Agnieszka Cieślińska (PL)

Agnieszka Cieślińska (PL)

Polish artist Agnieszka Cieślińska’s black and white etchings are often reminiscent of artworks from the 15th century, when printing was perfected and art was made affordable to ordinary people through the sale of inexpensive decorative prints.

The pieces feature motifs such as cages, torture devices, horned devils and hell fires, further pointing the viewer towards renaissance etchings.

The pieces might seem a bit distant, referring to times long past, both thematically and stylistically, but they have a distinct and recognizable style. The cultural and historical scenes of Cieślińska’s works, such as the ones of torture and captivity, are an attempt to highlight contemporary humans’ need for continuity between past and present.

Agnieszka Cieślińska (PL)

While they may not always show themselves in such obvious ways, especially in western societies, the themes that the artist selects remain important and relevant until today. Furthermore, history is essential in shaping our own times’ art, as we draw from this collective cultural unconscious when developing our own ideas, which are always in part connected to the past.

The scenes that Cieślińska presents happen on a black background and create a circular form, with her protagonists’ bodies themselves often posed in ways that maintain this effect. The artist creates patterns, sometimes even with ornamental designs, that remind the viewer of the originally decorative purposes of the old prints she references.

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