Gallery With A Cause - Current Exhibit
Agata Kijanka was born in Central Europe, immigrated to the U.S. at a very young age, and settled for a long time in Washington State. She received a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from The Evergreen State College, with a focus on filmmaking and creative writing. She is intensely interested in the creative process and has explored a wide range of creative expression, including painting, photography, graphic design, various types of writing, video production and editing, and digital painting and image manipulation. These varied pursuits have, each in their own way, informed her abstract painting, which she has now been committed to for over a decade.
Agata fell in love with the Southwest during a road trip at the age of twenty. Eventually, she moved to Santa Fe, NM in 2008. Energized by the beautiful, bright and open surroundings, and an abundance of art galleries, she dove into serious experimentation and exploration of her materials and techniques, and found her voice for her first body of work, Creation Stories. In 2012, Agata moved to Arizona. Her time there included two years in Sedona, where she was represented by Sedona Arts Center Gallery. She moved back to NM in 2016, and now resides and paints in Albuquerque. Agata has sold work to collectors in the U.S. and abroad, including England and New York City.
The cold wax paintings that I’m showing at Gallery With a Cause are the early stages of an exciting new direction I’m taking in my work. For seven years prior, I had created bold, glossy abstracts to celebrate the beauty created by nature’s destructive and creative forces. While nature remains my main inspiration, my new work is about nature as sanctuary. As such, I’m embracing more muted, natural, and earthy imagery. While my work is still very layered, and still created through both additive and subtractive techniques, I’m making softer feeling, matte paintings using cold wax mixed with oil paint, powdered pigments, marble dust, and earth-based materials like volcanic ash. These are quieter palettes and compositions, and I’m looking to this work as a way of creating feelings of stillness, recharging, grounding, and peace. My plans for the remainder of the year are to go much bigger in scale and explore this all in a more powerful way by bringing what I’ve learned to a much larger surface. I’m exploring ideas for one or two collections of large work for 2019.
For me, making art is very much about the process of creating something of beauty, but it is also transformative. It has been, and remains, a spiritual practice of mindfulness, flow, and letting go into a natural, open state of non-judgmental and inquisitive seeing and responding. It is a type of meditative state for me.