Department of Painting and Sculpture
Academy of Fine Arts, Wroclaw 2011
When in March of this year I received the documentation for judging the doctoral disserta-tion by Mrs. Katharina Hartmann-Goldyn at our academy, the first I did was to weigh the huge box filled with thick folders and theoretic works.The weight of the documentation confirmed my curiosity and admiration of the creative diligence and pedagogic work as well as the conscientiousness the candidate used for realizing her doctorate procedure.The result was over 13,5 kg! So we see a heavy-weight – like in sports. When I was looking thro-ugh Mrs. Goldyn’s works page after page (pictures, drawings, objects, photos of exhibitions and vernissages etc.), I was observing not a servile, but a courageous and unbelievably honest art. This art is predicating about its author that artistic work is joy, play and a spontaneous act of creation to him.
Get Stankiewicz once told me it wasn’t good for an artist to have a so-called “ass cramp” (i.e. to be hounded). I think this accurate maxim should hang on the wall in any artist’s work-shop. Of course, there are different kinds of creation – it can be more or less spontaneous, precise, chiselled or deliberately cause the impression of not being accepted. There is also a dedicated, spiritual and combative art; moreover, a purely hedonistic one. Each artist is using the kind he has discovered and developed for himself. Certainly, honesty in art is im-portant – like in blues. Once a musician said:”If you aren’t honest, you don’t exist from the beginning..” I can assure you all that Mrs. Goldyn takes her work seriously and without this … so, denomination by Get.
I call Mrs. Goldyn’s art honest and fresh, she herself calls it”utopian”, since she entitled her dissertation as follows:”Utopia in Painting – Social Utopia as Inspiration in Painting”. Basically, these two definitions are lying very close together; nevertheless, Mrs. Goldyn is precising the meaning of this term “Utopia” in her theoretic doctoral dissertation. In the 16th century, Thomas More, called Morus, invented and launched the word “Utopia”- in a negative sense, i.e. as work without a purpose, as an idea that needs failure, as visionariness. In the 20th century, however, this term revived and became popular; its meaning has com-pletely changed. Since this time, utopia has existed as maxim for artists who aspire after modern age, reject anything old and wish to leave the old things “on the other side of the river”. Of course, this reminds us of the manifest”The Bridge”. A hundred years ago, already, the philosopher from Breslau – Ernst Cassirer – (cited in Mrs. Goldyn’s dissertation) said: “Utopia is not a portrait of real life, nor of the order of political and social reality. It exists at no moment of time and in no point of space. That is NOWHERE. Nevertheless, when modern times have developed, such sign NOWHERE has proved its power and passed the test’
Mrs. Goldyn admits that artists like Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer and Francisco Clemente have had a large influence on the formation of her artistic personality – Beuys, for example, because of his social art and his constant efforts for social culture and ecological awareness. Being a dedicated artist has high priority for Mrs. Goldyn as well as for Beuys. She is te-aching art, contributing to the integration of the artistic milieu, taking care of the situation of mentally ill people and criticizing politicians’ behaviour. To Mrs. Goldyn, Anselm Kiefer is also a socio-critical artist – again and again, he reminds the Germans of their disreputable history. Francisco Clemente, painter of Italian “Arte Cifra”, in turn made her understand what it means to pair with art – so to use unlimited liberty from acquisition of culture. She is excellently realizing the tuition of the artists loved by her, but is adding individual values and her own world – in a very personal, autobiographic, thoughtful and dreamful way, but covered aggressively with paint – with dissonances of the compositions and with dynami-cally used spatial elements consisting of branches, plastic toys, rubber gloves, bras and ligh-ted bulbs. In her pictures, she mostly shows her own person or her head centrally, axially or monumentally, often as grotesque or fairy-tale picture – as a sprite or a g host? There are also pictures with a very strong composition or sexual scenes of two abstract persons who cannot be clearly attributed to the male or female gender. That’s the way Mrs. Goldyn’s pic-tures are. Here I mention some titles:”Forest Impression” (2010),”Prayer to Goddess” (2009/2010), Cycle called “Five Wishes for Shaman” (2010), “Self-Portrait” (2009/2010) or “New Man” (2010).
I am always delighted about creations like those by Mrs. Goldyn. Her creation belongs to spontaneous art of the 20th century, to artists like Pollock, Dubuffet, Niki de Saint-Phalle, the group COBRA and Art Brut. Mrs. Goldyn is continuing those artists’opus and is almost a lonely island among a lot of trends of contemporary art – a “Good Utopia”. In our times of dominating electronic sculpture or the mass figuration acc. to Tuymans, special admiration and real recognition is therefore due to painter Goldyn.
Prof. Zdzistaw Nitka Dept. Painting and Sculpture Academy of Fine Arts, Breslau 2011