Stanisław Dróżdż, Wanda Gołkowska

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 rejecting 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.