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A favourite game for art historians looking at the work of contemporary artists is Spot the Influence:  "There's a bit of Bacon...been looking at the Futurists...a touch Warhol, don't you think? Or more Turner?..." There's nothing wrong with influences, as long as they are admitted, but all too often nowadays the game ends with: "Don't they realise that Duchamps did this 90 years ago?"

    I, at least, can't play the game with Klara Pokryzwko's work. It really does seem original. The nearest parallel to the immediacy of her body-prints on paper, textile or silver is to see and feel the fingerprints of a sculptor on a terracotta model. All art is triangular, in the sense that there must be a creator, a created object and an audience, with inevitably different values and perceptions between creator and created, and audience and creation, as well as a relation between audience and artist. In Klara's pieces these relationships come close to merging.

Huon Mallalieu
Art historian, author and journalist writing on antiques and the art market.

 

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