M O T E L
OPENS Fri 14 July: 6-8PM
VIEW Sat 15 July and Sun 16 July: 10-4PM
“This series of paintings are palpable intermissions simmering with a jostling, charged fragility. Large-scale and saturated, while their subjects are of foreign exterior places abroad, somewhere beyond the 129th meridian, their essence is about interior states: something amorphous, something incomprehensible.”
These are not just paintings that make us feel or reflect on serious or frivolous emotions; but works that enact a scepticism regarding the very experience of serious and frivolous emotions in themselves. Feelings are immeasurable. Does painting produce, capture, reflect or nullify them? In Kolbusz’s hands, the content leaks between limbo and surety; I am free to choose, I am no longer content.”
Excerpt from Diversions by Aimee Dodds, June 2023
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Image: Infinity, 2023. Oil on linen 153 x 138CM
F O T O A U T O M A T I C A
In Florence in 2018, I came across an old Fotoautomatica booth on the corner of via del’Agnolo and via Giuseppe Verdi which I later painted for my exhibition Near You in Sydney 2020.
I have continued to think about the booth’s automatic pull of nostalgia in the face of contemporary irrelevancy – and the danger of this in terms of my paintings.
While a selfie’s purpose may not be self-examination or an investigation into the moment, this avoidance has become a contemporary addiction. The paintings in this exhibition are about pulling back from an automation of fast images, fast feelings, manufactured moments and more carefully positing into a real experience.
I recently learned that the 1969 Fotoautomatica in Florence was not original but rescued from the Soviet Union, restored to its original form, and installed by set designer Matteo Sani in 2011.
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Image: Italian. 2022, oil on linen, 153 x 122cm
SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY 2022
8 – 11 September 2022
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Image: Vacant. Oil on linen, 122 x 153cm
LOVE IS BACK
Excerpt by Harry Sanderson:
LOVE IS BACK by Waldemar Kolbusz presents in a climate of emotional maximalism, in which romance and joy are oversaturated and oversold to the extent that whatever original sensations might have existed, are now replaced. Relationships are mined for their honeymoon periods, then thrown away. The sensation of enjoyment begins to feel more of an appeal: I am in love.
If you have ever had relatively meaningless sex with someone you appeared to be obsessed with only recently, you should recognise the husk of attachment I’m talking about. The exhibition isolates these tensions, considering which impressions might be truly our own.
Image: Paramount. 2022, oil on linen 183 x 153cm
New works concerning experiences we may all share, or want to share in contemporary everydayness, with consideration of the increasingly blurred difference between what we actually experience and what we convince ourselves (and others) we think should be the case.
Image: Clear. 2021, oil on linen 183 x 183cm
SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY 2021 | EXPLORE
Image: Even. 2020, oil on linen 122 x 153cm
These new works test the differences between an idealised human experience and actual experience – the increasingly blurred overlap between the two in our contemporary lives. Do we only experience how we think we’re supposed to experience?
Am I sold feelings, later imagined to be my own? In my figurative works I try to paint our vulnerabilities when we question what is real and what may be gloss. Someone once said to me that using that gloss without falling prey to it is a fine edge.
My expressionistic works explore this same fine edge, they allude to a kind of perfection, but then to something else.
Image: Almost. 2020, oil on linen 183 x 183cm
Sydney Contemporary presents 2020
Image: Ride. 2020, oil on linen 153 x 153cm
This series of works further investigates the overlap between my two streams of works. Near You is about the interplay between chance and identity – the similarities in experiences we may share and the disconnect in others, the randomness of that, and how it shapes who we become.
I continue to be interested in exploring points of change within my painting process in my abstractions, to pinpoint exactly when less considered marks come together and change from something of a mess to something more resolved, or when a surrender to chance can result in something more ordered.
I have always been obsessive about order and the degree to which we are all challenged in our daily lives between it and mess. Both the big picture and small detail of that draws me in.
In my figurative works these themes continue but in relation to experiences in my life and my art career, and how these shape who I am and how I relate to you. A lot of these chance moments which could allow clarity in all of this, of course happen during travels or outside our daily momentum.
Image: Near You. 2020, oil on linen 183 x 183cm
FOR THE CHANCE OF IT
With a practice that alternates between abstract and more figurative painting, Waldemar Kolbusz’ works come naturally charged with a high energy. His large brightly coloured canvases pulsate and move, allowing a rich visual engagement. Kolbusz has always worked in a fluid way, often resolving numerous paintings simultaneously. Whilst a significant shift in thinking is required for different genres, his cerebral approach allows him to do both. It informs and nourishes the work; allowing freedom in the figurative works and giving shape to the abstract.
For the chance of it explores the overlaps present in Kolbusz practice and the role that chance plays in his work. It is his debut exhibition at Gallerysmith.
Marita Smith, Director
Image: Looking. 2020, oil on linen 183 x 122cm.
Flinders Lane Gallery, MELBOURNE
2014, 2015, 2016, 2019
Affordable Art Fair w/ Red Chamber Gallery, HONG KONG
Aptos Cruz Galleries, ADELAIDE
2011, 2014, 2016, 2018
VAST residency, KARRATHA / PILBARA
Melbourne Art Fair w/ FLG, MELBOURNE
DENFAIR Design + Art Fair w/ FLG, MELBOURNE
The Cat Street Gallery, HONG KONG
(group) 2013, (group) 2014, solo 2015
Wangaratta Art Gallery, REGIONAL
Richard Martin Art, SYDNEY
2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Greenhill Gallery, PERTH
Gunyulgup Galleries, MARGARET RIVER
2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 – 2014
Anthea Polson Art, GOLD COAST
Axia Modern Art, MELBOURNE
2008, 2009, 2010
Mausell Wickes at Barry Stern Galleries, SYDNEY
Barry Stern Galleries, SYDNEY
Libby Edwards Galleries, BRISBANE
Libby Edwards Galleries, SYDNEY
Libby Edwards Galleries, MELBOURNE
Mahoneys Galleries, MELBOURNE
Amelia Johnson Contemporary, HONG KONG
Agora Galley, NEW YORK
Warren de Maria Gallery, SYDNEY
Indigo Arts / Momentous Arts, SINGAPORE
Pearlers Row Galleries, BROOME
1999 – 2006
Code Red Art, PERTH
Gadfly Gallery, PERTH