Maria Magdalena Kossak revises the iconographical usage of plated gold and adds to it a powerful metaphor of collective and personal longing, characterised by a scheme of colours that range in shade between earthy/morbid and pallets that shimmer with a translucent light. This chromatic scheme effects a subversive blurring of the usual boundaries that demarcate fixed styles, genres and time periods. They suggest a restless movement of moods and materials that is characteristic of Kossak’s creative impulse.
Many of Kossak’s works allude to Eastern European iconography, as well as to the canonic Western styles of Art Nouveau and Abstract Expressionism. One of her central themes concerns the historic-cultural qualities of „gold”, and its ambivalent mediation between material power and spiritual transcendence. Kossak explores the persistent human curiosity in the intrinsic substance of gold and its many surrogates, looking to it as an index of a more general system of social values.