Paulina Ołowska

born 1976

Paulina Ołowska is a painter, photographer, and performance artist; she produces collages, installations, neon signs, and assemblages. In her work she explores modernist utopias and combines research on the work of 20th century artists with her own creative activities, giving relevance to causes and ideas that we wrongly consider lost or obsolete. A characteristic feature of Ołowska's work is her interest in women's attitudes in art and the search for ‘foremothers’, hence her interest in Alina Szapocznikow, Maja Berezowska, and Zofia Stryjeńska, among others. She pays special attention is to stage artists, women who took risks, were committed and ambiguous, for example the actress Ewa Wawrzoń and dancer Krystyna Mazurówna, depicted in the paintings ‘Ewa Wawrzoń in costume from the play “Rhinoceros” (1961)’ and ‘I danced in front of Opera Ballet’. For Ołowska, their complex condition is the inspiration for defining the contemporary identity of the female artist. Through analysing the ways of constructing and consuming the images of woman in painting, Ołowska uses self-image practices and performance of the femininity of the artists portrayed as a reflection on the strategies of emancipation.

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