Event Details


12/07/2019 - 25/07/2019

‘ABACA’ is Wioletta Kulewska’s second solo exhibition and presents six new works created during a residency in the former industrial city of Barreiro, outside Lisbon, in Spring 2019.

The series continues Kulewska’s experimentation in abstraction, in which each of six canvases presents gently geometric forms set against a subdued background. Some of these coloured shapes appear as if folded like paper or cloth, as three-dimensional objects, or as delicately crenelated forms. The shapes seem to float in ‘infinite’ space, reminiscent of the Russian Suprematist painters, the art movement founded by Kazimir Malevich, who frequently used “the white” to represent a state of transcendence.

Drawing on constructivist painting, the specificity of each shape’s design approximates human technology and industrial purpose, whether as garment cloth, machine patterns or printing tools, but these forms also suggest a human playfulness and movement, or perhaps a primitive, dream-like language.

Abacá, the title of the exhibition, derives from the abacá plant, originating from the Philippines and used in industry as a major source of high quality fibre prior to the introduction of synthetic textiles. A material used in cordage, hatmaking, teabags, carpeting, clothing and furniture, abacá featured prominently in the city of Barreiro, the site of Kulewska’s residency, before it was phased out with the city’s deindustrialisation in the early 1970s.

- text by Andrew Gow


Wioletta Kulewska
Born in Poland, 1980
Lives & works in Valletta, Malta

Wioletta Kulewska is a Polish painter and designer who has lived and worked in Valletta, Malta since 2009. A graduate of Fine Arts from the Opole High School of Arts, the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, and the London Metropolitan University, Kulewska went on to complete the painting in contemporary practice course at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, 2017.

In 2018 Kulewska was selected for the Slade’s educational residency in contemporary painting. Currently, she is part of the Turps painting correspondence course for the 2018/19 programme. In Spring 2019, she took part in the Turps | PADA art residency in Lisbon, Portugal.

Kulewska finds inspiration through an intense engagement with nature and the everyday. Her practice is led by both the study of natural phenomena, like fossils, through close forensic studio observation; and from-life landscape and figurative painting that shifts between intimate representation and occasional abstraction. Although mainly painting-focused, Kulewska employs a broad range of materials like print reliefs, found objects, paper cut-outs, or un-stretched canvases. She often experiments by layering oil paint with different materials on the canvas. Kulewska’s design roots bring emphasis to the pleasure of form, shape and colour in paint.

Event Details

  • Venue: Malta School of Art | Upper Gallery | 106 Old Bakery Street | Valletta
  • Opening: Friday 12th July 2019, 6:00pm - 9:00pm 
  • Exhibition Dates: 15th July – 26 July 2019
  • Times: Monday to Friday; 8:00am - 12:30pm, 
  • Friday 19th & 26th July 6:00pm - 8:00pm



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Wioletta Kulewska