medial 3. art biennial [2015]
Tamara Tarasiewicz. USA



1.Gone with the Wind, 1989 oil on canvas 90x134,5 cm., US $ 300,000.00.   2.Passion at the Moon Light, 1990 oil on canvas 90x134,5 cm., US $ 200,000.00.   3.Faces of Forest 1, 1999 oil and acrylic on canvas 71x96 cm., US $ 30,000.00.   4.Faces of Forest 2, 1998 oil and acrylic on canvas 71x92 cm., US $ 30,000.00.    5.Cry of Nature, 1988 oil on canvas 90x134,5 cm., US $ 100,000.00.    6.Spiritual Dimensions 1, 2009 oil and acrylic on canvas 71x91,5 cm., US $ 100,000.00.    7.Spiritual Dimensions 2, 2009 oil and acrylic on canvas 71x92 cm., US $ 40,000.00.    8.Spiritual Dimensions 3, 2009 oil and acrylic on canvas 71x92 cm., US $ 40,000.00.     9.MYSTERY OF PRIMEVAL FOREST, 1989 OIL ON CANVAS 89,5x136 CM, US $ 150,000.00.
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"I often intensify the colors to of nature and dramatize their shapes…"  Tamara Tarasiewicz

Over the past two decades, Polish-American artist Tamara Tarasiewicz has assimilated, developed and refined her own dialogue with color, line and structure to create her most recent complex series entitled Metaphors. Throughout the first decade, Ms. Tarasiewicz’s work transitioned back and forth from traditional representational art of the figure and landscape to abstraction, and back again. Viewing these works is somewhat unsettling. Her most current work is more resolved and cohesive as a mature body of work. This most current body of work is the culmination of her experimentation with all of these components. Her works are comprised of bold, colorful, predominately repetitive biomorphic forms reminiscent of the landscape and human figure. The artist assimilates not only her sense of color and form, but also eastern and western cultural influences.
Ms. Tarasiewicz creates dynamic forms with linear strokes of color, often enriching these forms with subtle nuances, such as shading forms with metallic paints. Vibrating staccato brush strokes provide a sense of volume and depth to many of these works. The work becomes even more engaging when the same forms go beyond their solid outlines and are elongated, diffused, combined, and juxtaposed. The artist transcends the solid notes and creates pulsating varied compositions that move and intertwine, creating complex scores. The replicated fractal elements of many of these works often replicate the composition of the whole. The repetition of form and pattern within the whole composition lends pieces constant rhythmic movement and a frenetic sense of metaphoric chaos.

(Denise A. Bibro – Art critic – Chelsea, NYC – 2009)

Tamara Trasiewicz was born in Northeastern Poland, near the Balowieza Forest, which is the largest primeval forest in Europe. This has inspired her since early in her painting career to focus on landscape and the natural world. While her most recent series, on the topic of spirituality, might seem at first glance like a divergence, it is actually very American, following in the tradition of writers such as Emerson and Thoreau, or artists such as Ryder and Georgia O’Keefe, who sought out the spiritual in nature.
This is particularly apparent in a piece like “Spiritual Phenomenon” in which the vague spirit figures are painted a brilliant blue, which simultaneously calls to mind the natural sky and the otherworldly space of heaven. At the center of a cluster of figures is one who is clearly marked as the ‘phenomenon’. She is the only figure seated, and there is a “beast at the level of her lap, which oddly resembles the traditional imagery of the Madonna and child. But this beast child is a symbol of nature itself, which takes its origins in heaven.
Jackson Pollock, another American artist, appears to be a more direct influence on Tarasiewicz. Her abstract backgrounds, composed of splotches of paint and swirling, often black lines, have much the same feeling as a late Pollock canvas. The feeling might be described as tremendous energy and a strong rhythm, which Pollock himself felt was an embodiment of the energy of nature. The figures, particularly the figure of the ’beast’, which recurs in Tarasiewicz’s other works, bears a striking resemblance to similar ‘beast figures in some of Pollock’s earlier work. Like Pollock, Tarasiewicz lays her canvases on the floor while she works them.
Tarasiewicz’s many spiritual influences and romantic leanings come through in some of her titles. “Travel in Dream Time” borrows the concept of dream time from the Australian aborigines. “Meditation” draws on Buddhist practice. “Woodland Spirit” is very pagan. “Fishing” suggests a form of economic sustenance which is more attuned with nature than modern factory work. “Follow Your Instinct” asserts the superiority of instinct and feeling over reason and intellect.
In keeping with these romantic leanings, other pieces suggest the archetype of the child. In “Spiritual Experiences”, instead of the beast being nurtured and petted, as it was in “Spiritual Phenomena”, two beasts are coming at the central figure like companions or playmates. The child is open to experiences, which are closed off to us as we become older. In the background, is pictured a simple house, which contributes to the impression that this is the sort of scene that a very young child might draw in school– of himself standing in front of his house with his two dogs. “Wandering Souls” pictures figures, whose arms and legs are spread wide, leaping into the air with a childlike abandon. The mix of bright primary colors contributes to the impression of a simpler time of life when people don’t yet perceive the world through a sophisticated palette or subtle nuances of shade.
Visually, this impulse towards the primitive finds expression in a strong reliance on the symbolism of the four elements: air, earth, water, and fire. The blue in “Spiritual Experiences”, suggests air; the children are leaping. The yellows, oranges, and reds of “Spiritual Unity” suggest the intensity of fire. From a spiritual point of view, fire is said to symbolize sacrifice, particularly sacrifice of the ego, which is what is said to lead to the experience of spiritual unity according to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The browns and greens of “Eternal Family Tree” suggest the earth, which is the source of our roots. The deep blues in a piece like “Shared Thoughts” is water, or the ocean, which is the seat of the unconscious mind. In this particular case, the unconscious mind is also the home of the Jungian archetypes, which are the thoughts which all humans share in common.
Another striking aspect of Tarasiewicz’s work is its communal nature. It’s to be expected that pictures titled “Gathering”, “Spiritual Reunion”, or “Shared thoughts” might have multiple individuals. But even “Meditation”, which people often associate as an inner, private experience or something practiced in isolation, is pictured as five people together. The simple pictures, uncluttered with detail, suggest universal man, rather than some specific person. That the figures blend into the background further takes away from any strong sense of individuality. The figures are in truth little more than a part of the larger pattern of the painting, just as humans themselves, it might be argued, are little more than a small part of the larger pattern of God’s creation.

(Anna Poplawska – Art critic – Chicago – 2008)