Mateusz Szczypiński

Crossword, 2021

When looking at the most recent piece from the Crosswords cycle, we can see two juxtaposed areas: one is monochromatic shades of black and grey, while the other one is composed of neoplasticist sets of colours.  The monochromatic part is irregular, with a non-uniform concentration of painting interventions, whereas the neoplasticist sphere involves a uniform distribution of colour.

Mateusz Szczypiński - Crossword

Like in the other works from the cycle, various kinds of aesthetics and spheres in which elements of the painting function cross each other. The painting interventions are symbiotic with the remains of the partly filled in crosswords taken from old newspapers. Structures where letters merge with colour planes are formed somewhat surreally. The effect is something not quite logical, perhaps disturbing, since we intuitively try to “read” the painting but are incapable of that. I find the fact that the crosswords are not fully filled in fairly significant, since it makes the piece function in a state of suspension, incompletion.


And so, a game is played on the plane of the canvas: new painting elements enter into a certain agreement with the existing material, with deconstructed words, as a result of which a certain new quality is created.


I think that such a play with the past, the use of the past, such a postmodern eclecticism are a certain sign of our times, where culture is an unprecedented blend drawing from diverse sources, where the “high” and the “low” mix and the boundary between the past and the present blurs.


Applying ready-made materials, quoting certain motifs from the history of art, and using the remains left by others, such as partly filled in crosswords, and crossing them with each other allows a slightly new perspective on these things. Taken out of their original contexts, the spheres we intuitively associate with them, permits us to discover them anew. It is a cultural recycling, where a ready-made material is not a sum of components; instead, certain additional values and interpretation options appear.


The titles of paintings are made of the remains of the words found on a finished composition; at times, these are random clusters of letters and sometimes, like in this case, specific words bringing associations with the finished composition.

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