(b. 1983 Poznan, Poland)
Andrzej Urbanski is an established Cape Town-based artist prized for his immaculate hard-edged abstract art. The clean, precise forms defining it belie its relationship to memory, sensory and spatial encounters, emotions and psychic states, which are channelled most often into overlapping colourful geometric shapes, implying resolution. The bold shards of colour characterising his art may recall objects, places, experiences from his youth, the colour of a building or a room, or encompass the state of mind he is in as he steps into his Woodstock studio. As such his painted art is described as ‘high’ or ‘low frequency’, referring to either a complex matrix of influences shaping intricate compositions, or in the latter instance, quieter, ‘less busy’ forms often united by a subdued colour palette.
His art appears to be the result of an automated process – the precision of its execution engenders this notion that it is generated by a detached, robotic or digital tool. His interest in generating this illusion is rooted in his fascination with digitally produced art, the digital tools he uses in plotting his intricate compositions, the relationship between lived experience and virtual reality and the valorisation of handmade products in the post-industrial era. It is also informed by his appreciation for the minimalist movement, though he is inspired by a range of high modernists from Rothko to Piet Mondrian.
He employs the unconventional spray paint medium in his abstract painting as it produces flat colour and removes any trace of the ‘artist’s hand’. This conforms not only to the minimalist ethos but his desire to replicate imagery that appears to be digitally generated.