Podlaskie. Fuelled by nature. - People
Prof. Leon  Tarasewicz

I live and work here

Prof. Leon

One of Poland’s most significant contemporary artists. He lives in a small village of Waliły near Białystok, where he was born in 1957. In his works Tarasewicz constantly crosses the boundaries of the old and seemingly unsurprising art of painting. He created the logo of Podlaskie: a European bison woven with colours.

Waliły, the centre of the world

Tarasewicz comes from a small village of Waliły. Following the footsteps of his family, he has been living there nearly all his life. This is the place where he creates, looks after his garden and keeps crested chickens. Tarasewicz is proud of his Belarusian descent. He had graduated from the High School of Graphic Arts in Supraśl and went on to study at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. He is a professor of fine arts and his works are on display in many galleries of contemporary art throughout the world. His world revolves around the countryside of Podlaskie, the landscape and nature of which are permanent points of reference in his works.

Stepping outside the frame

The original formula of Tarasewicz’s paintings has emerged from observation of Podlaskie landscape, and features a synthetic representation of woods, fields and birds. The artist portrays the recurring rhythm of nature with characteristic stripes of colours, and focuses on the light, which, despite being seemingly intangible, makes the most basic substance of any painting.
Tarasewicz is known for his forays into redefining painting and is consequent in his efforts to step outside the frame. Tarasewicz often chooses large-format canvases, and tends to spill his paintings over to the walls and floors of the exhibition room and the areas around it. Sometimes he makes viewers walk over his paintings or sends them into the mazes of his art installations.

Podlaskie Voivodship logo

Professor Tarasewicz created the logo of Podlaskie Voivodship: a European bison woven with colours. Born and bred in Podlaskie, Tarasewicz masterfully reflected the region’s complex identity. The artist used his signature colourful pixels, which refer to traditional cross-stitch embroidery, in order to represent Podlaskie’s diversity. The exuberant pixels make a shape of the European bison, which is the region’s symbol animal.

I was born in Podlaskie and have never left here. I haven’t even tried. Why? It was not my decision, I really had no choice. It is like asking, why artists in 19th century used to move to Paris. The Podlaskie countryside is my natural environment, my micro cosmos.

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