PL|EN

About

Any selection of work by contemporary artists inevitably involves a visit to the past. The history of a specific country’s art shows that there is a reflection and a parallel with the history of the country itself. Contemporary Polish art is undoubtedly highly diverse. While Polish artists work effectively around the world, the goal of this exhibition is to show a small range of work by people who work inside the country, inevitably affected by a particular structure and tradition.

more

Artists

It surely takes some guts to decide to paint deer in a rut ground, especially when you are a fresh graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts. Taking on a theme with a long-standing reputation of being a synonym for kitsch could well have become a form of artistic suicide for the painter.

more
Aleksander Kobzdej

As a painter, Kobzdej (1920–1972) is still recognized mainly as the author of Poland’s most famous soc-realist painting “Pass me the brick” from 1950, painted as a part of the diptych together with “Female brick layers”. In fact, socialist realism was just an episode in Aleksander Kobzdej’s rich and multi-faceted artistic career and his modern “struggles with matter” (as was the title of one of exhibitions dedicated to his underappreciated work) certainly deserve much more attention.

more
Andrzej Cisowski

When considering Andrzej Cisowski’s (born in 1962) amazingly rich artistic output, one gets an impression that the excess of images evident in the reality that surrounds us is in his case sublimed into even more pictures. Pictures of which, almost invariably, human beings are protagonists: people more or less real or characters we know from comics, children’s cartoons or simply made up by the author. Other genres such as still lives (“Bathroom”) or representations of animals (“Achtung: Fußgänger!”) are rare.

more

Not until 2006 did Anna Szprynger (born in 1982) restrict herself to use only line, but in her artistic imagination the line emerged as early as in her teenage years. When she painted landscapes during her high school education, the line was already there, at that time limited to the role of a decorative element. “My work – the painter wrote – has been a constant process of cognition. An inquiry into the nature of a thin line which, after all, is one of the simplest constituents of the visible world. These quests enable mi to communicate what is invisible. They create spaces without contents, void of narration. (…) I almost present the viewer with a vacant space for him or her to fill with thoughts”. The visual and textural tissue of the picture is weaved with the subtlety of a semi-transparent spider web.

more
Eugeniusz Markowski

“As a species, we are homo sapiens. However, we nestle the same instincts that animals do. I am interested in making people aware just how grotesque we all become when we reject culture stirred by our emotions. It’s when we become naked, not even realising it” – said Eugeniusz Markowski (1912–2007). It was certainly on purpose that he placed, in the very centre of his pieces human figures so bizarrely deformed that they resemble animals: cartoon-like, but in fact just as tragic as they are funny. This kind of wild manner of presentation serves well to express human emotions, reckless passions and uncontrolled obsessions.

more
Henryk Stażewski

Thinking about avant-garde art in Poland? Think about Henryk Stażewski (1894–1988). He was an undisputed classic of Polish modern art, one whose work found its way to many prominent art collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York or the Tate Gallery in London. A representative of constructivism of the 1920s, 1930s and co-founder of the current of geometric abstraction of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, he was also known for his “architectural” bas-relief pictures created for over two decades.

more

In the past centuries there were many types of landscapes in painting. Some artists were entirely dedicated to that genre, others regarded it as some sort of departure from the principal themes in their art, be it historic or portrait painting. In effect, today we have learned to distinguish cosmo-graphical, monochromatic, panoramic, dynamic, dramatic and other types of landscapes, not to mention plenty of their more detailed variants.

more
Jan Wyżykowski

When searching for a theoretical foundation for his painting, Jan Wyżykowski (born in1956) came up with a notion of the new perspective he referred to as reversible. How do we perceive a picture painted in line with the principles of the classic convergent perspective? According to artist, we do it non-comprehensively, as it tends to focus attention on the second or third stage, diverting it from the foreground. The reversible perspective, instead, is meant to extend our perception by revealing both concave and convex stages that create an illusory depth. It isn’t practically possible to verify whether this is true.

more
Julia Bistuła

Julia Bistuła, a very young (born in 1985) yet surprisingly mature and consistent artist astonishes with her unrestrained love for unloved matter. She creates her sculptures using plastic carrier bags or... pork ears (along with traditional materials, such as wood, cloths, porcelain), adding poignant comments concerning the processes of consumption today, the formation of waste and the potential to extend the lifetime and quality of products which, in contemporary manufacturing cycles, are sentenced to an ephemeral and senseless existence.

more
Maciej Wieczerzak

The most important thing in Wieczerzak’s (born in 1986) painting is colour. Contrasts, greasy outlines, colours taken from old cartoons – pale pink, celadon, vivid blue – attack. Forms overflow. A moment of focus is needed to derive an actual shape from the chaos of parts and pieces. Once you find one, things become easier. That’s when we start to discern skulls, penises, vaginas. The artist plays a game with us, smuggles one thing, hides another – that’s what his paintings are about. They are meant to entertain both parties, the recipient as well as the artist, although the very process of creating them is not that playful at all. Wieczerzak spends eight hours a day at working, usually seven days a week, painting three to four pictures at once.

more
Marek Niemirski

In 2003 Marek Niemirski (born in 1950) began to create a very unusual series of paintings. All of them consist of canvases in three sizes: 200x140, 100x100 and 50x50 cm. On them, using black paint on a white undercoat, the painter reproduces fingerprints of various artists. Usually of really outstanding ones.

more
Stanisław Młodożeniec

„Painting is in dire straits” – art critics lament. The scrap of artistic field on which this field of art still exists is becoming more and more restricted. Still, in the niche that is left we find Stanisław Młodożeniec (born in 1953) working with a dose of energy worth of a youngster, as if time had stopped for him on a New York street back in the 1980s.

more
Stefan Gierowski

One of the true and great veterans of Polish painting, an abstractionist and colour virtuoso, Gierowski (born in 1925) remains active and extremely efficient artistically despite his eighty-seven years of age. His recent pieces strike us with their bold colouristic solutions, freshness and refined structure. The artist applies colours with stunning ease, making them free and disciplined at the same time, delicate and vibrant. We could see this, to take just one example, in his recent exhibition in the Great Theatre - National Opera in Warsaw (February – April 2013). Still, the early career of one of the classics of Polish modern art should be remembered.

more
Szymon Urbański

Szymon Urbański’s (born in 1963) art took its shape in the wake of the revolt in Polish painting in the 1980s. It seems that it was the “Solidarity” movement that had given the primary impulse to all sorts of transformations, leaving not a single thing unchanged. This went in pair with news reaching us from abroad about a new wave of painterly expression that emerged at about the same time in opposition to the cold post-avantgarde search of art in the 1970s. The young, as is always the case, felt the urge to cry out their emotions, youthful energy, the will to make changes, the need of anarchy and discord.

more
Wojciech Fangor

His father was an industrialist, his mother a pianist. He oscillated between astronomy and painting. Fortunately, the latter prevailed. Fortunately for Polish art, because today Wojciech Fangor (born in 1922) – a painter, graphic artist and prominent representative of the Polish School of Posters – is one of the most recognizable artists from this country, world-wide – in fact, the only one to have had an individual exhibition held in the Guggenheim Museum (1970). For over three decades (1966–1999) Fangor lived and worked in the USA; for several years now he has been living and working again in Poland. Despite quite a noble age in biographical terms, he has remained impressively fit with his art.

more

Curator

Sacha Craddock
Freelance critic and curator. Director of Programme at Max Wigram Gallery 2011-2012. Co-founder and curator of Bloomberg Space 2002- 2011 and active Chair of the Board of New Contemporaries from 1996 as well as Chair of the selection process for 17 years. Chair of Braziers International Workshop; co-founder of Artschool Palestine, a Public Art Advisor for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Member of the Curatorial Board of Fondazione MACC, Sardinia, Member of Council Abbey Awards for British School at Rome and founder of Fellowship in Contemporary Art at British School at Rome. She worked as a post-graduate tutor at the Royal College of Art. After studying painting at St Martins and then Chelsea School of Art, she started to write criticism for the Guardian Newspaper and The Times. She curated a very large range of exhibitions including a six year programme of contemporary art for Sadlers Wells. Recent essays include those on Angus Fairhurst, Richard Billingham, Edgar Davids, Mustafa Hulusi, Heri Dono, Rosa Lee, Art and Youth for Turner Contemporary and London in the 1970s.
Bogusław Deptuła, CO-CURATOR
Art historian and critic, exhibitions curator, dealer. Author of numerous publications in the field of art, literature and cuisine. He is a columnist among others in: “Zeszyty Literackie”, “Res Publica Nowa”, “Art & Business” , “Exit”, “Kresy”, “Novaya Polsha”, “Rzeczpospolita” and “Dziennik”, “Newsweek” and “Przekrój”, and also in lifestyle journals: “Elle” and “Viva!”. For fourteen years he had been working as a critic in “Tygodnik Powszechny”. Since 2011, he is the editor-in-chief of the monthly “Art & Business”.

Catalogue

Photo gallery

TV

Press about us

Partners

Logistic partner
Opening gala partner

Media Patronage

presented by