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Herd / Stado by Karolina Bielawska

Herd / Stado by Karolina Bielawska

Drawings, paintings, and text by Karolina Bielawska


“Do your paintings ever begin as drawings?”

“Yes,” replied the painter. “Always.”


In Herd / Stado, artist Karolina Bielawska reveals the endoskeleton and interstices of her painting practice, tracing the fricative flow of process from rarely seen works on paper through to finished, large-scale acrylic and bitumen canvases.

Designed by Damian Nowak, Herd / Stado materialized by way of Bielawska’s studio in Warsaw, its table rich in gleanings with piles of thick sketchbooks and scissored sheaves of small pencil drawings awaiting the artist’s jigsaw curiosity and persistence.

Bielawska is an intuitively exacting painter and constructor of sweeping assemblages: configurations of oversize canvases (the titular “herd”) fluidly scaling to the space in which they appear. They originate, however, as relative scraps on a tabletop, germinal figures uncoiling a centimeter at a time, never meant to advance beyond the atelier windowsill. The artist bends to them with the nearsighted focus of the quilter.

In a sequence of nine capsule texts detailing her process, Bielawska probes the doubt and discomfort of the development stage, from agitation to abrasion. Until all at once an updraft—elevation—provides aerial confirmation of the herd massing on the horizon. Thrilling to the core.

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