Sadness and loss are the two overwhelming emotions that the prints of artist Krystyna Marek-Swiecicki bring to her current show in Alexandria. "Polish Visions," a collection of 22 lithographs, reveal the artist's heartfelt impressions of her native country.
In 1980, before martial law was imposed, Marek-Swiecicki vacationed in Poland. From this trip came the photos that would provide the images for the lithographs in her exhibit. Trees that once represented a peaceful landscape have turned into barbed wire, an intentional deviation created by the artist. The feeling of entrapment is a theme carried in each print. Specifically in "Stairs and Doors to Nowhere," Marek-Swiecicki successfully engulfs the viewer in a scene that is of nightmarish quality. Steps lead to doors that look only to rows of barbed wire. "This is my most important work in the show," Marek-Swiecicki said. She said it represents the hopes created by Solidarity that were then daunted by martial law.
Each print is done only in black and white. The somber mood represents Marek-Swiecicki's current impressions. "When I think of Poland, I think in black and white only. When I do prints of America, I do them in color." The artist has chosen to do an entire exhibit on Poland because of her strong feelings about the violence and lack of freedom in that country.
Marek-Sweicicki uses a process that involves the reproduction of photographs in black and white positive-negative lithograph prints. The technique is enhanced by the artist's repetition of images. She works with 10 other printmakers in a large studio that overlooks the Potomac at the Torpedo Factory. Having lived in the United States for the past 30 years, she has made a place for herself as an artist.
"Polish Visions" at Printmakers, Inc., Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, from today to Oct. 1. For more information, call 683-1342.
The Arlington Arts Center, "Three Exhibitions/Painting," Sept. 9 to Oct. 7.
The Falls Church Players will present "Silly Soup," Sept. 15 to 17. For more information, call 532-1287.