For the present work, Untitled (Lepieniem Pierogow), a diptych in two equal parts, Wilhelm Sasnal depicts the varying stages involved in creating croissants. On one canvas, the artist has painted the rolling pin used to lay out the dough and the knife then used to partition that dough into equal slices. On a second canvas, Sasnal, in the same reduced palette of shades of black, grey and white, portrays poised female hands delicately rolling the dough into its final shape. Two finished products sit on the edge of the canvas next to the pizza slices of dough from which these croissants were made. Put together, Sasnal's two canvases serve as memento to the methodical process.
Untitled (Lepieniem Pierogow), like the rest of Sasnal's oeuvre, is sparse yet decisive, displaying only what is essential to the process of creating croissants. The viewer is not overwhelmed with imagery; he is simply presented with the banal details of a mechanical, assembly line like activity. In a combination of photorealist technique and surrealist intention, Sasnal captures and freezes a moment in time, allowing that moment to linger and forcing the viewer to focus on an ordinary detail not otherwise noticed.
A native of Poland, Sasnal was raised during the difficult times of the soviet empire. His oeuvre looks to understand and negotiate the subject of identity in a post-communist world. With Untitled (Lepieniem Pierogow) , Sasnal builds on the long art historical tradition of representing female labor. By painting an anonymous and faceless female performing a mindless and repetitive task, he challenges our contemporary patriarchal and capitalist society