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b. 1972, Poland

Wilhelm Sasnal Biography

Polish painter and film-maker Wilhelm Sasnal is renowned for his incongruous and quietly unsettling portrayal of our collective surroundings and history. Drawing on found images from newspapers and magazines, the Internet, billboards or his personal surroundings, Sasnal’s paintings act as an archive to the mass of sprawling images that flood contemporary society. By applying a concise, photorealist approach to this eclectic subject matter, he captures stolen moments in time–his unusual cropping and graphic approach to light and colour suggest a camera’s gaze, imbuing the canvases with a filmic quality.

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There is a persistent preoccupation in Sasnal’s work to stay engaged with the world we live in, and perhaps more importantly, to connect the present with the past. At once curiously personal and coolly detached, Sasnal subjectively and intimately interprets the topical. Sasnal has long worked in film alongside his painting, viewing it as a complementary practice and welcoming the alternative challenges that it brings. Film’s affinity with reality, and therefore its ability to provoke, also appeals to the artist.

'Painting is a natural activity, it’s primal,' Sasnal has commented. 'I think images aren’t important because of the numbers that surround us. But painting has a chance. There is always painting, like there’s song. I don’t think it needs speculation as to whether it is alive or dead… With film I am not only looking for the story but also for the language, how to depict a certain state of being.'

Text courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Wilhelm Sasnal Featured Artworks

View All (16)
Untitled by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalUntitled, 2013Oil on canvas
50 x 40 x 3 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Untitled by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalUntitled, 2019Oil on canvas
300 x 220 cm
Sadie Coles HQ Enquire about this work
Concorde is Dead, 2004 (For Parkett 70) by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalConcorde is Dead, 2004 (For Parkett 70), 2004Colour contact print from engraved negative on Kodak paper
31 x 47 cm
Parkett Enquire about this work
Solar panels I by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalSolar panels I, 2014Oil on canvas
160 x 220 x 2.5 cm
Sadie Coles HQ Enquire about this work
Untitled by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalUntitled, 2016Oil on canvas
160.5 x 220.5 x 2.5 cm
Sadie Coles HQ Enquire about this work
Killing an Arab 1 by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalKilling an Arab 1, 2016Oil on canvas
160 x 200 x 2.8 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Untitled (Swiniopas / Swineherd) by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalUntitled (Swiniopas / Swineherd), 2008Oil on canvas
200 x 220 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Atacama Desert by Wilhelm Sasnal contemporary artwork
Wilhelm SasnalAtacama Desert, 2008Oil on canvas
200 x 160 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work

Wilhelm Sasnal Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Flora + Fauna at Sadie Coles HQ, London
Closed
4–27 April 2019 Group Exhibition Flora + Fauna Sadie Coles HQ, Davies Street
Contemporary art exhibition, Wilhelm Sasnal, Sleep at Sadie Coles HQ, London
Closed
18 April–26 May 2018 Wilhelm Sasnal Sleep Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street

Wilhelm Sasnal Represented By

Wilhelm Sasnal In Related Press

Wilhelm Sasnal returns to Basel with fond memories Related Press Wilhelm Sasnal returns to Basel with fond memories 15 June 2017, The Art Newspaper

The Fondation Beyeler's room of ten paintings by Wilhelm Sasnal forms a homecoming of sorts—a group exhibition at the Kunsthalle Basel in 2002 was the Polish-born and Krakow-based artist's first major show. In the same year, the Warsaw-based Foksal Gallery Foundation, which was then co-directed by Adam Szymczyk, Documenta 14's artistic...

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