MAREK RADKE

Exhibition

MAREK RADKE [Europa] " RaumBild " exhibition

Friday 10 March, 7:00 pm — Monday 10 April 2006, 1:00 am

K.A.S. Galéria - Budapest, Váci utca 36

The K.A.S. Gallery invites you and your friends to the opening of the exibition

MAREK RADKE [Europa]
" RaumBild "

10. April 2006 Friday 18 PM

Introduced by: István Haász

opened: till 9 of April, on 13-18 PM

K.A.S. Galéria
Budapest, Váci utca 36. H-1056
Telefon/Fax: +36 .1 . 31 82 084
E-mail: kasgaleria@freemail.hu

Marek Radke "Objects-paintings" – this is the title the artist often gives to his exhibitions. The hyphen, on the one hand, connects the two words, on the other though, separates them. The pieces may be perceived as painting – all have been painted; but at the same time as objects – all are three-dimensional, sometimes clearly spatial, while sometimes their 3-D character is barely noticeable.

Also the surface of Marek Radke's objects-paintings reveals colours only – brush strokes applying the paint and the tension existing between the colours when two or more shades of the same colour come side by side. The red, free of the symbolic power associated with it, has been chosen by the artist because of his liking for the colour, because of its signalling power and because of the value it gives to forms.

When it comes to the surface of the plane, some objects clearly comprise two or three shapes. Lines emerge in this way, which like boundaries divide or join the planes of the object. This coexistence of boundaries results solely from the way the shapes are put together. Our memories can move backwards making us find similarities with our own boundary experiences; depending on whether the boundaries are being constituted or abolished, we see them as symbols of division or connection, while in fact they are but lines in the landscape.

Marek Radke's output subsequently reveals the concept of opening a monochromic plane through clear interference. This may take the form of open cubes with colourful bottoms, or slanting incisions, which do not cause the surface to be totally cloven. It may also be a dent – square or round in shape – an oblique interstice or other structure made of small bores. Lucio Fontana should be mentioned here – the artist who in the late 1940s puzzled over ways of discontinuing the surface and the spaces caused by such interference. The method he would use was to incise the stretched canvas, owing to which tension gave way to space.

Marek Radke makes no incisions. He does not use canvas, either, but MDF panels or wooden boards, in which he bores holes. In this way he achieves a different visual effect. They also open up the surface, modifying the plane more conspicuously than brush strokes, which can only be seen at close range. These cautiously opened objects are in contrast with others, the central part of which has been removed entirely, leaving the frames only. There are sometimes elements connecting these long frames, owing to which the space is rhythmically segmented. They are, however, more radical; they eliminate the plane reducing it to the sides or frame. The nature of the painting, in which initially the frame is not noticed at all, is reversed to the opposition: the frame is everything, the painting is nothing; or more precisely – the painting becomes the frame. More clearly than with other types of interference, it is the void that is visualised. It prevails for a time until the viewer realises that the frame is the painting. Nowhere else has Marek Radke challenged our visual habits so much. Our eye is confronted with the void. The viewer is looking for some rationalisation, while there is only one ultimate reason – the frame is the painting.

This diversity resulting from the possibility of replacing geometrical elements frustrates our habits, expectations and messages. After all, we come to the exhibition to look at paintings, we expect that whatever the substitutions, they will not dodge a certain constant, determined arrangement and meaning. Marek Radke topples our visual experience over as the object-painting is reduced to the most simple components. They become elements of a game allowing their owner to build his/her figure-forms carrying emotional value, even though geometrical elements in themselves leave no room for emotions. And when the artist places an object under a square-object, the interference gives us an impression that the former also has a square shape, which of course cannot be proved. "You have to believe it," says Radke.

It is interesting that as we deal with various objects and the similarities between them, far from the frigid geometry that looks so obvious, we come across sensitive if not serene areas. The fact that the output of Marek Radke has gone such a long way from the pure study of constructivism is what deserves attention in the development of his artistic individuality. The point is not to downgrade constructivism, but to arrive at your own position determined by your subjectivity and sensitivity.
Jürgen Weichardt
Oldenburg
March 2005.