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Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olowska - Heavy Duty

14 April - 27 May 2001

Heavy Duty, Installation view.

This was the first museum exhibition of work by Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olowska. They met and became close friends in 1998 whilst on academic exchange from their respective Art Colleges in Scotland and Poland, and have since exhibited together and collaborated on a number of group projects in both countries.

Heavy Duty, Installation view.

HEAVY DUTY included new paintings, posters, sculptures, wall paintings and a video travelogue ‘Full Moon'. It embraced the ways in which the two artists work individually, and interact. For example McKenzie exhibited a painting which showed text against an abstract background image provided by Paulina; Olowska paints from photographs of paintings made and sent to her by Lucy. The exhibition even included paintings by Paulina's family - dating from ‘Nude' (1962) by Danuta Idzikowska.

Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olowska, Jo Linley Untitled, 1979 (family work)

The artists intentionally confuse the boundaries of categorisation - appropriation becomes personal; the referencing of postmodernism involves careless spelling. They pursue a vivid blurring of authorship and notions of intellectual property (Eastern European versus American Western European tastes), clearly dragging their affinities, family ties and provincialisms with them - kicking and screaming.

Rather than illustrating obvious differences between two women growing up under opposing political ideologies and different cultural references, they work closely together to create a marvellous, carefully multi-layered mediation between art and subject.

Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olowska, Krystina Suchwallo, still life, 1995 (family work)

This exhibition was supported by: The Cross Trust; The Polish Cultural Institute, London and The Scottish Arts Council. Special thanks to Cabinet Gallery, London and Scott McKenzie at Marblehead, Glasgow.

Lucy McKenzie

Lucy McKenzie

Paulina Olowska

Paulina Olowska

Paulina Olowska

Paulina Olowska

All works courtesy of the artists. 

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