Małgorzata Turewicz Lafranchi
Małgorzata Turewicz Lafranchi’s Entanglement is part of a series of exhibitions launched last year and aimed at presenting artworks from the collection of the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.
“I tend to do my own thing,” said Małgorzata Turewicz Lafranchi in one of her interviews. Looking at the artworks she has created over the past three decades, it would be hard to disagree with this statement. The artist’s sculptures and objects have always differed – both in content and technique – from artistic trends that have prevailed in recent times, but at the same time they provide a coherent statement on themes that have been important to the artist since the start of her career.
In the late 1980s, at the beginning of her creative path, Turewicz Lafranchi focused on drawings and paintings. During that period, she produced paintings in the style of New Expressionism, tempera drawings on grey paper and numerous sketches, which she called “choreographic drawings” because they provided a record of dynamic sequences of movement. Simple, multi-element forms in her paintings brought to mind the ideograms of the spatial works that Turewicz Lafranchi created in 1990 – these sculptures are now in the collection of Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. In the later stages of her career, the artist has focused predominantly on sculptural forms.
In her work, Turewicz Lafranchi draws inspirations from multiple sources: philosophy and science, exploring the fundamental structures of reality, the principles of being, the laws, the essence and workings of the material world, and finally the nature of man’s immediate environment and everyday objects. The artist sees certain regularities that govern not only the mechanisms of the broadly understood natural environment, but also the world of interpersonal relationships and psychological and spiritual phenomena. Turewicz Lafranchi emphasises the influence that texts about Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy had on her artistic development. Her artistic interests were shaped on the one hand by various avant-garde traditions, and on the other – by the counterculture and new spirituality of the 1970s, along with the paradigm shift from an individualistic to a holistic way of understanding the world.
Characteristically, the artist consistently relies on the use of industrial materials. In the 1990s, she primarily used three metals: copper, brass and steel. In this way, Turewicz Lafranchi referred to the theory of the elements – water, air, fire and earth – which formed the basis of the philosophical, pre-scientific way of explaining various phenomena occurring in nature. Later, she began using other materials – wires, nets, telephone cables, acrylic glass, and plastic. Turewicz Lafranchi is interested in both the physical characteristics of different materials, their specific properties, such as permeability, insulation and malleability, as well as their associations, metaphors and the tension between sensual experience and intellectual construction – their conceptualisation.
Turewicz Lafranchi’s style is minimalistic, most often relying on the language of geometry. She places great emphasis on the conceptual dimension of her works and the search for the most appropriate forms and ideas that can convey or conceptualise particular content. Her multi-element works are restrained, but not devoid of poetic message that is sometimes underpinned with humour and irony, where the aesthetics of reduction do not weaken their expressive dimension. Turewicz Lafranchi referred to these as technical drawings of her emotions, the materialisation of the invisible.
The title of the exhibition – Entanglement – is an ambiguous word deriving from both quantum mechanics and politics or interpersonal relations. The interaction of individuals or elements of a larger whole, hidden interdependencies, influences, and macro- and microscale references, as well as their relationships with the universe, humanity and the world of nature and culture are all present in Turewicz Lafranchi’s work from the very start of her artistic career, as evidenced by her early paintings, mature work, and the most recent pieces.
Małgorzata Turewicz Lafranchi
(born 1961) creates sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs and installations. Between 1980 and 1985 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw at the Faculty of Interior Architecture in the studios of Andrzej Dłużniewski and Henryk Wiśniewski, and between 1985 and 1986 she was at the Swiss Freie Hochschule für Geisteswissenschaft, Goetheanum, in Dornach. She has lived and worked in Switzerland since 1994.