Natalia LL’s multimedia activity consists of photography, video, performance, installation as well as painting and drawing. The artist is the author of theoretical texts and reflections on art, which highlight the most significant aspects of her artistic attitude.
Natalia LL’s projects result from experiments in conceptual art. The artist is one of the first Polish representatives of notional art, and in her works you can see analytical approach. Even at the beginning of the 70s, in her works you could notice the signs of the process of conceptualism leaving the media problems for the sake of a suitable choice of the language of creation in order to emphasize the idea. Within the frames of post-conceptual practice, she reached for iconography deriving from the area of pop-culture, mass-media and pornography. The artist’s works often evoke spontaneous reactions of viewers. It is many times that Natalia LL’s artistic practice dealt with problems of artist’s and woman’s identity. The works are satiated with intuitive, sometimes magical atmosphere, which maybe due to literary references, evokes the feelings of transcendence. Since the beginning of her artistic career, both in the sphere of art and everyday activities, Natalia LL has used strategies of creating her own image.
Towards the end of the 60s, being under the influence of Marquise de Sade’s and Georges Battaille’s works, the artist conducted experiments in the field of erotic photography (among others : Intimate Sphere, 1969; Velvet Terror, 1070; Intimate Photography, 1971). Equally often she reached for the language of popular culture and provoked, defying traditional and contemporary moral status quo. In 1972 the artist began a series of photographic and film projects functioning under the title of Consumer Art, in which she carried out a transformation of the meanings of consumption activities. This thread was extended with the series Post-Consumer Art (1975). Experiments showing the photographic representation of pictures impossible to exist in real world resulted in the series Artificial Photography (1975). In an extremely prolific period of the 70s, there also appeared other series : Animal Art (1977), Dreaming (1978) and the Points of Support (1978). It was then that the artist made the films Permanent Recording of Time (1970) and Impressions (1973). The most expressive period of Natalia LL’s activity comes in the next decade, the 80s – time after the introduction of martial law in Poland and the period of ethical redefinition also in the field of art. The artist raised philosophical, magical and religious issues, she carried out a de-construction of her own physicality (among others: Panic Fear, 1987, Magic Triangle, 1987, Mystic Head, 1987). In the 90s she continues dealing with the problems of substantiality of evil and with self-reflective threads (Platonic Form, 1990, Panic Sphere, 1991). At the same time she made fictionalized artistic films with the use of Richard Wagner’s music, which referred to literary mythologies (Voracious Cats, 1994, Brunhild’s Dreams, 1994). In recent years Natalia LL has been continuing her extended photographic series (among others: Eroticism of Terror, 2004), in which an oneiric, disturbing mood dominates. She also uses the strategy of self-quotation, giving new meanings to the motifs that are familiar from her earlier works (The Softness of Touch, 1977/2007; Fourfold Fluffiness 1978/2007).
Natalia LL (born in 1937) from 1957 to 1963 studied at the State College of Fine Arts in Wrocław, under Prof Stanisław Dawski’s direction. Since 1957 she has lived and worked in Wrocław.
Natalia LL played a major role as an animator of avant-garde movement. In December 1970, together with Zbigniew Dłubak, Andrzej Lachowicz and Antoni Dzieduszycki she established the Permafo Gallery and Group, which was functioning until 1981. Permafo was one of the key part of artistic photo-medialism. In mid-seventies the artist actively joined the international movement of feminist art and took part on many symposia and exhibitions together with the elite of the world neo-avant-garde. She was closely connected with the International Drawing Triennial in Wrocław – in the 1st and 2nd editions she was the exhibition organizer, and in the 4th and 6th editions she was the vice-chairperson. Natalia LL is a lecturer at Fine Arts Academy in Poznań. Natalia LL’s complex works have often been critically analyzed in the last three decades and are part of the art canon now. The artist’s activity has been discussed by Urszula Czartoryska, Antoni Dzieduszycki, Agata Jakubowska, Bożena Kowalska, Piotr Krakowski, Agnieszka Kwiecień, Anna Markowska, Adam Sobota, Wiesława Wierzchowska and others. Her works have been presented at important art exhibitions in Poland and abroad, among others at the 9th Biennale de Paris, 1975; 15thBiennale Internationale Arte San Paulo, 1979; Erotik in der Kunst, Kunstverein München,1982; La Photographie Polonaise, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1982; Europa-Europa, Kunst-und-Austellungshalle Bonn, 1994; Natalia LL – The Gardens of Personalism, Ujazdowski Castle Centre of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 1998; Summaries, BWA Bielska Gallery, 2004).