Marta Lech Geometry of Light
Geometry of Light is the title of Marta Lech’s solo exhibition at Vilnius Graphic Art Centre. The exhibition is a result of a continuous collaboration between Splitgraphic Biennial and Vilnius Graphic Art Centre that started in 2014 by alternating and exchanging contemporary print exhibitions of Lithuanian and Croatian printmaking artists in Split and Vilnius every two years.
Geometry of Light by Marta Lech is actually the first time we are jointly organising a solo exhibition by an artist who doesn’t represent our national printmaking scene. However, Marta Lech as an artist and printmaker is very much connected with Splitgraphic, and her work is embedded in the narrative of both of our organisations. She was awarded Grand Prix in 2013, held a solo exhibition and lecture in Split’s University library gallery in 2015. Her prints were shown in the Splitgraphic’s 2014 exhibition in VGAC titled Ten years of Splitgraphic biennial 2003-2013: a sustainable retrospective. Our intertwined story between Splitgraphic, VGAC and Marta Lech has brought us to the point of jointly organising this exhibition today titled Geometry of Light.
Marta Lech is a renowned contemporary Polish artist, printmaker and a teacher at The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw. Her work and approach to printmaking presents what is considered at Splitgraphic to be a contemporary approach to printmaking, since the biennial foundation in 2003. Splitgraphic has been aiming to support and promote visual graphic language of today and Marta Lech’s work is the paradigm of these contemporary printmaking tendencies. In her work she is combining and working in linocut, and now laser in her new print series, while creating a compelling imagery based on minimalistic artistic language. It is fascinating how she can capture and say so much mastering basic artistic language. Less is definitely more.
The exhibition Geometry of Light is putting together a series of older linocuts, and new print series artist created in recent years, using and experimenting with the laser technique. The new and the old series have one thing in common – the motive of light is always present and it remains the main preoccupation of the artist. The older exhibited cycle Light earned the artist an array of grand prix awards at numerous festivals of graphic art, and has subsequently made her one of the most significant artists on the contemporary printmaking scene, as her oeuvre only deserves.
Marta Lech’s achromatic linocuts are based on outlining objects and interiors with a beam of intermittent white light. She catches the rays of light in the matrix and describes it meticulously with with white dashed lines detailing the space and the objects on the black surface. It is a dialogue between the contemporaneity of the graphic sign and the traditional nature of the graphic technique. Prints are based on the opposition of the black background and white light creating architecture of recognisable interior elements. The imagery in each print is sensibly balanced on the verge of figurative and abstract.
Now in her new works she uses the already established graphic signs, but in a new technique where the light constructs the geometry of architectural solids, developing and rendering the objects abstract. These are stripped surfaces and planes depicting light on a black background. What before she made with her hand and chisel, now in her newest prints she considers the relationship with the mechanical possibilities of image generation. She transferred the nature of linocut cutting to a laser-made matrix, using relief-printing techniques, deliberating the aesthetics of manually created structures in relation to her own creative practice.
Geometry of Light is showing us, the public, all these evolving stages in her oeuvre detailing the continuity and rethinking of one’s own printmaking processes. Marta Lech’s work has always been about the creation of the graphic print as well as about the final outcome of this creative and technical process. She is the modern master of the multi-originality of printmaking art based on sign creation, reproduction, methodical approach and minimalistic aesthetic exquisiteness.