anOn November 27, the Virginia MOCA will open Archetypes, a series of paintings by Agnes Grochulska. 

Agnes Grochulska’s series of paintings is loosely inspired by Carl Gustav Jung’s 12 archetypes that make up different ways of being and exist as cultural symbols and images present in the collective unconscious: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Outlaw, Lover, Jester, and Everyman.

The titles of these oil paintings correspond to the twelve typecasts proposed by Jung but are not featured next to the images as to not suggest the artist’s own perception and interpretation of the archetypes. “I’m interested to see how each of the paintings will portray a different character to different people than they might to me”, states Agnes Grochulska, “ I am hoping to explore this way the idea of subjective/objective symbols and interpretations and the relationship between the artist – artwork – viewer.”

In this series Agnes explores the idea that art, by existing in both the artist’s and the viewer’s worlds, mediates between the “I” and the “other”. Artists, from their individuality create artworks that act directly on the viewer, who, according to their perception will experience the ideas in a way unique to them – and in this way complete the process – making the viewer a part of the artwork creation. The fascinating idea of the objective versus subjective interpretation is what gave Agnes inspiration for this rich body of work. Her theory being that the opposites we find in the symbolic archetypes as well as our vast interpretations of them can mediate the opposites and differences in ourselves and each other. Their infinite variety gives unity to our individuality.