Marta Nadolle — Not Looking for Adventure

24.08 — 14.09.2019

Opening: Saturday, August 24th, at 7pm

Is there still room for romantic love in our world today? Or, at the very least, a relationship founded on honesty? This is the question artist Marta Nadolle has asked herself as she places the pursuit of true love at the centre of her latest paintings, which are of a characteristically autobiographical nature.

These relatively small-scale, subtle images depict the life of a young woman in a big city of great possibilities. Like many of its residents, she arrived here from a small town in search of adulthood. Over the years, she makes the effort to conform to the customs and rituals of the city. The longer she lives here, the more she feels alone and rejected. She often describes herself as ‘old-fashioned’ because of how much her emotional life means to her and her desire for a stable union. This desire has grown to obsessive proportions.

“Not looking for adventure” is a sentence that Nadolle comes across quite a bit as she’s swiped through dating sites over the years: sympatia.pl, tinder, badoo and zaadoptujfaceta.pl (trans: adoptaguy.pl). Its connotation suggests that the person behind a given profile is ready for a stable relationship based on intimacy. However, regular users of such sites and apps scoff at the sentiment, relegating it the musings of ‘losers’ and ‘desperate, naïve young women’.

“For a certain time, I thought that when someone was putting these words in their description and confirming that what they were looking for was a stable relationship, then that would be the case. I hoped that stability with someone close by your side wouldn’t be treated like a stereotypical, unsexy sort of thing. Unfortunately, most people are afraid of the mundane, the normal, and conversations about feelings ruin their fun. Most relationships have brought me nothing but disappointment, they were all empty, fleeting and without any feeling. Perhaps I’m not suited to this ‘modern’ reality”, the artist says of herself.

Marta Nadolle’s paintings show her getting ready to go out, on her way to meet a date, in the middle of a kiss, making love, waiting for a phone call, thinking about what was about to happen or what has happened up to this point. Each new encounter brings on hope and, ultimately, disappointment. The background to her imagery is the Warsaw of today, but with a quiet, provincial tone about it. There’s no bustle or rush of innovation. The only clue we have to indicate that these scenes are happening ‘here and now’ are the lit-up screens of mobile phones, plasma televisions and electric scooters.

Captured in a picture-postcard format, often with a frame around them, with modest compositions painted on thin panels, these works are reminiscent of votive painting and folk art. Today, naive art is marginalised to a great extent, set outside of the current trends, not very popular. The state of rejection is close to the artist’s heart as someone who’s not quite at home in our time. And so, she creates her own world, woven out of broad stretches of colour and subtle emotion, in order to feel at home.

Marta Nadolle (born 1989) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 2014 she received a honour’s diploma in the Painting studio headed by Professor Jarosław Modzelewski and the studio of Art in the Public Space headed by Professor Mirosław Duchowski. The topics she addresses in her art feature: love, alienation, adolescence, intimacy and personal relationships, human emotions.
The most recent show of her works was at the exhibition ‘Paint, also known as Blood’ at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.