Dariusz Fiet   »

WYSTAWA: od 12 LIPCA do 28 Września 2006

Dariusz Fiet's painting is deeply rooted in tradition. There are a lot of motives, references to historical conventions and epochs. We can see head profiles originating from Egypt, glaze reliefs from the Ishtar Gate in Babylon, the Byzantine icon, mediaeval art, the Renaissance portrait and even surrealist motives from Magritte, minimalizm from Marc Rothko or op-art.

Following the instinct of form the artist searches in the sources which are defined and explicit. What is the purpose of these manifestations? Fiet seems to find in this kind of art an ideal combination of perfect consistent form and condensed expression, impressive mood. Dariusz Fiet's work is a testimony to his aesthetic enchantment with form, maintained by subtle sensitivity. As beyond the transparent values of realistic representation there is usually non-material value, unique, not always sacred spiritualism. In painting of the artist from Łódź what is suggestive or realistic harmonizes with the echo of abstract thinking which internally organizes these elements. Abstraction, considered in terms of the universalizing spiritual factor, evokes the phenomenon of metaphysicality of an object by means of its inconspicuous presence.

The forms of expression Dariusz Fiet mostly uses are also traditional - it is the portrait and landscape. Portraits are created, unreal. They are characterized by a kind of ‘unlike alikeness'. Even when the image presents a particular person, the painter searches for a synthetic shape for them, being a result of overlapping many observations, combining the features of objects into the expressive effect which defines their essential character. Transferred from the area of everyday phenomena motives do not freeze on canvas in a pose of indifferent austerity, they fascinate by their subtleness, they probably preserve something authentic left from the artist's first impression.

The images are somehow foggy, dusty, they remind gypsum casts, old reliefs rather than spacious objects, they are like relics of the past revealed from under the plaster. Structure of the image is also distorted, it is made to look old by the method analogous to graphic lift ground process. The images in the paintings are featured by unique magnetism, despite, or perhaps because of the fact that they are characterized by a kind of attractive mysterious malady. It seems that a kind of subtle aura permeates through figures or sometimes it is the figures that emanate their own intensive light. Images seem to live due to senses which are still alive, which we are to be convinced about by plastically distinct ears and eyes. That particular synthetism of form present in numerous portraits and nudes recalls the spirit of the icon. As the icon is satiated with the spirit of abstract art, it is the expression of the spiritual.

As Paweł Floreński said: The purpose of the icon is to introduce the viewer's awareness into the world of spirit, to reveal mysterious and supernatural phenomena. In my opinion these words might be referred to the whole creation of Dariusz Fiet. His landscapes are even closer to abstraction. Even those suggestive, most representational compositions do not touch realism in an explicit direct way. We will seldom find traditionally created depth there - if we feel it, it is due to some additional spectacular devices: repetition of a motive, a reflection, reference to the motive of mirage, sometimes a quotation, a kind of visual theatre in the theatre intented to deceive the eye of a viewer, like sheets of paper stuck - and actually painted on canvas. Sometimes owing to the distict monumental solid figure approaching us or a symbol exposed in the centre of a flat composition. Or due to an exceptional open character of the work, not closed within the borders of the picture but extending onto the frame, forming a kind of iconic kleimo.

In these paintings everything usually happens close to the surface, they lack depth, a variety of plans, points of reference. Space is painterly, marked by colour and light. What is more, the landscapes, especially those closer to abstract compositions, draw in like sand, bewilder and numb. In these paintings 'decorativeness' of some parts of a picture (as Dariusz Fiet's painting is undoubtedly decorative) stays in contrast with big planes of nothing. It is mainly abstract decorativeness, decorativeness of a mosaic or a carpet originating from the East; in its essence fantastic, evoking intoxication similar to the narcotic stupor.

The plane of a painting is ordered by geometry of drawn figures: first of all by hexagram, but also by other signs - mandorla, rhombus, triangle, the symbol of infinity. At the same time the composition, following the sources of inspiration, is still classical, central. Divisions of the plane are clear and distinct. No matter if the symbolic included in the paintings is used intuitively or consciously, it is very coherent, refers to a particular sphere of notions. It certainly manifests awareness of dualism, oppositional character of phenomena determining life, most of all those hidden in human relations. Hexagram comprises two triangles, signs of what is masculine and feminine, in Kabbalah this figure is the synthesis of those elements, a combination of masculine deity and feminine essence. It is rather not by accident that in one of the works the image of a child is drawn into hexagram. In the parable created by Dariusz Fiet numerous other references build the image of contrasts and opposites, refer to mutual completion and the necessary, often painful or forced synthesis. We observe among them the signs of the source and the beginning and at the other end the symbols of immortality and eternity.

Everything is ruled by God's omniscience, hidden behind the ‘third eye' - the symbol of the Greatest Mystery. The stream of life is full of hope for the expressed: durability, safety, fertility and maternity, and on the other hand it is always threatened by envy and hatred. In the antynomy of love and hatred there is some place for sensuality, indiscretion and provocation, but also for manifestations of pride and tendency of domination.

For Dariusz Fiet life is full of mystery. Its presence is not testified only by forms and the revealed symbols, the fact of presence of potentially interpretative signs is not essential. What is significant here is the artistic expression of elements which hide what is spiritual, the expression which - as tradition proves - can be achieved by painting.

Metaphysics of colour, the one based on culture and the artist's private one, is one of the factors which play a great role in creating such emotions. Dariusz Fiet's palette is full of glare and brilliance; silver and gold, colour of copper and brass, are maintained by greys and blues. They are the colours of the Middle Ages, attributes of universalising and metaphysical background of paintings and icons. They are often not only colours but just clear light, glaze that is to enlighten a contemplating person.

Antymonies observed in Dariusz Fiet's works - within which joy, love and fulfilment encounter on their way anxiety, hatred and the feeling of failure - create the vision of life with its elementary components and emotions. It is permeated by Mystery - the life itself, but also beauty, the past and the future, symbols and signs.

Art which Dariusz Fiet is concerned with and experiences is undoubtedly a genuine mature craft, and at the same time it is in a way unpretentious, naive (as it is sincere) and truly honest. For the artist the whole world seems to be painting. Dariusz Fiet covers small canvases with paints, however sometimes, like once the Renaissance artist did, he dares to fill huge planes of interiors with contemporary frescos. It is not only a manifestation of the painter's swagger and vanity, but perhaps his longing for great art. And the role of the artist in now historical past epochs, nostalgia for the time in which contact with metaphysics was the essence of life.

Dariusz Leśnikowski

Transl. Elżbieta Rodzeń-Leśnikowska