Sculptor and installation artist. Born on the 25th of November 1959 in Lublin.
Katarzyna Józefowicz studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk from 1981 to 1986. She is still associated with the Academy today, where she works as a teacher. She gained broad recognition as an artist in 2000, rather late in her career; she was awarded the Passport of the Polish weekly Polityka the following year.
Józefowicz's favourite materials are paper and cardboard, both relatively delicate and un-durable. She uses them to create subtle constructions involving thousands of elements. Her creations are extremely laborious and demand several years of monotonous work, all of which is carried out by the artist herself.
She created two series in the early 1990s: City (1990-1991) and Habitat (1993-1996), both paper objects composed of an uncountable number of elements. City is a recreation of the complicated structure of a metropolis, a structure built up vertically rather than horizontally. Habitat brings to mind enormous doll houses, constructions assembled out of precisely-shaped bits of cardboard furniture of various sizes; the larger the house, the more miniature elements it contains. On a micro scale, both works represent the molecular structure of the human habitat. They are, however, uninhabited, a fact which makes them seem more like growing, living organisms whose expansion cannot be contained by any exact rules.
The work that brought the artist to the attention of the art world was Carpets (2000), which features human figures. It consists of broad horizontal surfaces created by combining thousands of faces and figures cut out of magazines and colour newspapers. Celebrities mingle with tabloids stars and ordinary people, forming an anonymous crowd. Carpets exposes the surfeit of information that has transformed the world into a global village. It draws attention to the excess of images bombarding the modern man, who, despite the crowds surrounding him, nevertheless feels alone.
In the series Games (2002), Józefowicz used colourful advertising leaflets, covered hundreds of cubes with them and "scattering" these cubes around the gallery space. As the cubes assume different configurations with each exhibit, the installation takes on a variety of forms. Here, the trivial information broadcast by omnipresent advertisements creates colourful mounds of various shapes.
In 2004 Józefowicz created an installation out of hundreds of round plates, each made of wound-up strips of paper that had been cut out of daily newspapers. Their structures resembled both the rings of tree stumps and reels of film. The material of the plates reminds one of the dissemination of information and how it is mixed, as well as the games the media plays and, in the end, the unavoidable return of matter to its primal state.
Author: Karol Sienkiewicz, November 2006.
Selected individual exhibitions:
1993 - F.O.S. Gallery, Gdańsk;
1996 - BWA Gallery, Bydgoszcz;
2000 - Warsaw; Carpets - Prowincjonalna Gallery, Słubice;
2001 - Foksal Gallery, Warsaw;
2002 - Games - Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw; Koło Gallery, Gdańsk;
2003 - Arsenal Gallery, Białystok;
2005 - Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw;
2006 - Platán Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
Selected Group Exhibitions:
1997 - Artists of the Koło Gallery - Koło Gallery, Gdańsk;
1999 - Public Relations - Art from Gdańsk - Centre for Contemporary Art Łaźnia, Gdańsk; Paper Zone - Municipal Gallery of Art, Łódź;
2000 - Na wolności w końcu / Free at Last - Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden; , Szczecin (2001); , Warsaw (2001);
2001 - Kobieta o kobiecie / Woman on Woman - Bielska BWA Gallery, Bielsko-Biała; 2nd Berlin Biennial - Berlin, Germany; Big Show - Nicc Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium; Słubice-Gdańsk - Prowincjonalna Gallery, Słubice;
2002 - Waiting for the Ice Age - Georg Kargl Gallery, Vienna, Austria; Biennial of Sydney - Sydney, Australia; September Horse - Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany; Centre of Attraction VIII Baltic Triennal of International Art - Centre for Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithuania; Fundamentalisms of the New Order - Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark;
2003 - Dekada / Decade - , Warsaw; , Bydgoszcz; Räume des Alltags - Städtischen Galerie im Buntentor, Bremen, Germany; Architectures of Gender - Sculpture Center, New York, United States of America; Ögonblickets Anatomi / Anatomy of Moments - Grafiken Hus, Mariefred, Sweden; Bewitched Bothered Bewildered - Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland; Centre for Contemporary Art Łaźnia, Gdańsk; Plunder. Culture as Material - Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland; Multiple Exposure - Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria;
2004 - Prym / Superiority - BWA Gallery, Zielona Góra; The New Ten - Kuppersmuhle Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Krzątanina / Bustling - BWA Gallery, Zielona Góra; Awangarda Gallery, Wrocław; Pluzzle - Griedervonputtkamer Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Habitat - Arndt und Partner, Berlin, Germany; Palimpsest Museum - Łódź Art Biennial;
2005 - The Bench - Neue Kunst Halle, St Gallen, XXX; Absolwent / Graduate - Wyspa Art Institute, Gdańsk;
2006 - W Polsce czyli gdzie? / In Poland That is Where? - Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Ideal City - Invisible Cities - Zamość; Potsdam, Germany.
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