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Untitled

  • 2015
  • Wilhelm Sasnal
  • Oil on canvas
  • 50 x 40 cm

An important figure in a generation of Polish artists making a revival of painting, Wilhelm Sasnal paints everyday scenes, portraits, still lifes, landscapes... All his subjects emerge from a familial or social situation, an image from a book, the Internet, or a magazine. Their apparent banality contrasts with the mystery that emanates from them. Untitled (2015), a portrait of the artist’s son Kacper, is no exception. Focused on the top of the face and the sharpness of the look, the image is almost photorealistic. The framing, the negative spaces in white and brown, and the image reduced to essentials offers a fragmented reality, the capture of a stolen moment, reinforcing the melancholy and emotional strain on the child’s face.

© Wilhelm Sasnal © Primae / David Bordes

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Wilhelm Sasnal

Wilhelm Sasnal trained as an architect but is first and foremost a painter. He works in numerous other mediums including photography, the graphic novel, film and video. His subjects are daily life, historical figures, views of Kraków and important moments in the lives of his friends and family. Sasnal also appropriates images found on the Internet and in the mass media.

Sasnal studied architecture for two years from 1992 at the Tadeusz Kościuszko University of Technology in Kraków. He then turned to fine art and studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. There, until 2000, he exhibited with the artists’ collective known as Ładnie Group - a Polish term for “pretty” – who depicted their contemporary, banal surroundings using a “non-professional” aesthetic that countered the style taught at the academy. Sasnal completed his studies in 1999, then worked briefly for advertising agencies in Kraków while pursuing his personal work.

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