Polish artist Nawer has been involved in street art since the mid-1990s. He graduated from the Architecture and Urbanism program in Krakow and in 2003 focused his energies on painting and freelance work as an interior designer. In 2006 he formed Artede7 Studio which specializes in interior and graphic design as well as scenography. Nawer’s art has been featured in solo and group shows as well as online and in various print publications. Recently Nawer has collaborated with the Design Collective, Temporary Space, in a series of audio visual performance projects that combine his artwork with the latest in video and 3-D mapping techniques.
Nawer states that as his own style evolves, “the goal is always to strive forward in an effort to connect painting with architecture.” He does this both on and off the street, in projects including murals, canvases, and multi-media installations. This goal is pursued with aerosol, masking tape, X-ACTO blades, stencils, and precision. He often selects public and functional spaces for his large-scale work, and then creates detailed sketches at a small scale before starting on the walls. Two-dimensional surfaces are given volume, mass, color, space, and rhythm — the basic elements of architecture — as he superimposes them with geometric planes, shifting axes and multiple perspectives which result in the illusion of 3-D. Like a deconstructed targeting computer on an x-wing starfighter, lines intersect planes / slide past or fit into or bisect other planes / dynamically shoot past shapes at sharp angles towards or away from the viewer. Nawer’s color palette reinforces the perception of depth. Black, white, and neutrals are activated with intense or fluorescent colors which punch forward. Cleanly defined shapes sometimes appear to be transparent revealing layers of geometry below. At other times planes are filled with a texture of paint drips, which introduce a human quality to these perfectly executed graphics.
The overall effect is futuristic, especially when installation pieces include light and projection and transform enormous interiors. And yet, we can’t help but flash back to artists of the 1920s Russian avant garde — artists like Malevich and El Lissitsky — who boldly discounted figurative art and focused on geometric forms. They devoted countless canvases to flat, absolute shapes (think black square or black circle on white canvas) but also rendered shapes with depth and perspective. In fact, El Lissitsky — a Suprematist whose work influenced the Bahaus, contructivist, and De Stijl movements — created a series of abstract geometric paintings which he called Proun. He described them as, “the station where one changes from painting to architecture.” But he may not have imagined these paintings expanding beyond canvas boundaries to skin six-story buildings, playground walls, and even cars. Nawer has introduced a dynamic new energy to these surfaces and many more.
2012: Intoxicated Demons, Stroke Artfair, Munich; Katowice Street Art Festival, Katowice, Poland; Artaq 2012, Nova Gallery, Krakow; Street Art Awards, mention, Paris. 2011: Stroke Artfair, Intoxicated Demons, Berlin; Brain Damage Gallery, Lublin, Poland; Come Inside, Soho Factory, Warsaw; Rudimentary Perfection, Recoat Gallery, Glasgow; Superplan, Formaganda, Berlin; Artaq 2011 Street Art Awards, nomination, Paris; Nawer vs Temporary Space Design, Krakow; Group Show, Galerie Confluences, Lyon; Group show, Rempex Gallery, Warsaw. 2010: Nawer vs Temporary Space Design, Krakow; Group Show, Stattbad, Berlin; Group show, Espace Beaurepaire, Paris; Artaq 2010 Street Art Awards, nomination, Paris; Famous Icons, Tuse Wystaw; Designer Toys ii, Gdansk Skwer, Warsaw. 2007: iNdustrial, solo show, Baraka Gallery, Krakow. 2006: AlfaNbet, Baraka Gallery, Krakow. 2005: Nawer, Baraka Gallery, Krakow.
Reference Notes: Information and texts compiled by Karla Henrick from behance.net/nawer, El Lissitzky, life, letters, texts (1980) by Sophie Lissitzky-Kuppers; and Nawer Update, Graffuturism.com, Aug 3, 2012.