A vast, seemingly boundless plain forms the ground for the action: As if from nowhere, dark figures appear on the picture surface, emerging, as it were, from their deep levels, from layers rich in nuances in light white or hazy gray, leaving plenty of room for their presence, for their story.Polish-born artist Leszek Skurski, who studied at the Gdansk Academy of Art, repeatedly devotes his monochrome painting to figurative narrative. In his works, he depicts many small and large stories that remain open on all sides. They are images of standstill, of pausing and remaining in an action, out of an attitude, which he captures in concentrated form and narrative density. Many evanescent moments of an existence or togetherness are captured on the canvas: like excerpts from a sequence, like snapshots between their appearance and disappearance. In this way, they are reminiscent of film stills or still images that reveal a content, a character, or a mood.
That is to say: they refer to a scene that began outside the representation and continues there, that is captured in the picture, that comes to rest here, so to speak. In this sense, the artist today, in the times of rapid floods of information and images, concentrates again and again on the "one" image that tells a whole story. In doing so, he shows many things from a distance and thus gets particularly close to what is happening. He renders his subject from a distance in small, sometimes blurred views that sharpen the eye for the whole, for the concrete. In the works of Leszek Skurski, which have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe, the USA and South Africa, the image of man is always at the center of the representation. From the beginning, his interest has been in the 'living being', initially still in large form and strong color, in shadowy physicality.
Today his figures are reduced to the essential: To a vanishingly small black figure in expressive posture and gesture, taken out of their surroundings, rendered in an environment that is sometimes only fragmentarily hinted at, but for the most part completely blanked out. And this in favor of a largely object-free surface, which spreads out on the canvas in bright painting, rich in shades. Above all, the non-color white, which is at the same time the sum of all the colors of light, occupies an increasingly large space in his paintings: it works here in a multi-layered way, open to many projections. For white embodies not only emptiness and nothingness, stillness or silence, but also the spiritual, intangible, unknown or undiscovered: something not visible, absent, which sensitizes perception and points to what is present. Against these backgrounds, everything focuses on the center: on the protagonists appearing individually or in groups, moving freely on the surface and yet always grounded, taking up space and forming it at the same time.
Thus they appear on the stage of life in strong contrasts of light and dark, lonely together, isolated from the others or in close connection with each other. Here, in these abstract worlds, his small-figure scenes appear in varying narrative contexts that reveal themselves depending on the perspective. On view are various scenes to be "perceived" of the everyday or non-everyday, reflecting much that is familiar and trivial, but also unique or spectacular and provocative. Among other things, they show a "meeting" and an "interview", they present a "date", a "parade" or an "arrival" and they introduce a "help" and a "warning". Again and again, pictorial worlds emerge that reflect something seemingly inconspicuous, something interpersonal, and at the same time question it cryptically. Scenes of a convivial gathering or of isolation, of relaxation or alienation, of observation or surveillance, of trust or conspiracy. All these images condense a reality that can be viewed from several sides. They all bear witness to something visible, while leaving plenty of room for the invisible. As it were, the stories of the artist, who lives and works in Germany, seem to be from another time, from a distant land, and yet always timeless or placeless. They seem taken out of their context or torn.
Everything remains open, without a recognizable outcome. Only a few, but essential things come to light as an initial "information" that only develops further in the viewer's imagination: Takes its own beginning and its own end.