Polish Art Abroad: Six Essential Shows in 2017
Culture.pl presents six of the most awaited and crucial artistic events for Polish art around the world in 2017.
Maria Loboda at Kunsthalle Basel
One of the most interesting Polish artists, Maria Loboda, will have an individual exhibition at the prestigious Swiss museum Kunsthalle Basel (24th February – 14th May). The exhibition Havoc in the Heavenly Kingdom will present installations mixing folklore and mysticism, science and culture, esotericism and archaeology. At first glance, her works are very attractive, yet in reality there is far more to it – they are imbued with riddles that demand solving and traps that need to be avoided.
Taking place in the German city of Kassel every five years, Documenta is one of the most prestigious artistic events in the world. The Polish curator Adam Szymczyk is the director of the 14th edition, which will take place not only, as usual, in Germany (10th June – 17th September), but also in Athens (8th April –16th July). Szymczyk, dubbed ‘a talent hunter’, was the director of Kunsthalle in Basel up until recently, and earlier – the curator of the fifth Berlin Biennale. He was granted the Walter Hopps Award for his curatorial work in 2011. As The New York Times writes:
Szymczyk … is something of a curatorial rock star these days. Not only does he look and act the part — he… has an aura of cool aloofness — but his reputation for being avant-garde in his approach to contemporary art has helped him become a sought-after curator.
This year’s edition, titled Learning from Greece, turns documenta into a forum devoted to reflection on the current global financial crisis, as well as political and social turmoils in Europe.
Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński in Madrid
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía will host Spain’s first comprehensive presentation of two crucial Polish avant-garde artists: Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński (25th April – 18th September). The exhibition – as the organisers from the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź say – is intended to promote Polish art from the interwar period. It will include works from the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, the National Museum in Warsaw, the National Museum in Kraków, the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, and Polish and foreign private collections. The exhibition is curated by Manuel Borja-Villel and Jarosław Suchan.
The Polish Pavilion in Venice
The 57th La Biennale di Venezia (13th May – 26th November) will see Poland represented by Sharon Lockhart. This American artist has been connected to Polish art for nearly 10 years. In Venice, she will realise the project Little Review, a name which refers to a pre-WWII magazine for children and teenagers created by Janusz Korczak. Barbara Piwowarska is the curator of the project. As the jurors of the competition for the Polish Pavilion in Venice wrote:
Sharon Lockhart’s project talks about growing up and the end of childhood, giving a voice to young women, teenagers coming into adulthood. As part of the project, a film will be made with the participation of female youth sociotherapy students, as well as a photo series presenting the thirteen-year history of Korczak’s magazine. The issues of the periodical will also be translated.
Skulptur Projekte in Münster
Skulptur Projekte is the world’s biggest exhibition of sculpture in a public space, taking place every ten years in Münster, Germany (10th June – 1st October). For each edition, the most eminent artists creating new projects relating to cities and their surroundings are invited to participate in the event. The penultimate edition featured the Polish artist Paweł Althamer, but the programme of the fifth edition is still being kept secret – at this point though, it’s already known that it will include some Polish accents.
Edward Krasiński at Stedelijk
Edward Krasiński was one of the most crucial representatives of Polish neo-avant-garde. After the successful retrospective of his work finishes its run at Tate Liverpool, the exhibition will move to Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (24th June – 15th October). The show presents sculptures, space interventions and installations – both early 1960s works, all the way up to pieces created at the beginning of the 21st century.
Sources: Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, Zachęta – Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, kunsthallebasel.ch, skulptur-projekte.de, culture.pl; originally written in Polish, 20 Jan 2017, translated by NS, 26 Jan 2017
Update: an earlier version of this article contained a seventh exhibition titled Notes from the Underground to be staged in Berlin. The Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź has infromed us that this show has been postponed until 2018.