1984 · Poland
Transforming the language of art history with a striking feminist flair, Polish artist Ewa Juszkiewicz offers a powerful commentary on the role of women as both artists and muses within the art historical canon.
Juszkiewicz often begins with a classical compositional trope from history: the stately portrait of a refined aristocratic woman, which would in history be symbolic of the peak culture and idealized beauty. Juszkiewicz uses her immense skill to conjure near replicas of these works, yet she subverts their original meaning by obscuring the individual likenesses of women with swaths of fabric, elaborate hairstyles, or even elements from nature. This cloaking adds an air of anonymity to these very formal works and encourages the viewer to consider more carefully what stories these women might tell. Equally unsettling as they are compelling, Juszkiewicz’s paintings make a powerful statement that shifts the conversation from a male gaze to a tantalizingly female one.
Juszkiewicz was born in Gdansk, Poland, in 1984.