Maess – Abnormal results

Opening September 16th. 7pm

From Wednesday 16 September, 7:00 pm — Thursday 15 October 2015

Platan Gallery, Andrássy út 32. Budapest

Curator : Tomasz Piars

Opening speech: Zsikla Mónika


Maess, beautiful things are a foot, 100x70cm, pen on paper, 2013



Bright crimson explosions, reminiscent of blood, draw us in and make us nervous, reminding the viewer of the fear of pain, disease, and death. Nothing is literal, clear, or straightforward in the dozens and dozens of drawings that make up Maess’s “Abnormal Results” cycle. Yet, the artist provides the clues right in the titles of the works themselves: “Hemorrhage”, “Hemoptysis”, and “Drop in Red Blood Cells”. One of the drawings is titled “Beautiful Are Afoot” (Kroją mi się piękne sprawy), an allusion to the works of Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow, who survived the Holocaust to produce startling casts using her own body parts.

In 1968, Szapocznikow was diagnosed with  cancer and soon her creative output began to include themes of this disease. Today, images of cancerous cells and tissues photographed with the help of an electron microscope are easily available on the internet, but such images were not available to Szapocznikow nearly 50 years ago. She focused her attention on what was visible on the surface of a body, her body, racked with disease.

Thanks to advances in technology and  the Internet’s accessibility to information, Maess explores cancer’s mysterious, fascinating depths.

For the past two years, Maess has been familiarizing herself with medical documentation and using this knowledge as part of her creative process. With the help of medical imaging, databases, 3D modeling software, aquarel paint, pens and markers, she manipulates the abstract idea of cancer and forces it to exist in the world of art and to comply with rules that she herself imposes.

Maess provides a key to her work, but these drawings give the viewer room for interpretation. The intricacy of the drawings keeps them fresh upon repeated viewings. The lines intertwine with each other and with blots of color to tell the story of the hostile, disturbing, hidden worlds that lurk inside our bodies, yet are forced into beauty by the artist.


Maess born 1982 in Warsaw, PL. A graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and recipient of a scholarship at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Porto, Portugal. In 2012, Maess was nominated to the Grand Prix at the Foire International de Dessin in Paris, and in 2013 she was shortlisted to the Strabag International Art Award in Vienna, Austria. Amongst others, she exhibited at the Plumba Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal (2006), Residencia Corazón, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008), Museo di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy (2010), Program Gallery in Warsaw (2011), Wrocław Contemporary Art Museum (2013), Galeria Miejska Arsenał (2013), BWA Sokół in Nowy Sącz (2013), The Stark Family Foundation in Warsaw and at the Drawing Center in New York (2014).

Her drawings  were presented in FUKT Magazine 8/9 and at the consecutive promotional group exhibition at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw (2010).