Sacrum and Commercium

January 11, 2008 - February 19, 2008

Ewa Bialecka's work is about the destiny of the Western world, and the place of womanhood in it. In the artist’s diptych, “The Abduction of Europe”, a repetition of devilish fiends seize young, innocent, vulnerable nymphs sporting banderoles reminiscent of 16th century paintings in France and Italy. The reiterative nature of this work suggests the power of propaganda and commercialism and the threat they pose to the traditionalism of Europe. Bialecka’s paintings employ authoritative tones and heroic moods that are at the heart of the Socialist Realist style of art. Yet, she is not reviving the style so much as deftly turning it on its head, layering the once-potent tool of propaganda with irony and nostalgia. Although the original practitioners of Socialist Realism consistently sought to glorify the state, Bialecka uses this genre to warn us of the impending dangers that threaten western civilization.