The gallery is proud to announce its third solo exhibition with Polish artist Natasza Niedziolka.
For almost a decade, Niedziolka has used embroidery thread on stretched canvas as her primary material – the resulting artworks rest somewhere between drawing, painting and tapestry. While past series employed multi-colored, simplified still life imagery as an archetype, a mostly monochromatic hatching effect is the focus of her latest artworks that are grouped under the name Zero.
Founded in the late 1950s, the Zero group of European artists promoted “a zone of silence and pure possibilities for a new beginning” – a sentiment that was often echoed during the artist’s study at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Tal R, who would encourage students to return to the basics, or “back to zero.” Apart from the manifestos and sometimes-spiritual aims of historic movements like Zero, most artists at some phase in their studio practice have a desire to identify and eliminate the unnecessary facets of their process.
In Marcia Hafif’s seminal essay Beginning Again from 1978, the American painter posits the history of painting’s flirtation with emptiness as a life-affirming state: “The work I am talking about is involved with the experience of being. It begins with givens. The material exists; decisions are made as to format, combinations of materials, tools, and arena. Given one choice others are made on the basis of that. A certain integrity pervades the whole. The artist is involved in being as a way of doing and in letting be, developing materials worked with. The experience is one that few other activities allow us to know: the possibility of direct action in work with final materials, of seeing what was visualized materialize itself in our own hands.”
For Niedziolka, the elimination of imagery revealed the basic tenets of her process; the excitement of visualization, the early aim of perfection, the repetitive nature of stitching, its meditative tendencies, and ultimately the resulting imperfections. And while Niedziolka’s embroideries are evocative of the drawings and paintings of artists like Hafif, or Agnes Martin, one can’t help but wonder about the makers of centuries of unattributed embroideries who also found value in the simple, repeated gesture of needle and thread – a line used either to delineate shape and form or a line used for itself.
Natasza Niedziolka (b. 1978, Miedzychod, PL) lives and works in Berlin, DE. In addition to Horton Gallery, her work has been featured in exhibitions at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, DE; Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, DE; and Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery, Berlin, DE; among others. Her work has been discussed in The New York Times, Village Voice, and Art in America.