Each animal created by Klonowska looks as though it has exploded, sending jagged pieces of itself outward like electrified fur. Perhaps a statement on the fragile nature of life or the danger of wild creatures, each animal seems to pulsate with a crystalline energy. She begins her compositions by building a metal structure that is then carefully covered with glass. Three dimensional forms emerge from hundreds of two-dimensional fragments, straddling the transition between an object in a painting and a real-world installation. Klonowska is most famous for her works depicting the canine companions of important historical figures that acted as living symbols of wealth and power.
Says Klonowska of her work, “My animal figures are part of historical paintings, where they play a secondary role to the sitters. In my art the animals perform as the principal actor. Animals are difficult to understand and it is difficult to communicate with them. My glass animals open therefore a new reality, which is different from ours. The sitters in the painting, the animals and the audience of my art perform in a kind of theatrical stage, where the different levels become indistinct. This clash of realities should make us think about the uncertainties of life.”
Klonowska has received such important awards as the Artist in Residence at both the Cité International des Arts in Paris and Akerby Skulpturpark in Sweden. She was also a finalist for the Bombay Sapphire Prize in London.
Images courtesy of Lorch + Seidel Contemporary