Elżbieta Kal

The Master and the students

It seems that Mieczyslaw Knut In his „minimalist” paintings attempts to unite contradictive qualities. On one hand he maximally reduces the expressive means to expose the immanent, constitutive painting features free form all outside content, deprived of mimetic function, not commenting on the reality outside it and non-representative. The essence of this painting is its two-dimensional surface of neutral grey or beige that does not provoke any emotions or associations. The visual message aims at maximum objectivity to the exclusion of personal or psychological influences. The reduction of depicted forms leaves just the changes of texture – monotonous horizontal or vertical growth of paintings’ surface. That allows for the exclusion of time from the perception process and the repetitive structure enables simultaneous perception of the whole painting, immediate concentration on the visual essence. There are obvious associations with Strzemiński’s theory of unism and the monochromatic paintings of Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt or earlier works of Stefan Gierowski demonstrating the surface and nature of red, green and black colours. Yet the frame is an important division in Knut’s paintings and together with the white margin surrounding dense colour and texture determines ambiguous message. The uneven width of that border or its absence from one side may suggest the endlessness of painted and framed surface and may proof the potentiality of its visible fragment. The light roundness of usually upper lines delimiting painted surface may confirm the voluntary artistic choice of cadres or a chance to multiply it ad infinitum or it may deny the possibility. For the degree of that line’s change differs from painting to painting so it could be either the result of impersonal accidental character or a proof of the author’s intentional intervention. In that sense the painting may be distinctive – by the arbitrary choice of just a part of bigger entity. Minimal yet visible changes in texture density – like in Painting 22 delicate horizontal strokes – and colour nuances are also ambiguous in their apparent subjective tone because they also generalise touching the essence of painting activity, the matter and colour. The statement may be proved by two-layered compositions where texture surface does not cover the colour precisely leaving a smooth margin of different colour and texture /for instance Painting 14/. It shows usually not visible relation between the components, unveils structure and mutual dependence of visual elements. It is rather not a coincidence that Jackiewicz Studio is the beginning of the artistic journey of yet another painter faithful to contemplative and analytical attitude.