Monika Grzymala’s spatial drawings are site-specific and work in dialogue as much with the architecture of the buildings they inhabit, as with the larger context that surrounds them. Having first trained as a sculptor, Grzymala quite naturally sees the potential for three-dimensionality in her drawings. While her installations may appear as mostly formal works made of reflective or opaque lines that project from the walls and quite literally modify the space, they act more as metaphors for a mental state, or even, for the ethics of relationships – the ones that connect us to others, to the environment and to ourselves in a web of interdependence. Guided by a room’s unique characteristics, Grzymala’s work process is grounded in awareness and sincerity. What she perceives and feels is translated in the work through a back-and-forth movement between her interiority and external factors that present themselves to her, guiding her sensitivity.
Working alone, Grzymala nuances her projects according to her physical abilities. The works are marked by the parameters of her own body. Her height, strength, resistance to fatigue, speed of execution, and concentration are all factors that affect the final result. Which is just one step in a long learning process, as each project informs the next to form a long continuum of work. The ephemeral nature of her art speaks to the impermanence of all things. Sometimes altered by gravity, the work adapts, and once dismantled, the material exists as a potential for new forms.
As we come into the Salle Harnois, we enter a mental landscape, an unfolding force field. Grzymala thinks of drawing as thought in motion, where body and mind are synchronized. Here, thought should be understood in the broadest sense to include affective states and physical states. For her installation at the Musée de Joliette, Grzymala was inspired by the river that runs in front of the Museum, and in particular how its flow is ruptured, triggering a sudden change of energy from calm to rushing. This two-stage existence is reflected in the drawing’s design, where a foam-capped expanse extends into an immense, turbulent mass that engulfs the room. The rhythm of the piece, so closely linked to the artist’s gestures, is an important element of her work. Here, it takes on a specific connotation as the drawing’s lines create trajectories that ricochet in every direction, like water droplets falling into a void. But more than just the simple representation of a river, the installation is an experience that evokes reality by engaging our senses and our body as a whole.
© Monika Grzymala, Raumzeichnung (bubble), ongoing installation, Musée d’art de Joliette, 2018.
Credit: Vanessa Fortin
Courtesy of the artist.
Monika Grzymala was born in Poland in 1970 and lives and works in Berlin.
Her works have been featured in solo exhibitions in numerous international exhibitions and site specific projects, notably at the 18th Biennale of Sydney (Australia), MoMA Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA), Des Moines Art Center (Iowa, USA),The Morgan Library and Museum (New York, USA), Arsenal contemporary art Montreal (Canada), Tokyo Art Museum (Japan), Reykjavik Art Museum (Iceland), Albertina Museum (Vienna, Austria), The Bluecoat (Liverpool, UK), Arter space for art, Istanbul (Turkey), The Drawing Room London (UK), The Fruitmarket Edinburgh (UK), MSK Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent (Belgium), Lisson Gallery London (UK), Kunsthalle Hamburg (Germany), Marian Goodman Gallery (New York, USA), The Drawing Center New York (USA).
The artist’s recent public commission with a 25-meter high, permanent sculpture Helix – Raumzeichnung Uppsala opened in February 2018 in the Atrium of Hubben in the Science Park in Uppsala (Sweden).
Visit the artist’s website for more information.