Blum & Poe is pleased to present Fertile Plate, London-based artist Magdalena Skupinska’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Skupinska’s work draws from modernist traditions of biomorphic abstraction, arte povera, and minimalism to facilitate a reconnection with the essential multi-sensory experiences that stimulate the basis of our being. Deeply rooted in her surroundings, Skupinska’s work draws from a process of research and experimentation into the flawed, but present, symbiotic relationship between human and non-human forces in our shared world.
The artist created this body of work as a collage of feelings, ideas, places, and sensations that manifested through intuition and stream of consciousness. Skupinska cites literature discussing flora, botanical medicine, and her own day-to-day relationship to plants as a major inspiration for her work. The resulting paintings are viewed by the artist as a collaboration between herself and the natural world.
Skupinska’s abstract compositions emerge from the coming together of dynamic hues of paint formulated by the artist with purely organic materials, free of artificial substances. When concocting her paints, Skupinska’s ingredients range from ginkgo biloba, blue spirulina, to activated charcoal, and her selection is guided by varying intentions. A decision could be provoked by a color, a healing or nourishing property of a plant, the artist’s personal relationship with a plant, a texture, a scent, or simply intuition. Often, the different qualities—hue, meaning for the artist, or consistency—of disparate plants come together to create a single image.
Time plays an important role in the creation of these works. Only when her paint dries does Skupinska know the true color of her paints due to her natural paint-making process. Even still, some paint mixes undergo a maturation process long after their application. Tests and experimentations are necessary to find the right botanical blend. Color is also of paramount importance to Skupinska in that it reflects the essence of the plants and their respective multi-sensory elements. In emphasis of the role that color plays in her work and its inherent relationship to the natural materials within her paints, Skupinska also stains the wood of her frames with corresponding plant mixes. This exhibition unites the artist’s encounters with the natural world—cataloging her endeavors as a botanist and relaying her musings on the symbiosis between humans and plants.
Magdalena Skupinska (b. 1991, Warsaw, Poland) completed her BA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, London, UK and her MA in Painting at Royal College of Art, London, UK. She has participated in residencies at Selebe Yoon, Dakar, Senegal; Fundación Casa Wabi, Oaxaca, Mexico; La Ira de Dios, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL. Her work has been the subject of international solo exhibitions and a monograph released in 2022.