Flatland Gallery is pleased to present TEERTH and GREETINGS FROM CALCUTTA, a solo exhibition by Stanislaw Lewkowicz. The exhibition is based upon his travels in West Bengal, India, in 2016 and 2017.
Since his initiation as an artist, Lewkowicz has been with our gallery. We discovered his artistic talent at his graduation exhibition from the Academy of Fine Arts in Utrecht with his project ‘L'enfant et les sortilèges’. His extraordinary use of the technique of lithography as a means to create his images have been a subject for many grants, awards and prizes.
His early use of photography in this experimental manner have made him a pioneer for today’s post-photographic movement. Known for his indistinct hybrid, photographic lithographs Lewkowicz continues today experimenting with the photographic medium. With the support from the Mondrian Fund he received an artist in residence in Calcutta in 2017 and he received support from The Art Research Foundation in Calcutta (CARF). Lewkowicz has produced for this exhibition a new body of work based upon his travels through West – Bengal, that includes photography, lithography, painting and embroidery.
Known for his quality of visualizing our personal feelings in stunning series of overwhelming beauty, Lewkowicz explores the idea of telling a narrative based upon intimate subjects when he is travelling. He has always been a traveller himself and prior a sailor across the world. The latter resulted in a large book of independent lithographs ‘Royal Interocean lines’. His travels to the Middle East resulted in the ‘Dutchboy Photomemory’ series that carried a warm and Eastern atmosphere in these photographic / lithographic series. Another great work is inspired on the time when he was living in Naples, ‘o muorto o stuorto accucchiame sempe ‘ (a phrase of the Camorra); one of the works in which he combines the romance of Naples with new techniques of lithography on corrugated transparent roofplates.
TEERTH, pronounced as the English ‘tears’, - means literally place for pilgrimage – . In this series of 40 works he has combined 'Patachitra', a traditional West Bengal painting in vibrant, natural colors and powerful lines, with lithography, digital printing and embroidered text. Twelve works of Lewkowicz were interpreted by Manu Chitrakar, one of the most famous protagonists of 'Patachitra'. Slightly different from Lewkowicz’s previous work where the photograph dominated the lithographs, these new, embroidered and painted elements enrich the surface giving room for a dialogue on culture and artistic language.
The installation GREETINGS FROM CALCUTTA consists of 27 parts of lithographic and digital printed and Kantha stitched Tussar silk pieces ( ca. 240 x 530 cm). The artist worked with woman in rural areas of West Bengal who interpreted his photographs and texts, the outcome becoming an introspective personal yet universal diary of feelings from a foreigner against the Indian landscape, being about sociability and loneliness.