Interview: Ursula Radel-Leszczynski
Luca Curci talks with Ursula Radel-Leszczynskil, winner of the Honorable Mention during the ITSLIQUID International Contest – 7th edition.
Ursula studied History of Art at Jagiellonian University in Cracow (diploma in Modern and Contemporary Art), which was followed by different studies (a. o. in Harvard, USA). She has been living in Vienna since long time, travelling extensively – especially to the Far East and to North America. She started her artistic career around 15 years ago, studying with Chinese artists ShanZuo Zhou and DaHuang Zhou, based in Chicago and widely known as Zhou Brothers and later continued her studies also with Markus Lüpertz (Ger) und Georg Brandner (Aut). One of the art critics wrote about her painting: “The pictures (…) are painted dynamically, on a grand scale. They emanate a wealth of colour and latent emotion. We enter a world of coloured stains, which suggest that space has given birth to something new, something worth recording. The artist constructs a pictorial space based on colour. The richness of colour does not come from a wide range of colours, but from her knowing how to put them together. She achieves a carefully thought-out and precisely linked construction of planes. Each ‘stain’ has its own logic, emotional and constructional. The paintings do not have formal geometry, but they certainly don’t lack structure, which comes from the twists and turns of the brush strokes. Each touch of the brush, contriving both breadth and synthesis, brings to the whole a character of unusual weight. It has a life of its own, and giving off an individual radiance it goes towards bringing about that overall harmony which can be likened to that of a musical symphony. A diversity of images arises from a palette of warm and cold colours whose rhythm, discreetly but unwaveringly, leads to a play of values. The range of values addresses the intellect; the range of colours expresses the emotions”.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Ursula Radel-Leszczynski – This is maybe a funny coincidence but I work currently on a large series called “Living in Venice” as Venice is going to be my second home now. The series of mostly rather larger paintings (like 130x100cm) is inspired by Venetian light and moods and although it is quite abstract, there is reminiscence of the city and its landscapes in every painting. The changing light fascinates and inspires me.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
UR-L – The most important and relevant parts of my background are the study of History of Art, in which I hold a Doctor of Philosophy degree, my numerous and very extended travels to the Far East and to USA and my participation in many master classes held by a duo of American painters of Chinese origin, known as Zhou Brothers. I have a great affinity for the Far East art and this influenced my art, especially in the early years. Now the influence of European art gets stronger, right now especially the fascination about Venetian painters of the baroque period.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
UR-L – Simple answer: exciting! And challenging! And you never get enough.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
UR-L – I wouldn’t really say that I’m very open to suggestions, but I’m very curious, which line of my art or which series finds appreciation of the visitors and I like hear how they see my paintings. Sometimes it is really surprising, when paintings, I’m less satisfied with, find not only appreciation but also a buyer. Some paintings I like so much, that I would like to keep them for myself, but if someone loves them as well and likes to buy, I let them go – sometime even as a gift.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in the society? And contemporary art?
UR-L – I’m not actually an artist, which likes to influence the society in any vanguard way. I’m bound to beauty in all its sometime surprising ways and this is my contribution to the society, which I like to share.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
UR-L – As I said, my inspiration comes from traveling but very often just from my imagination. I love also to see, what other artist create, which is always a motivation to walk my way. Right now Venice with its past and present is my favorite inspiration.