How many exhibition works:
Pontone Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of new works by Polish artist, Jarek Puczel. He paints images of enigmatic and solitary female figures in lyrical and romantic settings, mostly landscapes. Dramatically composed and artfully cropped, his pictures evoke the dynamic visual language of film. We are invited to decipher the story implied by these carefully-edited excerpts from some dramatic episode and wonder what script the subject follows.
Puczel employs a spare, graphic technique, which renders contour and silhouette clear and forceful. Tonal values are pushed to extremes to deliver high levels of contrast, which makes for an atmosphere of brooding intensity. His colour palette is highly controlled and economically distributed against cool blue-greys and twilight blacks. In certain areas the background shows through the figure apparently dissolving or disintegrating as if recalled from a hallucinogenic dream. This stylistic device breaks the spell of representation and introduces a sense of jeopardy and mutability. This is balanced and contrasted by the more nurturing allusions to the wonders of nature seen in the depictions of landscape and some hints of human intimacy.
The female models are deliberately not shown clearly: we see them from behind, in obscured profile or wreathed in shadow. Puczel’s women do not gaze out of the picture frame but are entirely occupied by their internal view. These are not overt and forthright portraits; identity is withheld. Again, in response to their narrative hints, we are asked to interrogate the images- Are they on the run? Are they fugitives? What are they hiding?
Jarek Puczel’s cinematic scenarios can be seen as ambiguous expressions of the covert, the cryptic and the secret. At the same time we see moments of contemplation and communion that suggest that his protagonist can be at ease in the world and find resolution.
74 Newman Street