Roberta Smith, “Natasza Niedziolka: ‘White Shadow’,” The New York Times, February 17, 2012
The gallery is pleased to announce White Shadow, the first New York solo exhibition by Berlin based artist Natasza Niedziolka.
Natasza Niedziolka’s abstract fabric and thread works intuitively integrate enigmatic shapes and evocative colors. Following in the tradition of Dada artists such as Jean Arp, Niedziolka’s fabric panels embrace the irrational. While the artist’s use of quilting and sewing connect her work with historical, democratized expressive acts, Niedziolka decidedly rejects traditional craft-art guidelines such as functionality and pictorial coherence.
While her compositions are at times vaguely representational, it is Niedziolka’s technique itself that recalls the simplicity and clarity of folk-art. Though powerful, Niedziolka’s colors and shapes have a random, scavenged appearance to them like early American “crazy-quilts” which were mended and added to generation after generation, resulting in visually abstract records of time. Where her shapes do approach specificity, glimpses of Picasso-esque collaged, still-lives demonstrating his experimentation with stitching together common objects and substrates may be recognized as well.
On the harsher side of Niedziolka’s spontaneous technique, sometimes described as “punk painterly,” her work relates to Dada art-forms not only because of its close association with Arp, but also because of its deconstructed appearance. The work’s cut-and-paste quality makes reference to the aggression of collage promoted by radical interwar artists working in Berlin who cut and reassembled magazine and newspaper images. Particularly in works where thread bleeds from the fabric ground and where punctures are emphasized is this attitude most evident.
At times benign, at others aggressive, Niedziolka’s work demonstrates the complicated relationship between Fine Art and pedestrian materiality that artists continue to examine.
Natasza Niedziolka (b. 1978, Miedzychod, Poland) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Her work has been exhibited throughout Germany and Europe. White Shadow is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Horton Gallery.