Born in 1990, Poland
Lives and works in Kraków, PL
Emilia Kina graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (2010-2015). Kina’s artistic practice primarily revolves around painting and photography. She is interested in the materiality of the image, a simple form arising from complex problems, where the essence lies in the relations between painting as an image and painting as an object. Recalling screens, curtains and blinds, which like a room divider conceal the view, her works play by intertwining various sensory and interpretive layers. At first they unfold the aesthetic level, dominating over the linguistic or analytical meaning; as the viewer observes the subjects they are rendered delicate, soft, linear, pleasant, even sensual by the colours and materials used. In her recent works, Kina reflects upon the notion of gaze as a source of joy and terror, a virtual transition to the private fantasies of the observer. The artist consistently pursues the curtain motif in a clear reference to Leon Alberti's renaissance concept of painting as a window to the world. She is fascinated by trompe-l'œil and she plays with the idea of visible and hidden which twist our perceptions of what is real or not real, and what is seen or not seen. In her practice, Emilia Kina often refers to the elements and theoretical concepts of traditional painting. Her artistic process reminds the manipulated canvases of the Italian neo-avant-garde masters. Kina, however, carves and constructs her relief compositions as they emerge from a wavy loom. She does not render extroflections by shaping and filling the work from the inside, but by working on it externally, modelling the wood and showing its subtle stratifications through nuances of colour and contrasts of light and shadow. Thus, the artist not only acts on the first level of visual perception, but also indicates the meticulous technique that she uses between painting and craftsmanship of the clippings and waves created in the material. These cut-outs and movements rhythm the surface of each single work. Through creation of a spatial expansion towards the outside of the canvas, the artist pays attention to the internal function of the painting, its pure plasticity, and material beauty. At the same time, a kinetic illusion of subtle colour gradients makes the surface unconstrained by two dimensions and contributes to the painting’s temporal and narrative properties, making it strongly representational. Emilia Kina has recently exhibited at Raster Gallery in Warsaw, Stefan Gierowski Foundation in Warsaw, National Museum in Gdańsk, Polish Institute in Düsseldorf, Eve Leibe Gallery in London, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London, Grey House Gallery in Cracow, as well as during international art fair such as Artissima in Turin, Felix Art Fair in Los Angeles and NADA Miami.