Rush is a plague of today’s developing society. The drive towards power, career, wealth deprives us of our sense of humanity in the pure, original sense. The endless quest, as if a cross-country race without a finishing line, does not incite a moment of stopping and contemplation. The way to achieve life harmony is being pointed by the Buddhist monks, whereas Robert Motelski’s works represent their artistic emanation.
Mindfulness, which is conscious awareness or complete presence in other words, renders the essence of art of the young artist educated in the capital of Poland. Still, in spite of appearances, the focus of his artistic interest is not man but the landscape which the human is the viewer of. For it is landscapes with their primeval, pristine beauty which are shown in the series of Motelski’s works. Observed and transferred to canvas with mindfulness worthy of eastern masters, they represent the things as they are, without irrelevant beautifiers and additions. Pure in its simplicity, the beauty of water, of a forest, of the mountains elicits tranquility and soothes the viewer. We almost tangibly feel the majesty of the faraway, snow-clad mountain tops and the sun rays peering through the tree canopies caress our faces. The reduction of landscape to the core of things, signs and symbols induces its transcendental quality.
The extraordinary harmony is achieved by Motelski owing to the means grounded in both contemporary, western representations, as well as the art and philosophy of the Far East .The rhythmics and almost mathematical subdivisions allude to the logics of Malewicz or Mondrian insofar as Japanese prints through modesty in colour and fascination by the power of nature. The prints - ukiyo-e, accurately called the ‘pictures of the floating world’, particularly at Hokusai’s, perfectly render the idea of continuity. Similarly, nature at Motelski’s, unchangeable in its character, persisting without human intervention, puts on a different dress depending on the season and day. The very words of the artist himself define exactly the kind of impression which accompanies him through watching an inspiring occurrence:’ Early in the morning, right after the sunrise, I got off the train at the railway station in Salzburg (…). By then you could see the spot where the gallery was located. Still, further above the city, there was a mountain range covered with snow, which remained solely in the higher parts of the mountains’. The sight of the mountain tops of Salzburg became the inspiration for Motelski to create the title painting of the exhibition “Mountains 16 January 08:06”.
The formal means applied by the artist are highly explicit – his art not only soothes but also performs therapeutic function and enhances spiritual development. The characteristics of the works is the habitual use of two kinds of paints to distinguish between the background and the most important elements. As a rule, he uses oil paint to accentuate the background, with broad brush strokes and matt colour schemes. The colour tonality is cool by the customary application of blue shades – navy blue, sky blue, also grey, more scarcely- bottle-green. He brings out the central composition by contrasts – frequently by white, black or red, as in “Campfire 18 June 22:55”. These most essential elements have rich texture, are painted with expressive brush strokes, distinctive against the even background, which is enhanced by the elaborate play of light.
It is worthwhile to observe an interesting measure connected with entitling the works. Accordingly, the title of each works encompasses the portrayed object and the date with the exact hour. However, it is the time of neither creating the painting nor observing a certain occurrence but a hypothetical timing for such an occurrence as it might have taken place. The painting “Breakwater 3 October 09:22”, vividly transfers us to this very autumn, cool morning at the seaside, at the time when the waves are crashing against the breakwater and the wind is blowing away the dunes. The supposition of a cool, seaside landscape is even more powerful owing to the title, which in the artist’s design was to indicate to the viewer what exactly the particular painting depicts.
Having seen Motelski’s painting, somebody said once that it could be a good idea to take it along to a visit to the dentist to calm yourself down and chase away the fear. The hypnotizing rhythmics of trees, regular reflections of the sun’s rays on the surface of water, hoarfrost attached to blades of grass as if by near divine logics – this is the secret of the soothing qualities of the artist’s works. ‘Up Close and Far Away – Silent Spaces’ – is a distant and majestic picture of nature, simultaneously as close as though within hand’s reach. The vibrating, unbroken silence fills up the canvas up to their edge, arouses the senses so as to take us to the world on the verge of abstraction and reality.
Early in the morning, right after the sunrise, I got off the train at the railway station in Salzburg. After many hours of travelling, I had given up waiting for a bus and decided to get on foot to the Sandhofer Gallery, where the opening of my exhibition was to be held the following day.Although it was about the first half of January, the weather felt rather spring like. I was just passing by the castle and the hill where the first settlement in the area used to be in the old days. I was standing in the place of the only highland above the level of the glacier which covered the whole valley at that time. By then you could see the spot where the gallery was located. Still, further above the city, there was a mountain range covered with snow. The blue-green sky merged with the mountains. Only a white line of snow, which remained solely in the higher parts of the mountains, stood out against the background. This is how the idea for a series of paintings came about. There is a photograph of the first one in the invitation for this exhibition. After some sketches, I decided to set matt, even blue colour of the sky and the mountains with the texturally and expressively painted snow line