Exhibitions 2018

New studio, new technique, new inspiration.

2018 is for me a year of reflection and developing new work. I hope to show the results in following exhibitions:

Boterhallen Horn, October 27th – December 2nd, 2018
Wintersalon, Galerie de Ploegh – November 12th 2018 – January 5th 2019

See you there!


Architectural structures and water are two recurring elements in my work: water as a metaphor for nature and the flow of life, urban structures as the reality of life and continuous growth of human life. The layers of a city build – and wither – slowly and imperceptibly over time. Decay may come fast or through waning processes, but it is clear when layers are revealed that we are not so different from ancient civilizations.
The series ‘Cities’ is my most recent one. It consists of several metropolitan landscapes, illuminated by neon lights. The compositions are built using geometric shapes, curved lines and solitary, broad colour stains. The viewer’s gaze is invited to focus on an arrangement of features within the representation and on its structural divisions. The aspects that differentiate the series are the slightly disturbed symmetries yet apparent balance. The DE PLOEG project will be the next step in the series, depicting and combining the two elements – architecture and water – while exploring the boundaries between the two and their influence on each other. Can an urban structure be a part of nature? Is nature a part of ancient or contemporary urban development? When does nature become architecture? Or has it always been?

2017 – Galerie Sandhofer, Austria

Art historian Sandra Zagajna wrote about the exhibition:

The outside world provides stimuli for living and functioning in a society. Depending on the source of interest of the reality observer, it may have either a destructive or positive impact, facilitate or defer progress. Yet, it always provokes a reaction of the spectator. In her paintings, Justyna Pennards-Sycz  brings out the magic of the reality, picturing it in an extraordinary, particularly unreal manner. She poetically creates sometimes a fairy-tale like, and sometimes mysterious and disturbing alternative for the visual realism of the world.

The exhibition of Sandhofer Gallery presents the works of several painting cycles of Justyna Pennards-Sycz, from 2012 onwards. Each of them designates a variety of inspirations dear to the artist. The works conceptualized as abstract, are the expression of the painter’s authentic feelings and experiences, materialised clearly through pictures in her mind.

The predominant inspiration of the painter came forth at the beginning of her creative path, during the yearly stay in the south of France. The Mediterranean sun, adding warm shine to the objects and constraints of the beautiful landscape, contributed to the prominent role of chiaroscuro in her whole artistic output. Even if, at first glance, one cannot see the light, the eye of the observant spectator will always behold it anyway.

Apart from the sun soaked landscapes, the artist’s works are also made of spaces full of stylised, oriental plants and exotic animals. The sea world with its unexplored depths and fantastic creatures, fascinating and mysterious Japan, unknown lands, the air of night – all these constitute the secret and incomprehensible, puzzling elements of the reality which fascinate the painter. Among them appear seemingly familiar components of everyday life such as the urban space with office blocks and neon lights, which physically masks loneliness of man and inferiority of humankind in relationship to limitless architecture.

Liberating from the patterns and limitations imposed within the course of art studies in the Netherlands, induced by the revolutionary work of Fiona Rae, had a major  impact on the art of Justyna Pennards-Sycz. Watching her work as well as that of other artists unlimited in their artistic means such as Daniel Richter or David Hockney, allowed her to both overcome own limitations and develop the characteristic freedom of expression.

The artist covers the big and small-sized paintings with acrylic paints, at times also uses acrylic markers, pencil or charcoal. She applies alternately long and broad or short and jerky brushwork. The sketch is brought out straight off with the paint on canvas as the first layer of a work. This creates the impression of the work  being painted in a fast and energetic manner, without much theoretic brooding. Having initially finished the painting , the artist gives it a thorough and long analysis, which frequently results in some corrections or retouching. The colour palette is very rich. The scheme is often vivid, almost neon, highlighting the contrast of borderline warm and cold shades. Here the colour is not merely a strong accent, a visual asset. The painter is guided by the knowledge of applying colours, perspective or optics and their functions on canvas. This enables her to denote the three dimensional play of light and shadow even more explicitly.

The abstract mode of the presentations manifests itself in the titles, which get interpreted on canvas in a completely subjective and individual way. The given titles do connote an object or space, hardly ever however, render the real images. Thus, exotic animals become apparent in the habitat implying the jungle, large green colour patches modeled on a natural landscape or cubic prisms emerging from the dark like a night city of neon lights.

The aim of the artist is to evoke strong emotion by means of a painting which is visually interesting and abounds in different interpretations. The art is not meant to be easy in reception, but to make the beholders take a stand, leaving no one indifferent. It is to provide food for thought on what the reality is and how it can be presented in different ways. Perhaps the titled ” Light will guide you” to a discovery of the core of things in the world around us.

Sandra Zagajna


Eddy Hewitt included my work in his top 10 of this art fair. Eddy writes in his blog Connecting Cultures:

The third annual Art Rooms exhibition took place at The Meliá White House Hotel, Regents Park, from January 20th to 23rd. Such was the quality, the originality and the variety of the art on display, this must now be regarded as one of the leading contemporary art events in the country. A fine, international showcase for emerging and developing talent in a prestigious and exciting setting. Art Rooms 2017 has also provided an inspirational start for the Connected Cultures year.

9. Justyna Pennards-Sycz  (Poland / Netherlands)

I was particularly keen to meet Justyna, having previously introduced ourselves to each other online in the build up to the exhibition. Art Rooms is a fine event for establishing artistic and cultural connections. Here, it became even clearer that we share at least one very strong link: we are both drawn to the sea. Much of Justyna’s art depicts water in a range of forms and settings, including the apparent tranquility of faraway beach paradises but also the chilling aftermath of a tsunami in Japan. Her colour scheme is bold and built up in layers, with underlying brightness, warmth and depth.

Justyna Pennards-Sycz, various works


I started a new series of work for the AAF. The technique and the subject matter merge well: the watery landscapes were formed by fluid paints manipulated while wet. This was a less structured way of working compared to traditional painting approaches, leading to dynamic paintings that take on their own life when they are in the making. The result is a series of surprising, strong and quite abstract landscapes. The figurative elements – images of a house or a swing – place the landscapes in the realm of childhood memories.


‘Kunst en Varen’ is a guided boat tour of temporary outdoor artworks.
In 2017 the historic city of Amersfoort ‘was flooded’ on my canvas. How is it possible that the Dutch do not feel any sense of danger, living under sea level as they do? The public response to this work was one of surprise. Flooding here? It’s an unusual thought in this country, where they are so confident in their engineering.

In 2015 Mondrian’s painting of an abstracted tree was the inspiration behind the light installation under a bridge. Technically it was a challenge: electricity, water and a 16th-century bridge! It was the first artwork on the route.



Life Under Construction | 80 x 120 cm
Waiting For You | 80 x 120 cm
Come And Find Me | 100 x 140 cm
Always the Sun | 80 x 120 cm
Blue Reflection | 100 x 80
In the Distance | 120 x 160 cm
Excavation Future | 50 x 60 cm
An Optimists Dream | 120 x 160 cm
Amersfoort Mountains | 80 x 100 cm

I am very much a city person. When I was young I loved to look out the kitchen window, staring at the street for hours. At night it was especially fascinating. Later, after several trips to Rome, I began to develop an interest in the underground lives of streets. The city as an organic, growing thing that develops its own life through all those layers on top of one another. The works presented here are a result of several projects in which I studied the mood and structure of streets.

Cities at night

NY Rain | SOLD | private collection Poland
NY Rain 2 | SOLD | corporate collection Poland
What Remains | 100 x 140 cm
Urban Solitude | SOLD | private collection Poland
NY Night 1 | SOLD | private collection Poland
NY Night 2 | SOLD | private collection Poland
Darkness | SOLD | private collection Netherlands
Light Will Guide You 2 | 100 x 120 cm
Light Will Guide You 1 | 100 x 140 cm


Excavation Red | 50 x 60 cm
Excavation Blue | 50 x 60 cm
Our Water | 140 x 100 cm
Excavation Future | 50 x 60 cm