White plays a central role (at XX1)

Almost simultaneously with the opening of Koji Kamoji's exhibition of white paintings at the Foksal Gallery, a completely white exhibition by Andrea Gregson and Lise Kjaer emerged in the XX1 Gallery. Two such exhibitions focus on white doesn't perhaps yet establish a new aesthetic movement, but it is certainly a nice anti-doses to the over colored world of concurrent pop culture.

Lise Kjaer has situated white letters on the white walls of the gallery that generate a text taken from Albert Einstein, Ralph W. Emerson, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. The texts function in a more than discreet way as it vanishes into the background on which the letters have been placed and secondly are partially incomplete - some of the letters lie as fallen leaves on the floor underneath the wall. It is, however, possible to comprehend that the quotations carry a very positive message with it about trust, friendship, inner harmony and the overcoming of fear. All things you really couldn't talk about in a vociferous language/manner.

The work by Andrea Gregson takes form as a several meter long box placed on eye level in the middle of the room. One can look into the interior through openings at both ends and through a series of viewing holes along the long walls. Inside you see a miniature hallway (the interior walls covered with a soft white fabric) filled with white objects. They remind you of medical vessels, reshaped human inner organs, or abstracted sculptures.

Inside this hallway, which you obviously cannot enter, a sterile silence appears, almost scary at times. The interior is without doubt very aesthetic, even elegant, and the scare is (almost) not present.

The third work is in a small separate space in the gallery, arranged by Lise, in such a way that it gives you the possibility to undertake light therapy. Lamps with special colored filters are placed underneath the ceiling. One can sit on one of the arranged pillows on the floor surrounded by a chosen color and succumb to the healing waves of the light. This space is completely white and staying in a way substitutes the entrance to the miniature hallway by Andrea. In any event, its imaginatively presented as a possibility.

Gregson and Kjaer met in the 90s at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Lise, a Danish artist, was then the assistant to Prof. Jacek Dyrzynski, and the British artist Andrea was at a scholarship working in the studios of Adam Myjak, Miroslaw Duchowski, and Krzysztof Bednarski. Both artists showed their works at different occasions while in Poland at the time.

Although in recent years Andrea lives and works in London, and Lise in New York, the two kept in such a close contact they decided to prepare an exhibition together in Warsaw. The works by Lise and Andrea at XX1 correspond to one another in several ways. The visual element uniting the two is obviously white, which in this show fluctuates between a harmonic peace and a quiet anxiety. But white is also the sum of the entire color spectrum, and the sphere of its possibilities therefore potentially without limits.

Another sphere of inter relation between the works are the operations in the different spaces and the presentation of the show as a rather untypical interpretation of the gallery space. The letters placed by Lise Kjaer in the large room are adjoined unto the surface of the wall in a way that they do not appear flat anymore, but achieve a new more sensitive surface. The walls appear as if softened, a bit unreal perhaps, as part of the artistic language and not just as the physical limitations of the space. Whereas Andrea Gregson's box can be viewed as a smaller, spatial model of the gallery space, in which the same model is situated. In this way, what we see through the viewing holes become thereby as if the gallery space was filled with Andrea's sculptures, a model of the exhibition that presents precisely the concept and all the details of it. It allows for the imagination to set sails and liberates one from a focus on the realization behind the work as it is presented in its full scale (scale and expenses). The interventions in the spaces are also partially liberated from the material limitations.

The most important trail of meaning in this exhibition is perhaps the use of healing lamps in the room with pillows and the suggestive medical context in the gathered forms in the miniature hallway. It presents a suggestion of social therapy by the use of white and light. A therapy that doesn't just aspire to instant results but functions as a gradual and long-term activity.

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski

Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski
Andrea Gregson, Lise Kjaer, "Transformacja", galeria XX1, Warszawa, 26.08-17.09.2005, fot. Grzegorz Borkowski