Jarek Lustych

Above - below

"A truth without a lie and a thing certain is: what is above corresponds with what is below, and what is below is equal to what is above - able to bring a wonder of oneness".
Hermes Trismegistos Tabula Smaragdina

Most recent works of Jarek Lustych, made during 1999, can be treated as landscapes. Yet their spaces are not desolated but rather not populated. This is the world before the appearance of man, the world as it was just after divine "fiat!" In comparison to earlier works, which constituted author's personal theatre where parts were cast between mythological figures, mysterious characters, and enlivened plants this absence of any beings makes the change that is easiest to grasp. Essential theme of most recent compositions of Lustych are relations which find their visible expression in the colour schemes and spatial structures, and at the same time are a tangible expression of deeper, metaphysical meaning. Title "Above-below" refers to ancient formula used, among others, in esoteric writings, while relation between what surfaces and what lies underneath, problem of concealment and shining through, bring back to one's mind a neoplatonic tradition. In turn, a question of repeatability, which could become just monotonous, finds it's meaning as a rhythm - inseparable from biological existence of man and from persistence of nature. Artist's workmanship furthers these attempts to go around the secret and to reach it. Lustych works in traditional graphic technology - linocut. The matrix - cut out in linoleum with different tools (mostly burins and etching needles) - is spread with paint and printed on paper or tissue paper. One work consists of prints made from a few matrices in different colours. Semitransparent many-layered tissue papers create airy, very spacious compositions; layers intermingle with each other and create a picture full of understatements, void from peremptory explicitness of contours and forms, yet at the same time extraordinarily rich in visual and intellectual content. The fact of special importance is that the base layer of print is made of paper hand-woven by the author himself. It's not accident that this paper was used for presented series, which should be interpreted in cosmogonic context. Such interpretation of Lustych's works - as a story about creation of the world - is suggested also by the big size of papers, mostly more that 2 meters high (very rare in traditional graphics). Discreet expression of these works pulsating with faded colours determines their emotional character. All questions asked here are born from intense experiences and doubts, and answers seem to be presaged rather then conceived.
Urszula Makowska Translation: Marcin Stopa