1989, capable of generating with the “only” three canvases on display an environment where the interpretative and emotional boundaries lose any type of rigid categorization through a combination of abstract and figurative approaches that come up with enigmatic and unsettling results. For the occasion, I also had the pleasure of talking directly with Lucas Page, the PAGE owner, and among the directors of the Petzel Gallery, in an attempt to better deepen Kajzer’s research and practice.
PAGE was born in 2016 in the Tribeca district, starting as a sporadic exhibition activity that has been progressively structured with the definition of a program focused on the desire to highlight the work of artists mainly focused on a pictorial language. The purpose is to introduce in the newly emerging New York art scene a dialogue as broad as possible around this genre through the contamination of researches and different geographical origins, and also by dedicating the elaboration of books and catalogues to the presented artists (a detail not to be taken for granted given the young age of the gallery).
The three oils on canvas, Splish Splash (2022), Floating Away (2021) and GRIN (2020), are extremely exemplary of research with peculiar traits and for which the key element can be identified in this continuous propensity to reconcile languages only seemingly at the antipodes – the abstraction one and the figurative one – and to the ability to convey the observer’s emotional flow through recurring characters with indefinable features. The canvas is the hosting space for these evanescent figures born from the broad brushstrokes to which points and lines are simply added. So, here is the emergence of features that are only hinted at but able of expressing an emotional strength and clarity characterized by solidity and impetus whose outcome is almost astonishing when related to this fluctuating lightness.
Aneta Kajzer’s approach to composition possesses traits with almost performative meanings and in which the layering process becomes predominant. The works are conceived and created simultaneously and, especially for larger ones, implying the artist’s intervention from different angles and perspectives, they override the more classical and determined frontal relationship with the canvas. Despite of all the differences of the case, the works are always in some way linked to each other in the creation of a new vocabulary on which Aneta Kajzer moves and which she identifies in the repetition of these “creatures-non-creatures” – playful, deep or in tension – the letters that make up her visual alphabet. Proceeding by layers on the canvas, the artist lets them emerge with all their ability to convey a continuous sense of emotional overlap. Then, even though the work, as a whole, derives from instinctive and gestural brushstrokes, she manages to make a sense of dynamism, intimacy, delicacy and harmony coexist on the canvas, in which the viewer simply abandons his emotional baggage. Another central element can be found in Kajzer’s ability to know how to direct the individual interiority through works that are not overloaded rhetorically by references and meanings relating to the artist’s experience, but rather starting from cryptic figures that escape any interpretative intent or cloying and instrumental use of her personal experience. The strength of the presented works is also accentuated by the way they interact with the surrounding space. The small size of the gallery allows in fact to increase that sense of “concentration” also thank to the way in which they are arranged on the walls.
What matters is that the authors knows how to move souls through emotional compositions that lash blows without even being able to define what is manoeuvring the innermost chords of our self. One can only watch how these entities appear and disappear in the vaporous gases of the canvas. How at times they look at us almost with hatred, with detached curiosity or calm sweetness, avoiding any intention of providing definitive answers but rather going to point the finger at those emotional torrents whose mystery, it seems they say, we must abandon ourselves.
Aneta Kajzer, It Must Be Bunnies, installation view, PAGE, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and PAGE, New York City
Aneta Kajzer, Splish Splash, 2022, oil painting on canvas, cm 189,87 x 139,7. Courtesy of the artist and PAGE, New York City
Aneta Kajzer, GRIN, 2020, oil painting on canvas, cm 59,7 x 45,1. Courtesy of the artist and PAGE, New York City
With a specialist degree in Economics and Management of Cultural Heritage, passionate about the field of Contemporary art, its economic dimension and, more generally, the dynamics characterizing the art market, Gabriele has gained experience over time in contexts such as contemporary art galleries, start-ups and Art Advisory. He currently works in the Art-Rite auction house as an assistant in the department of Modern and Contemporary art.