Polina Novozhenets is a self-taught artist whose projects focus primarily on abstract representations of entanglement. Her pieces range from vivid three-dimensional paintings of knotted ribbons to flattened, minimalist silhouettes.
Polina was born in Belarus and spent most of her life in New York State after immigrating to the US as a child. She moved to Austin in 2011 and has been painting professionally since 2014.
My artwork returns again and again to a motif of tangled ribbons in various styles and formats. With this imagery, I want to capture the sensation of the knot in the stomach, an intractable-seeming problem frustrating the mind, the unifying feeling of loving someone, the sense of freedom that comes with extracting yourself from a bad situation, and so on. I want these abstract paintings to have a synesthetic quality, for the work to look like those feelings, if they could be seen.
The knotted/unknotted ribbon motif shows up in my acrylic paintings, wood cutouts, and flattened silhouette paintings, where each style has a different intensity and serves as a counterpoint to the others. The canvas pieces offer the most dynamic variations in scale, color, and saturation, and the cutouts produce a sculptural effect, with weight, dimension, and materiality that the canvas pieces can only suggest. And the black-and-white pieces move in the opposite direction, forming a kind of footprint of something that was once there but now comprises the work itself.