Karolina Bielawska


Graduate of Media Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2015). Visual artist, works with painting, which she combines with sculpture. Lives and works in Warsaw. Represented by Wschód Gallery (Warsaw, Cologne, New York) and Double Q Gallery (Hong Kong).

Karolina Bielawska’s hard-edge painting acts in contravention, in which she mixes various painting techniques and sculptural materials. Her characteristic style centers around a monochromatic palette complemented by carefully selected colors. Her forms offer ambiguous narrative modes, fractal lines and marks accompanied by biomorphic and asymmetric shapes reminiscing mysterious silhouettes. Bielawska’s work signalizes the inter-dependability between elements that surround us. If one component crumbles, then the whole piece falls apart. There is thus an intimate relationship between the macro and the micro, between the compositions and the emotions they invoke, and between the detail and the whole.

Bielawska’s visual language communicates a desire for harmony that constantly collides with violence, oppression, and brutality, turning the canvases into sites of tension and conflict. She takes chaos and totalizes it into patterns. The controlled figures have a soothing effect on our senses. There is a calmness in anticipating what might come next. Bielawska sees her works as products of her contemplation about feelings and the possibilities of portraying them. The internal and personal sphere is what the artist is preoccupied with. She also finds that the energy, the emotional charge, and the memory of a particular place influence her work, herein shaping a site-specific sensibility.

Among Bielawska’s distinctive methods is the use of bitumen paint. She shares the concept behind this strategy: “I started using bitumen paint a few years ago when looking for a material that would relate to a resistant, heavy, flooding mass, similar to asphalt. I painted a series of paintings that referred to the idea of home – as a dream asylum. I wanted to find examples of such houses in the urban space and I chose villas from the interwar period. One of them was demolished because it hindered the construction of a new asphalt road in Warsaw. I decided in some – but not literal – way to use such a destructive, flooding element in my own pieces. Bitumen paint turned out to be the right solution. I liked its earthy black and its roughness. I began using it in subsequent paintings and installations because it fit well into the broader context of my works – wrestling, struggling, persevering despite instability.”

selected solo exhibitions:

“Connective Tissue”, Warsaw Gallery Weekend, Wschód Gallery, Warsaw

“As Above, So Below”, BWA Olsztyn, Olsztyn

“Two Sides”, Dobro Gallery, Olsztyn
“Fields. Karolina Bielawska, Matthew Peers”, Wschód Gallery, Warsaw

“The Other Room”, Krupa Gallery, Wroclaw
“Marrow”, Miejski Ośrodek Sztuki, Gorzów Wlkp.

“Slow Down a Moment that Moves too Fast”, Realny Obszar Działań, Warsaw

selected group exhibitions:

“Back To School”, II High School named after King Jan III Sobieski in Cracow, Cracow

“Controlfriction”, MOS, Gorzów Wlkp.
“Soft, Hidden, Exposed”, Double Q Gallery, Hong Kong
“Baitball Project 02”, Palazzo San Giuseppe, Polignano a Mare, Bari

“Metamorphosis”, Pola Magnetyczne, Warsaw
“Stranger Danger”, FOAF, Stone Projects, Prague
“First World Problems: Life Before Death”, Rondo Sztuki, Katowice
“First World Problems: Life Before Death”, Stefan Gierowski Foundation, Warsaw

“Articulations. Recently Painted Works”, Glassyard Gallery, Budapest
“The Draughtsman’s Contract”, Arsenal Gallery, Białystok
“Communication with Everything that Is”, Stefan Gierowski Foundation, Warsaw
“Weeping, Dreaming, Fucking, Laughing”, Wschód Gallery, Warsaw