Rafal Zawistowski

Selected works by Rafal Zawistowski

Rafal Zawistowski
Judas

2011

Oil and wax on canvas

75 x 90 cm

Zawistowski’s paintings hover between the visual cliché of the religious icon and the immediacy of their sculptural surfaces: the gouged and gooey paint literally materialises the spiritual subject, making it matter. There’s historical resonance to all this, since it might be said that the materialisation of the immaterial was the motor behind great leaps in painting during the Renaissance, but there’s more going on than that in Zawistowski’s work.

Rafal Zawistowski
Jesus Christ

2011

Encaustic on board

100 x 150 cm

Rafal Zawistowski’s work plays on the viewer’s recognition of certain well-worn subjects in western painting in order to re-energise the act of looking. Head-like forms in fat clumps of encaustic (pigment mixed with hot wax, to create a thick and nubbled surface) are highlighted with sprayed haloes or aureoles and titled after significant figures from Catholic iconography: Jesus, Mary and Judas, but also Benedict XV and John Paul II.

Rafal Zawistowski
Virgin Mary

2011

Wax on board

30 x 35 cm

His palette – nightclub pinks and neon yellows – creates a kitsch separation between subject and handling, and place the gnarled surfaces at a remove from the rest of the painting. There’s a sense in which the gaudy aureoles become quotation marks around the figure, or even a kind of barrier or cage, compounding the haunted, disintegrating look of some of the popes, recalling Francis Bacon’s similar treatment of the subject.

Rafal Zawistowski
John Paul I

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Benedict XV

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60cm

That the meshes of thick paint never quite coalesce into a recognisable form is part of the point: the familiar face is never fully revealed, terminally stilled in the act of becoming, spirit never quite transcending matter.

Rafal Zawistowski
Benedict XVI

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Gregory XVI

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
John Paul II

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
John XXIII

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Leo XIII

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Paul VI

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Pius IX

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Pius XII

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Pius X

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm
Rafal Zawistowski
Pius XI

2012

Oil and wax on linen

70 x 60 cm

Text by Ben Street


Rafal Zawistowski's Biography

Rafal Zawistowski
Born in 1981, Warsaw, Poland
Lives and works in London, UK



EDUCATION


2010-2011
Wimbledon College of Art. London. MA Fine Art.

2010-2011
Wimbledon College of Art. London. MA Fine Art.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2015
Eden: La Dame Gallery, London.

2015
Eden: La Dame Gallery, London.

2013
Aura: Teodora Art Gallery, Toronto.


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2016
Kids Of Dada Salon: Soho House, London.

2016
Kids Of Dada Salon: Soho House, London.

2015
Art Rooms 2015: Melia White House Hotel, London.
Undead Painters: Bond House Gallery, London.

2014
Strance Meetings: Canal Projects, London.
Wimbledon Open Studios: London.
A Casual Phenomenology: Husk Gallery, London.
Heatherley’s School of Fine Art Staff Exhibition: Bankside Gallery, London.

2013
Forgotten Paradise: Gallery on the Corner, London.
Come Dine With Me: BearSpace Gallery, London.
Directions: Graham Hunter Gallery, London.
New Order: Saatchi Gallery, London.
Seven Artists : The Strand Gallery, London.

2012
Intuition, Anti-intuition: Lion and Lamb Gallery, London.
Subject to Change: Kursaal Gallery Space, Southend on Sea.
Making Waves: Works from the Saatchi Collection, Hyatt Regency. London.
One Giant Leap: Works from the Saatchi Collection, Hyatt Regency. London.

2011
Bloomberg New Contemporaries: S1 Space, Site Gallery, ICA, London.
Wimbledon MA Exhibition: Wimbledon College of Art, London.
CCW Salon: Chisinhale Gallery, London.
Fly Tipping: Centre For Drawing Wimbledon College, London.
Futura Bold/Oblique: The Nunnery, London.
CCW Salon: New Gallery, London.

2010
Salad2: Foyer Gallery Wimbledon College, London.

2009
Pathways: Profetti Dismari Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

2008
Outdoor Art Exhibition: Art Fair, Toronto, Canada.

2007
Emerging Show Exhibition, ACA Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
Reflections, ACA Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

2006
Graduate Exhibition, Ontario College of Art and Design. Toronto, Canada.

2005
Departures Exhibition, Ontario College of Art and Design. Florence, Italy.

2004
Infinito Exhibition, Ontario College of Art and Design. Florence, Italy.


Selected Bibliography, Media & Articles


2013
Come Dine With Me, Wall Street International.
New Order: British Art Today, Saatchi Gallery - exhibition review, Standard.
New Order at Saatchi Gallery; Pae White at SLG; Rock on… at Serpentine, Studio International.
Saatchi Gallery goes after the national zeitgeist in New Order: British Art Today, Culture24.
British Art Today: Christine Jun on the far of the land at the Saatchi Gallery's New Order show, Dazed Digital.
New Order British Art Today, at the Saatchi Gallery, The Independent.
Homegrown Artistic Talent At The Saatchi Gallery, Londonist.
Tag Archives: Rafal Zawistowski, New Order British Art today @The Saatchi Gallery.
New Order British Art Today, Saatchi Gallery by: Robert Dunt.
New Order: British Art Today, by: Brain Sewell.
British Art now, Spoontrays.blogspot.co.uk.
On Our Radar: Rafal Zawistowski, radarlondon.com.

2013
Come Dine With Me, Wall Street International.
New Order: British Art Today, Saatchi Gallery - exhibition review, Standard.
New Order at Saatchi Gallery; Pae White at SLG; Rock on… at Serpentine, Studio International.
Saatchi Gallery goes after the national zeitgeist in New Order: British Art Today, Culture24.
British Art Today: Christine Jun on the far of the land at the Saatchi Gallery's New Order show, Dazed Digital.
New Order British Art Today, at the Saatchi Gallery, The Independent.
Homegrown Artistic Talent At The Saatchi Gallery, Londonist.
Tag Archives: Rafal Zawistowski, New Order British Art today @The Saatchi Gallery.
New Order British Art Today, Saatchi Gallery by: Robert Dunt.
New Order: British Art Today, by: Brain Sewell.
British Art now, Spoontrays.blogspot.co.uk.
On Our Radar: Rafal Zawistowski, radarlondon.com.

2012
The Unkindness, Marylebone Journal Culture.
Saatchi and Nigella come to Forest HIll, Sydenham Society.
Market News, The Telegrpaph.
Canvas and Cream: the gallery that has Saatchi and Nigella biting, The Times.
One giant Leap Works from the Saatchi Gallery at The Hyatt Regency-The Churchill, FadGame and Play: Intuition/anti-intuition at Lion and Lamb, patternsthatconnect.

2011
In Pictures: New Contemporaries 2011, BBC.
Art Reviw: Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011, CreativeTimes.co.uk.
Aesthetica Blog: Radical, Bold & Experimental Art Forms | Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011.
Exhibition review ICA - Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011: In the Presence, Junorae.blogspot.co.uk.

Private Collections
London, England
Toronto, Canada
Warsaw, Poland
Caracas, Venezuela
Stamford, Connecticut, USA