The Magdalena Karpińska exhibition addresses issues related to visual perception, optics and the relationship between symbols and their meaning. The main motif of the paintings is a natural world, with the main inspiration being the complexity of natural and physical phenomena. Although Karpińska’s works are filled with the spirit of the Renaissance, her thinking about form and her balancing on the edge of abstraction and representation is purely modern.The eye in the title is the organ that makes vision possible, i.e. detecting a range of electromagnetic radiation and the direction of light. It becomes the point of departure for reflection on emotional responses, the sensation of beauty, as well as a reference to the spiritual symbolism of the particular 15th-century Italian painting. Karpińska’s method could be called flatten-and-cut, as it consists of a selection of detail (often abstracted from a historical painting), working on it at a formal and intellectual level. The process results in a painting with the characteristics of a rebus, a visual puzzle.
The latest of Karpińska’s paintings blur the boundary between looking, watching and reading. On one hand, her works function at a level of reception associated with the psychology of vision and knowledge of the history of Western European paintings, while on the other hand the artist tries to go back to the basics of forming images, referring to perception through a prism of pure visuality.