The work of Barbara Wesołowska corresponds closely to the traditional practice of figurative painting, in conjunction with themes of fantasy, identification, and loss. Through the intuitive application of paint and layered surfaces, the artist draws the viewer into a psychologically intense narrative, which unfolds across the paintings. Mistakes, doubts, and hesitations are exposed and become a record of the process of searching for an image. Final images, rather than knowingly constructed, are stumbled upon, gleaned from memory or oblivion. Wesołowska’s work is strongly influenced by religious iconography, to which the artist was exposed growing up in a strict Catholic family. The faces that appear in the paintings do not look directly at the viewer but rather, like the many Madonnas and Saints that the artist observed during her childhood, stare into some internal vision. 

Wesołowska’s work is also equally inspired by the psychoanalytic theory. In the group of paintings for her Statements presentation the artist elaborately allegorises and reimagines the mother-child relation by the introduction of a saving triangulation. The two figures that echo countless historic depictions of mother and child are interrupted by a third appearance. Alluding to the writings of Jacques Lacan, in these works, Wesołowska proposes that a third element is necessary to protect from the murderous nature of a dyad. The notions of violence and sacrifice inherent to Catholicism, its core Biblical teaching, and its repeated delivery, slip into these images. The facial expressions of protagonists transmit boundless tenderness or grave danger, perhaps both at once. Equating the protective rituals of psychotics and the highly religious, like building altars or keeping amulets, Wesołowska mimics their sense-making mechanics by obstructing the corners of the art fair booth with the four paintings. She barricades those spaces that she was once told were the devil’s favorite.

The protagonists of her works are strangely suspended between childhood and adulthood, female and male, as if in their universe they don’t yet have to differentiate. Governed by irrational notions the picture is not homogenized by a consistent logic of perspective and light. What connects and obscures the faces is an abstracted mist, limiting the amount of information that time and space are supposed to convey. The gesture of placing paintings in the corners of the booth carries complex psychological or spiritual aspects, and the decentralized layout of paintings corresponds with the ambiguous nature of the depictions they contain, suspended between oppositions.