The exhibition is retrospective. The most important works of prof. Jacek Rykała from the last 20 years, but about 1/3 of the paintings are new paintings, including those presented for the first time at the exhibition in the Center.
The melancholy that permeates Rykała’s painting is occasioned by a disinherited person’s longing for what he/she has lost but also by a desire to find for melancholy an adequate form of expression, a form that would enable him/her to get closer to the past and find the future in it. For the present in which we live is always multidimensional and, according to Saint Augustine, means both “the present of things past, the present of things present, and the present of things to come.”2 Rykała, who undertakes a laborious task to record in his art the traces of the past and the crumbs of what passes, discovers the extraordinariness of banal, seemingly uninteresting places: gardens overgrown with weeds, poor working-class houses, neglected backyards, city alleys, murky gateways and cobblestoned streets. These are enclaves of the past from which life fled a long time ago yet they persistently continue to exist despite the passage of time and oblivion into which they have fallen. (…) Rykała’s painting should not be treated as documentary records of specific places but as an expression of delight over the magic emanating from neglected and sleazy city alleys of Zagłębie. This marvelous beauty is expressed through a luminous brightness that floods these places. But it can also be seen in such seemingly common objects as: shabby benches, fences full of holes, clothes lines with linen getting dry in the wind, rickety gates, beaten pavements, gardens covered in burdock, and cars whose makes take us back to the times of the People’s Republic of Poland. It can thus be seen in all those remains of the past which make the places we see for the first time look strangely familiar bringing back childhood memories and stories once heard or read.
Violetta Sajkiewicz, The shine of a black sun
Jacek Rykała graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, the Department of Graphic Arts, in 1976. He is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice where he heads the Studio of Fine Art Painting.