exhibition from the Project Room series


Michał Wirtel

Michał Wirtel’s exhibition presents the artist’s latest creative explorations. His earlier interest in icon art gave way to the desire to present his everyday life, to convey personal experiences – thoughts, yearnings, anxieties, and joys. At this stage, the painter decided to move away from canonical forms of imaging, which were the subject of his interest at the beginning of his studies, to radically modernized representations. His artistic explorations are the result of two paths that he followed in parallel. On the one hand, he followed the rules of icon “writing” (done in prayer and silence, with the board and the ground specially prepared), and on the other hand, he was guided by the need to express his personal narrative. In this interpenetrating process, the most important thing was light: the eponymous glimmer, which is crucial for understanding the presented series.

At first contact, Wirtel’s paintings have a calming effect, enveloping the viewer in a pastel aura of positive, light-filled colours that they emanate. This almost decorative appearance is also a testimony to mastery of the craft, an example of painting skill, and also conveys hidden meanings. Photographed in black and white, colour pictures lose contrast and light in favour of a uniform gray. This transformation and its effect can be observed in a photograph taken with a mirror-lens camera, which in the era of intrusive domination of digital media is becoming almost a relic. Wirtel intricately combines colours, consciously using a pastel palette. He attaches particular importance to lemon yellow, with which his painting begins and which symbolizes the spiritual meanings present in his paintings – the presence of God expressed through light and beauty.

We are dealing here with a phenomenon in which real, physical, representative painting de facto disappears and creates a uniform space complemented by the colour of gray walls. By using photography, somehow “hiding” behind this medium, by viewing painting through the a camera lens, Wirtel shakes us out of the comfort of controlling the perception of reality and gives our perception a different, unreal dimension. This practice of mediation may be a warning sign for us against replacing direct contact with art with electronic substitutes. Wirtel’s paintings can also make us reflect on the truthfulness of our view of reality. They may raise the question of how many dimensions it consists of, how many possible perspectives to view it. These universal questions, which the artist asks us and himself, are a way of concluding certain areas of worked-through emotions (Frog), but also an expression of agitated feelings (Rubber Plant), or the realization of aggressive visual signals (Mercedes). Despite the various painting impulses to which he indulges, Wirtel continues to find his leitmotif in the phenomenon of light – symbolic, metaphysical, having its source in spirituality, but also real as the sun.

Exhibition opening:

18/04/2024, 19:00, free admission

Exhibition on view through:


Free admission on Thursdays

Tuesday 11:00—19:00
Wednesday 11:00—19:00
Thursday 11:00—20:00
Friday 11:00—19:00
Saturday 11:00—19:00
Sunday 11:00—19:00