1. AsymetriaJurij Mechitow
Parajanov at Asymetria marks the first Polish showing of this minor retrospective of photography by Yuri Mechitov. It showcases the research method he has used for four decades to collect visual material associated with the great but somewhat forgotten master of Soviet cinema — an artist who lived and worked “at the crossroads of cultures and worldviews, was hounded by the system, and was endowed with a complex ethnic and sexual identity.”
Yuri Mechitov (born 1950) is a legendary ArmenianGeorgian photographer. He began his career in 1978–79 as the director and cameraman of the stunning late-neorealist documentary Nina Iosifovna Koslovskaya. As luck would have it, the titular heroine (who was of Polish descent) once taught history to Sergei Parajanov, who by that time was regarded as one of the world’s most outstanding filmmakers, and who had settled back in his hometown of Tbilisi a few years prior after his first stint in prison.
Mechitov invited Parajanov to a screening of Nina. The film won the master’s enthusiastic approval, and Mechitov henceforth accompanied Parajanov in his cinematic journeys as a photographer, occasionally taking on acting roles himself. Having collected many years’ worth of material, Mechitov founded his own archive in Tbilisi.
The exhibition will be accompanied at Warsaw Gallery Weekend 2018 by an additional show of Burned Archives, featuring Nikita Kadan, Zbigniew Libera, Paweł Pierściński and Wacław Ropiecki.
2. Biuro Wystaw / Fundacja Polskiej Sztuki Nowoczesnej
21.09 – 23.11.2018
Krakowskie Przedmieście 16/18, apt. 4
Self-portrait, 1998, photo: Shuki Kook Studio, courtesy of Polish Modern Art Foundation
Maya Gordon was born in 1947 in Chorzów, Poland. In 1957 she emigrated to Israel, where she studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. In 1971 she once again emigrated to the Netherlands, where she studied at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. She lives and works in Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Warsaw.
Maya Gordon frequently references memories of her childhood in Warsaw, cut short by her emigration to Israel. She revisits this symbolic Polish iconosphere, using it deliberately and intuitively. Gordon incorporates into her art symbols from various fields: from politics and religion to pop culture. She is a detached observer of reality, often using lighthearted forms to convey nostalgic content.
The artist’s complex national identity has left a powerful impression on her art. Maya Gordon’s work is characterized by her personal and emotional attitude towards the shifting social and political conditions in Poland, Israel and the Netherlands.
Selected exhibitions: Young Poland. Afterimages of Reality, Ludwig Museum, Budapest 2016; Rhetorical figures. Warsaw Architectural Sculpture 1918–1970, Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture in Królikarnia, division of the National Museum in Warsaw, 2015; Plica polonica, CSW Kronika, Bytom, 2014; The Raft of Medusa: Israeli Art and the Monster of Self-Identity, Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture in Królikarnia, division of the National Museum in Warsaw, 2006; Golden Hands, Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, 1995.
Project partners are Embassy of Israel in Poland and Jewish Historical Institute.
3. BWA Warszawa
Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Jan Dobkowski, Zuza Krajewska
21.09 – 27.10.2018
Source, 2018, photo: Ernest Wińczyk, courtesy of BWA Warszawa
Purely physical infatuation. A profound bond with one’s beloved, nurtured for over half a century. Erotic and magical themes. Three individual approaches to the female body. For Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Jan Dobkowski and Zuza Krajewska, this body is unrestrained, accepted and loved. Brzeżańska’s “fluvial” jacquards (1972) hum with vital energy, while her ceramic busts resemble ancient vessels unearthed after thousands of years. Like Source, a small model fountain made of clay, they might have been used in the fertility rites of some long-forgotten religion.
Krajewska’s Graceful. Botero Girls (1975) is a series of monumental-scale photographs taken at Polish beaches. They are inspired by the iconic beauty of the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf and the women painted by Rubens and Botero.
Jan Dobkowski (1942) is an artist whose paintings have, for well over a century, evoked erotic associations. The series “Omniexistent” is a visual hymn to the artist’s wife, a depiction of unbridled femininity.
Goddesses combines faith in the power of corporeality with resistance against the politicization of the discourse surrounding the female body.
OUTarky (For Us By Us)Map →
Ksenia Bilyk, Jan Blok, Miška Bočkariov, Andrij Bojko, Jura Kanevski, Jura Kudrik, Dima Tolkačov, Ihor Okuniev, Vova Vorotniov Curators: Vova Vorotniov, Janek Zamoyski
21.09 – 7.10.2018
Gaze, 2017–18, courtesy of Czułość Gallery
Young art in Ukraine is still seen by many in the country and abroad as a kind of message to the world, or at least a desire to generate one: a message about its “novelty,” being “world class,” whatever that means, and a message that forces this art to adapt to the universal market of culture. However, some of us can challenge this disposition by adopting a negative stance towards the global situation in art today. Consider the declining relevance of traditional cultural centers. Those who once enjoyed the comfortable seat of their “geo/meta position” now find the chair knocked out from under them. Communication has shifted to the Internet, turning the traditional megalopolis into a village with all its offline institutions. The commercial populism of the museum is another obstacle for the honest global artist to overcome. For many, this spells the end of the positivist post-Cold War era, among others.
The exhibition OUTarky / For Us By Us is a brief look at a heterogeneous group of Ukrainian artists with diverse practices, who express a certain level of introverted autonomy, oppose the dictatorship of the genre, and act with some degree of indifference to their careers.
Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
5. Dawid Radziszewski
Ewelina Chrzanowska, Joanna Piotrowska, Adam RzepeckiMap →
21.09 – 27.10.2018
Untitled, photo: Robert Świerczyński
This year we are recreating three exhibitions.
Art Basel Statements, Basel
Exhibition for Dwarfs
Mała Galeria ZPAF, Warsaw
Dróżdż | GołkowskaMap →
Stanisław Dróżdż, Wanda Gołkowska
21.09 – 23.09.2018
Untitled (life — death), 1969–1970, photographic print
The exhibition showcases the work of Wanda Gołkowska and Stanisław Dróżdż, two entirely different artistic personalities with roots in Wrocław’s neo-avant-garde circles, which also gave rise to Polish conceptualism and concrete poetry. This juxtaposition of Wanda Gołkowska’s conceptual artworks and concrete poetry by Stanisław Dróżdż is not intended to reveal any common denominator in their art, but simply to illustrate two different approaches to the problem of originality in art.
In Gołkowska’s view, the relevance of art has shifted from the execution of the artwork to the conceptual process preceding it: the intellectual search or, as she put it, “concretization in the mind.” She rejected the primacy of the meaning ascribed to the execution of art, dismissing it as a mere epigone of the concept itself. Gołkowska concluded that the actual execution of the piece, that is, the documentation of the concept, could be assigned to craftsmen or machines, thus challenging some of art’s most central assumptions.
Drożdż’s art reveals an inextricable link between the visual and conceptual aspect of the sign/word, between the concept and its ultimate realization. His creative process involved an extraordinarily meticulous analysis of a scientific nature. Dróżdż would draw up dozens of notes, sketches and manuscripts before finally commissioning another artist to craft his Concept Shape according to his own design. The result was an original piece of a nature entirely unlike a classic artwork: what mattered most to the artist was what unfolded in the mind of the viewer.
7. Archeology Photography Foundation
Everyone Is Furthest From HimselfMap →
Antoni Zdebiak Exhibition
curator: Marta Szymańska
21.09 – 21.10.2018
untitled, 1984 © J., D., E. Zdebiak / Archeology of Photography Foundation
Antoni Zdebiak started taking pictures of himself in the second half of the 1970s. It was then that he started his first piece-to-camera series. These explorations were the result of his experiences in experimental theater. Zdebiak quit the stage in the late 1970s, devoting himself professionally and artistically to photography. Yet he continued to direct, choreograph and act in one-man performances, which he consistently documented throughout his life. His performative photographs are rooted in the conceptual art tradition of the 1980s.
One of Zdebiak’s main artistic tools was his own body. He took pictures of himself in an improvised studio, but the setting most frequently encountered in his images is that of Mięćmierz, a village on the banks of the Vistula river. Along with staged, performative photographs, Zdebiak consistently, almost obsessively, pursued a project of Witkacy-esque self-portrait sessions.
“Everyone is furthest from himself — where we ourselves are concerned, we are not ‘knowledgeable people.’” This quotation from Nietzche’s On the Genealogy of Morals accompanied Zdebiak throughout his life and guided his personal and artistic explorations, in which the self-portrait played a crucial role as a tool for self-study. Yet the power of Antoni Zdebiak’s photographs lies not just in their authentic depiction of personal experience, but in their universality. Using his body, face and life story, he grappled with themes of death, fear, loss and enlightenment.
Antoni Zdebiak (1951–1991) was a photographer, actor and performance artist. He worked as a photojournalist for the magazines ITD, Perspektywy and Razem. His photographs appeared on the covers of albums by such bands as Republika, Budka Suflera and Siekera. The Archeology of Photography Foundation has been processing his archives since 2016.
8. Foksal Gallery FoundationRobert Anton
exhibition view, The Theatre of Robert Anton, New York, 2016,
The Foksal Gallery Foundation will be presenting two exhibitions in parallel at WGW 2018. The first, prepared by Anka Kempkes, presents the work of the late New York puppeteer Robert Anton (1949–1984). Executed with the precision of a jeweler, using garbage collected from the streets, his miniature puppets depict people spotted by the artist in Verdi Square Park, a neighborhood that was home to opera singers and drug addicts in the 1970s. In his theater work, Anton took inspiration from Broadway musicals, Fellini films and theater productions he recalled from his childhood. Among his collaborators were La MaMa and Peter Brook.
The other exhibition showcases a new sculpture by Paweł Althamer. Inspired by a dream, Althamer sculpted a small ceramic figure of a bull, which he then scaled up to larger-than-life proportions in the studio. The sculpture is made of metal, plaster, animal bones and leather. The artists encourages viewers to mount the piece.
An associative link exists between the two exhibitions. Throughout his artistic career, Paweł Althamer has regarded puppets as artistic objects. In both instances, the matter of scale is also important: one involves a theater that fits into a suitcase, while the other takes a miniature ceramic piece and blows it up to a monumental sculpture.
9. Profile Foundation
Drawing with SelfMap →
21.09 – 3.11.2018
Blue Pin, 2001, canvas, acrylic, sewing pins, 250 x 150 cm
The artist behind these visually spectacular pictures and composition describes her artistic practice as guided by emotions. She incessantly performs herself on canvas, in sculpture, and through drawings, photographs and film. Most of the monumental pictures are made with metal pins, the artist’s material of choice since the late 1970s. Tyszkiewicz inserts hundreds of thousands of pins into the surface of paper, canvas, sheet metal and photographs, combining methodical repetitiveness with the expressive gesture of piercing various forms of matter. The vast surfaces covered with rhythmically glistening pins are an ongoing record of her emotions. The artist brings up her own, often very intimate, experiences in her films, as well, performing improvised pieces-to-camera that document subjective experiences and evade the grasp of logical reason.
The fundamental medium of expression in her films and photographs is the her body itself. She employs a repertoire of erotic and fetishistic references that emancipate female sexuality. Using a range of objects and matter, she stages situations in which the sensual borders on the masochistic.
10. HighNickolai Zhuk
Mushroom picker, 2018, oil on canvas, 140 x 100 cm, courtesy of the artist and High Gallery
High Gallery is thrilled to present Bugs And Bodies, a duo exhibition by Nickolai Zhuk and Louis Gary.
Exploring the potential of the pictorial medium, Nickolai Zhuk and Louis Gary in the show titled Bugs And Bodies find themselves offering a new sense of the figurative. Influenced by modernism, artists rework historical motifs within personal moments of their intimate experience to utilize and explore their idiosyncratic approach towards the medium.
Comprising sculptures and paintings, the show develops a new sensual experience that leads to an imagery of memories and references, giving us a tendency towards the search for a context, an explanation. It feels as though the works had emerged directly from our unconscious and the show had been suddenly transformed into the place that abides in each of us.
Bugs And Bodies addresses the onset of a quite weird mood which is apparently replaced by a conscious, naive positivity. This approach creates an effect that is, eventually, tender, open-hearted, and instant. Through their work, Nickolai and Louis are offering a novel visual experience, in which time and space fuse and the narrative tableaux creates a new, uniquely suggestive atmosphere, enlivened with energy, humour and depth.
11. HighPrzemek Pyszczek
Relief 1, 2017, mixed media, 60 x 50 cm, courtesy of artist and High Gallery
Przemek Pyszczek’s work seeks to create a fragmented memoryscape that reconciles familiar color palettes, forms and materials that are extracted from a place where Pyszczek feels at home, yet also foreign.
Following his family’s emigration from Poland to Canada, Pyszczek laid the focus of his recent artistic work on the phenomenon of mass-produced residential blocks built in Poland before 1989 and their surrounding urban and social contexts. His interest in the deconstruction of these systems is founded in formal analyses and their intersection with his autobiographical history.
The notion of facades and their artifice is an aspect that appears throughout Pyszczek’s work. Buildings that are out-of-date are covered over with styrofoam and painted with a range of hues that somehow straddle the line between vibrancy and drabness. Much like the layers we apply to our physical selves, these veneers are fleeting and do not fully address the social and physical histories that have been inherited. Ultimately, the past into which these buildings provide a window cannot be erased or rectified with architectural intervention.
12. Fort Institute of Photography
Daring & Youth | Go home, PolishMap →
Yulia Krivich, Michał Iwanowski
Curators: Agnieszka Pajączkowska, Krzysztof Miękus
21.09 – 25.11.2018
Racławicka 99 (Fort Mokotów, Building 06)
Smoke I, from the “Daring & Youth” series, 2016
The Fort Institute of Photography brings together two photo projects: Yulia Krivich’s “Daring & Youth” and Michał Iwanowski’s “Go home, Polish” (première). The two artists take different approaches to the same topic: the rise of xenophobia and the growing prevalence of racist and fascist views in Europe. Krivich, a Ukrainian living in Poland, observes and documents the daily life of a hard-right Ukrainian gang of young veterans of the war in the Donbass. Meanwhile, Iwanowski, a Pole who had, until recently, resided in Wales, is carrying out the demands posed by an anonymous graffito spotted in Cardiff: “Go home, Polish.” He is now traveling on foot from Wales to his mother’s home in Poland, asking the people he encounters along the way: “Where is home?”
These projects do not directly address the themes of war, nationality or borders. Nor are they simply statements about image, identity, social media, or even modern-day migration. Yet all of these themes and concepts hover and collide in the space between the two personal projects, juxtaposed in one gallery located between the East and West of Europe.
13. Le GuernPaweł Matyszewski
Collection 6, 2018, own technique, detail, courtesy of the artist and Le Guern Gallery
Bliss & Harm, Paweł Matyszewski’s first solo exhibition at Le Guern Gallery, is a personal statement comprising paintings, objects and installations that reveal the artist’s fascination with nature. The show spreads out from the gallery space into the garden, where Matyszewski has intervened by introducing his own selection of plants.
Paweł Matyszewski’s creative efforts span the divide between art and nature. He creates objects and installations by shaping organic tissue into the desired form. He then recreates these elements in his paintings, at times with naturalistic precision that resonates on the line between the abstract and realism. He frequently moves from one extreme to another, consistently studying themes of corporeality, psychosexual identity and eroticism, as well as existence and passing, exploring them in the context of life’s dependences on the natural cycle of birth and death. Paweł Matyszewski’s work reminds us at once of the vitality of nature and the fragility of life and matter. The titular instances of bliss and harm underscore the ambivalent nature of these phenomena and experiences.
14. LETOHonza Zamojski
untitled, 2018, courtesy of the artist and LETO
New poems for the new world
Woof woof woof.
Poo pee dee poop.
The Poet. The Golem. The Ghost and the book. Capital. Crap. Crapital Club.
Crapitalism. Big Mac.
Blue blood. Fake news. Tear drop.
Fake no. Fake nose. Fake sunset. Sunrise. Free man. Dog dog. Hot god. Surprise.
Cold gold. Don’t go!
Tea time, strange stranger.
Orange or orange or anger or danger?
The exhibition accompanies the release of a new book by Honza Zamojski, published by the prestigious French publishing house onestar press.
Maria Anto, Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska, Karolina Breguła, Justyna Górowska, Zuzanna Janin, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Natalia LL, Jolanta Marcolla, Małgorzata Markiewicz, Magdalena Moskwa, Alicja Wysocka, Weronika Wysocka, Ewa Zarzycka
Trial – 1B, 1972, silver bromide print, courtesy of the artist and the Arton Foundation
The title of the exhibition is a reference to the historic breakthrough in fashion that occurred in the 1950s with the emergence of the clothing industry. This led to the democratization of fashion, but also resulted in corporate dominance, exploitation, overproduction, and an imposed beauty canon for women that was strictly tied to market factors. Prêt-à-porter deals with clothing as a means of artistic expression. Many artists, including Natalia LL and Maria Anto, have used outfits as a tool for self-creation, a strategy that combines art and the everyday. Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska wore her trademark punk coat as a manifesto of her personal and artistic stance. Jolanta Marcolla, meanwhile, used clothing and makeup as a critique of the objectification of women, while Ewa Zarzycka’s high heels mocked the pressure to “raise one’s artistic position.” Younger artists have also used clothing as a central theme: Małgorzata Markiewicz and Alicja Wysocka, for example, combine fashion and activism, while Weronika Wysocka tackles the problems of the textile industry.
The exhibition is accompanied by public actions and performances, and will be the subject of an event held as part of the upcoming Feminist Seminar. The opening will be accompanied by Eduarda Bones DJ set.
The PatientMap →
21.09 – 30.11.2018
Al. Jerozolimskie 117
Pie in the Face, 1975, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist and Monopol Gallery
The exhibition presents drawings and paintings made by Łukasz Korolkiewicz in the early 1970s. Better known as a figurative painter, Korolkiewicz was inspired in his early years by surrealism, pop-art and the psychedelic aesthetic, all common themes in that decade. Yet even at that early stage, his work was already showing signs of eroticism and the peculiar melancholy mood that is so definitive of his later art.
Korolkiewicz drew for only a few years, after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts. These were not sketches for paintings, but artworks in their own right, painstakingly executed in sessions that took several hours. A large portion of them were drawn during the artist’s severalmonth-long stay at a contagious disease hospital. With their endless tangles of male genitals and toothy grins, these pieces in particular convey a sense of anxiety and a claustrophobic mood.
Łukasz Korolkiewicz’s drawings are a practically unknown part of his oeuvre. They have only been displayed twice, and only in the 1970s. Their unique and consistent form suggests that they are not merely a footnote to the artist’s overall body of work, but a separate, longfinished chapter.
Curator: Matylda Taszycka
21.09 – 10.11.2018
Self-fulfilling ProphecyMap →
Daniela & Linda Dostálková, Krystian Truth Czaplicki, Zuza Golińska, Lindsay Lawson, Damon Sfetsios, Anna Uddenberg
21.09 – 27.10.2018
The House, 2018, film stills, courtesy of the artist and Piktogram
Writing curatorial notes for exhibitions is an essential task for any commercial gallery as they often serve as the first introduction to the show for the public, collectors, and most importantly, press. Exhibition notes can have a major effect on whether people visit, review, and ultimately buy from exhibitions.
An exhibition note should be alluring. That is its primary purpose, so it should be written with this in mind. Nonetheless, galleries sometimes approach the exhibition note as an afterthought or secondary element of a show, which results in a missed opportunity to address an audience and shape their opinions, feelings, and expectations for a gallery and its programming.
The exhibition note shouldn’t be written as an academic essay. This style is alienating in this kind of text and often doesn’t even impress the scholarly set, as it devolves into jargon. One should avoid obscure, “creative” forms of writing like poems, stream-of-consciousness rants, quotes from works of fiction, or terse elliptical statements. The exhibition note should be precise and describe what works will be on view, what they will look like, and how they fit into the artists’ previous practice, as well as those of their peers.
* Based on an article by Alex Bacon, published in Artsy
18. Pola MagnetyczneRobert Szczerbowski
Diptych part 1, 2000-2001, oil on canvas, 170 x 231 cm
Robert Szczerbowski’s œuvre (born 1959, Poznań) is usually divided into two periods: the literary period, which began in the late 1970s and during which the artist produced postmodern prose, and the visual art period, which started in the mid-1990s and features objects, installations, paintings, and films associated with conceptual art. Immortal revisits this latter stage, displaying selected turn-of-the-century artworks that emphasize themes and artistic strategies present in his literary works.
The frame narratives, anonymity, and anti-inspirational methodologies used in Szczerbowski’s writing translate into his visual art, extending his reflection on the dreams and anxieties of humans in the digital age. The forms referenced by Szczerbowski immediately before and after the new millennium encompass a broad range of human history, in which Dante grapples with Gutenberg and the language of machines, medieval memento mori accompany “cybercanvases” fashioned after computergenerated fractals, and Malevich’s black square meets psychedelic art.
19. Polana Institute
Wonder WomanMap →
Dara Birnbaum, Maya Deren, Magdalena Karpińska, Olga Micińska, Mikołaj Sobczak, Paweł Śliwiński, David Wojnarowicz
21.09 – 23.09.2018
Huncwot, ul. Rudawska 2/2
Wonder Woman, 2018
Wonder Woman juxtaposes pieces by contemporary Polish artists with classic works of experimental film. The exhibition centers on David Wojnarowicz’s 1988 picture Beautiful People, at the end of which a man dressed as a woman wades into a lake as he repeats the mantra: “What I really want to do is just to run away, change my name, become a woman, and forget the whole thing.” The curators use this sad ending as a starting point for a more optimistic, surreal and revolutionary narrative. “I want to become a woman” becomes a subversive weapon against the Superman stereotype.
The title Wonder Woman is borrowed from Dara Birnbaum’s 1979 video Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman. The exhibition additionally features the 1944 film At Land, by Maya Deren, as well as new pieces by Magdalena Karpińska, Olga Micińska and Mikołaj Sobczak.
This exhibition is organized in cooperation with the FilmMakers’ Cooperative, Electronic Arts Intermix, PPOW Gallery, and the Warsaw-based creative studio Huncwot.
Potencja and guests
21.09 – 23.09.2018
corner of Marszałkowska and Świętokrzyska Street
The Business, 2018, courtesy of Potencja Gallery
Potencja hails from Kraków, and Kraków is a town of markets: there’s Stary Kleparz, Nowy Kleparz, Hala Targowa… The list goes on. Obviously you’ve got plenty of your own markets in Warsaw, but we’re not familiar with them, so we’ll set up some new ones for you. The Potencja fair presents the many objects we’ve collected over the few years since we launched — the artistic surplus that clutters our dungeons, the trash and treasure that has amassed and swelled, threatening to rupture the walls of our gallery. These objects are usually inaccessible, hidden from prying eyes. Here we have a stuffed… well, better not spoil the surprise. At WGW we’ll offer our visitors a range of artistic services, discussions on life and art, realistic portraits, caricatures, photoreals, no-lookers, and outdoor installations.
Is this market our attempt to transplant Kraków’s artistrun space into the setting of Warsaw’s gallery weekend? No… well, yeah, I used to be a mechanic, but I didn’t do space shuttles. We’re coming to Warsaw with bags full of treasure, but we plan on going home empty-handed.
21. PropagandaKarolina Hałatek
Rise, 2017, installation (fluorescent, steel, aluminium, alkyd), 300x240x240 cm
Many claim that we are now living in a perfect simulation, one in which each ray of light is quantifiable and apprehensible, like an element rendered in 3D modeling software. Quantum physics takes an entirely different approach to light, treating it as a dynamic relationship between a wave and a particle that can never be captured simultaneously. Art appears to be torn between these two visions. It is at once completely tangible and absolutely impossible to apprehend. Created by Alona Rodeh and Karolina Hałatek, the pieces comprising Ray Tracing are perfect instances of artworks that produce an extraordinary field of interaction, be it through light, sound, or some other form of energy that can never be truly touched, seen, or comprehended. It is fully abstract, like a simulation, or absolutely indeterminate, like a quantum.
22. RasterEdward Dwurnik
My Head, 1984
If I were the moon,
I would quit the booze,
my light would be split among the sober and the lit:
to the drunks I’d be bright,
to the sober — not quite.
Władysław Broniewski, 1955
The post-romantic figure of the drunken artist is fading into the past, leaving behind a landscape littered with hallucinations, depravity, and shattered illusions. This is the story of the intimate ties between contemporary art and vodka. Conceived as a medley of artworks and documentary content, the exhibition features Krzysztof M. Bednarski, Olaf Brzeski, Michał Budny, Rafał Bujnowski, Oskar Dawicki, Edward Dwurnik, Władysław Hasior, Jerzy Lewczyński, Honorata Martin, Dominika Olszowy, Peter Puklus, Zbigniew Rogalski, Wilhelm Sasnal and others.
Everything about the contemporary is pandaMap →
21.09 – 2.10.2018
Al. Jerozolimskie 51/2
Everything about the contemporary is panda, 2016, stone plate, recycled panda excrement, courtesy of Michał Martychowiec and Rodríguez Gallery
This exhibition finds Michał Martychowiec deconstructing cultural symbols and archetypes in his trademark fashion, turning them into topical commentary on the subject of art and the human condition in general.
The artist has chosen the panda as the exhibition’s core symbol. It operates at several levels and in different realms: politics, culture, and ecology, and serves as an idol of sorts. One can interpret the panda as a degenerate being (“We want to keep the good times, even though they’re gone” — Robert Lifton) or a symbol of modern man (José Ortega y Gasset’s el señorito satisfecho). The other central figure, one who serves as a symbol of the modern artist, is Marcel Duchamp, who appears in two key pieces displayed at the exhibition: a garbage can that emits the artist’s voice, and a neon sign that reads Has Marcel Duchamp changed the world?.
This project demonstrates that, despite the extraordinary efforts undertaken since Modernism to change the world, modern art continues to rehash a tired repertoire of ultimately empty ideas. The sound of Duchamp’s words drifts aimlessly out of the panda abyss. The only thing art has left is the concept (poetry) and symbols. In other words, mythology.
24. StereoJakub Czyszczoń
solo presentation at LISTE Art Fair Basel 2018
Facing the paintings of Jakub Czyszczon, eyes can’t find peace, won’t capture the whole imagery, won’t recognize the motives, won’t find a convenient comparison, neither it won’t come to a synthetic judgement.
It is difficult to analyze individual decisions of the painter, in fact they have been dispersed, propagated and distributed, miniaturized and repeatedly mixed by the subtle segmentations.They are neither the result of a composition or improvisation, they do not involve long-term memory reconstruction processes, or release of short-term memory, so it is not neither remembering nor forgetting. Czyszczoń’s painting practice is a kind of carefully conducted micro-explosions which produce an image of painting matter in state of highly energy saturated movement. The painter methodically operates with the detail and the detail of detail multiplied evenly in all directions at once, both in the plan of the surface and into the successive layers of scratched paint and layered glazes. Following these micro-events with increasing intensity one can see their movement: continuous, with no beginning, direction and purpose, without a starting point and no destination.
25. StroboskopGabriel Orłowski
Years, from the series “Black Magic,” 2018, archival pigment print (photograph), photo: Gabriel Orłowski, courtesy of the artist
“I slide my tongue over my teeth. Its rough surface reminds me of the organic nature of my body. The metabolism of my skeletal tissue is clearly slower. Osteoporosis has set in throughout the bone structure. A chipped piece juts out. I can feel a few worn-out spots. Cavities mark the center: black and decaying. There’s nothing to distract me. Full depth of field. Murmurs and gently flowing air bring a little movement to this phase space. Old caries resonate well, and there’s still a high degree of mobility. Shapes grow simpler, textures acquire a flat, neutral color. The surface deteriorates along with the layers below in a random act of vandalism. The varnish peels off, the coating is shed. I watch the decay with a euphemistic eye. The camera turns to the lazy viewers, wandering aimlessly. What was once a gold tooth reveals its lead filling. Sooner or later, you always find out if it’s a knock-off. No problem. Impermanence breeds new intensities. The thermodynamic machine shifts from one state to another, the parameters preserve themselves.”
Double bindMap →
21.09 – 14.10.2018
KARROT, Częstochowska 20, Warszawa
Lipce, oil on canvas, photo: Łukasz Dziedzic, courtesy of the artist
Double Bind is a solo exhibition of art by Dominika Kowynia, specially prepared for this edition of WGW by the Szara Gallery in Katowice.
Kowynia creates figurative oil paintings. Her work explores the space where personal experiences intersect with current events, recent history and literature. The titular “double bind” refers to the event in which we receive mixed signals from a loved one, and applies in particular to the feminist context. An example could be when a woman’s job requires her to be intensely competitive, while at once demanding that she display the stereotypically feminine quality of gentleness. This bind, one that is difficult to untie in the real world, provides an inspiring starting point for images whose purpose, naturally, is not to illustrate the problem. Angry pacing, thoughts abandoned at the critical moment, plot twists, and more knots. Paintings that, unlike real life, are governed by their own set of rules. They can be battlefields for skirmishes with no victor, or places where alternative possibilities take shape. Or they can be mental exercises that teach us to find viable moves in stalemate positions.
The Sensual Matter of PicturesMap →
Maja Kitajewska, Andrzej Szewczyk
21.09 – 16.11.2018
Untitled, 1998, own technique, wood, encaustic, 31 x 43 cm
Andrzej Szewczyk and Maja Kitajewska have taken an experimental approach to the physical matter of art, allowing each artist to develop a unique visual style. Their work is guided by a balanced interest in the conceptual dimension of the artwork and its sensual form. The cornerstone of their artistic method is repetition. Szewczyk’s pieces comprise dozens of colored pencil stubs, pistachio shells or stamped lead points, obsessively chained together into mysterious inscriptions or impossible script, its composition resembling the structure of text. Kitajewska embroiders her canvases with sequins and glass beads, combining glimmering textures with the aura surrounding ambiguous objects. A notable aspect of both artists’ work is their erotic series: Szewczyk applies the term to the pieces which he has covered with pistachio shells and golden paint, frequently on a blue background, while Kitajewska’s erotic artworks are miniatures of eighteenth-century classics of the genre, embroidered with glass beads. In both cases, the glimmer of the picture and the sensuousness of its matter bring to mind the desire evoked by the sight of jewels and the curiosity sparked by encrypted meanings.
28. Śmierć CzłowiekaAda Zielińska
Heat, Hangover, Honda, 2016, archival print, 70x100 cm, ed. 1/1 + AP, photo: Ada Zielińska, courtesy of the artist
Adults’ desire to demolish and destroy, or to put themselves in dangerous situations, is a result of social pressure and a surfeit of false, imposed values. Staging dangerous situations in order to achieve relief and excitement is a way of taming that dysfunction. This practice forms the foundation of Ada Zielińska’s work.
The exhibition Let it Die at the Śmierć Człowieka Gallery features, untypically for Zielińska, a short series of largeformat photographs that reveal this immaterial destruction. Her depictions of staged events transport the destructive elements onto the aesthetic and receptive plane, producing powerful, personal image-objects that eschew narrative. This technique has much in common with with alienart, a genre in which objects appear to be created by non-humans. One might think that pure photography is too entangled in our human reality to achieve such an effect, yet Zielińska has managed to do so. The homogeneity and sterility of the display only compound this sense of estrangement.
29. WizytującaAgata Kus
Twin bed, 2016, oil on canvas, 180 x 160 cm
Quotations taken from various pieces of reality come together in an image, forming a unique semantic and aesthetic collage that cannot be reduced to its constituent parts. It resembles in this sense a chemical compound, whose properties are entirely different from those of its individual elements. Each puzzle piece introduces its own semantic baggage associated with the circumstances of a particular place and time. Like any member of society, it carries a particular portion of knowledge that is specific to itself. Despite the ostensibly loose arrangement of the individual components, the structures they form are ecologically rational. We emphasize the notion of spontaneous order and the efficiency of unhindered action, and we reinforce the status of the individual elements of the structure, which is free of any mandatory conditions save for the frame of the painting itself.
30. WschódAnna Orłowska
Morning Star Plafond (Temple of Diana at the Museum of Nieborów and Arkadia), 2017 steel frame, diameter 150 cm, courtesy of the artist and Wschód Gallery
Anna Orłowska uses photography to reorganize and modify carefully selected architectural figures, displaying a strong and substantial ability to organize and arrange her findings. She uses architectural structures to perform detached analyses of the spaces she studies. Orłowska formulates her narratives around the resonance that emerges between the space and its functionality, restoring the dynamism, complexity, and distortions that have been inscribed into its history. Futerał — which accompanies a publication by the same title and contains essays by Jakub Śwircz, Agnieszka Tarasiuk and Katarzyna Wąs — brings into focus the convoluted histories of several Polish castles and palaces: their transformations, architecture, intended purpose, and actual uses.
As a result of the forced nationalization campaign carried out in Poland following World War II, all castles and palaces were taken away from their rightful owners. The practice of adapting them to new uses intensified, marking the start of a new chapter for many buildings. Their functions changed over time, leaving visual traces in the appearances of these once-exquisite homes. The user replaced the owner, but the fascination with the vie de château never disappeared completely. The post-war authorities appropriated what they failed to destroy or exploit, making the palace a symbol of their prestige. Some properties were turned into museum-residences; in other instances, their form and contents were borrowed in part and transfered to newly constructed public buildings. Futerał is a perverse reconstruction of the contemporary status of these strategies, one that brings to light the transformative capabilities of architecture.