Polish artists across generations take various spaces and structures to deconstruct, flip, twist and break them as a statement on the contemporary state of Polish art
The 14 artists participating in the exhibition are among the most recognised names that Poland has let loose on the global art market - from seasoned masters like Mirosław Bałka, Robert Kuśmirowski and Monika Sosnowska to the new generation of Wojciech Bąkowski, Anna Molska, Konrad Smoleński and Honza Zamojski. Each work in the show presents a physical object, concept or process - a range of material and non-material entities - that has been taken apart and distorted by doubling it up, squeezing, turning, twisting and bending to achieve an unexpected, subversive and often absurdist result. The sculptures and video works question the basic premises at work and warp them, challenging the accepted order of things.
For Poland's contemporary artists, such a double game is reflective of the state of the artist in this nation before, during and after the political transformation of the late 1980s. It also reflects the decisive role Poland played in shifting the scope of history through a strong social movement that toppled communism. By including artists working across a wide generational spectrum, it allows for a contemplative and critical glimpse at the approach to how artists formulate new perspectives on the past and present, how that practice is affected by history and how poignantly it reflects on the world today.
The starting point for the exhibition reaches back four decades, when the Morberoich museum hosted a solo exhibition of works by Wojciech Fangor under the same title. The show consisted of a series of twisted panels of fiberboard painted with red and blue sequences of dots in patterns that created an abstract impression of the countryside in a highly engaging style that bent and shifted the space of the exhibition.
The curator of the exhibition Logo Initiative, Stefanie Kreuzer of the Polish Institute in Düsseldorf, visited Poland in 2012 to take a close look of the Polish art of the past few decades. She observed this very aspect of "change, break, reverse" in the works of Polish artists as one of the most interesting, characteristic aspects of Polish art after 1989. By expanding the scope of this idea to include a variety of artists and works, the exhibition presents various sides of reality from the unique perspective of Polish artists with this collection of established works set alongside new commissioned works.
Works include Jan Mioduszewki's Spatial Images, in which real furniture is transformed into the two-dimensional image of painting and finally end up as a video projection, Robert Kuśmirowski's imagined visions of Andy Warhol's studio in Variations on a Theme by Andy Warhol (2011) and the startlingly high-volume audio piece by Konrad Smolenski titled There's No God (2011). The human body is the subject of works by Aneta Grzeszykowska, Anna Molska and Wojciech Bąkowski, which deconstruct and reconfigure the anatomy and its movement.
Featured artists: Wojciech Bakowski, Miroslaw Balka, Michal Budny, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Zuzanna Janin, Maciej Kurak, Robert Kuśmirowski, Agata Madejska, Jan Mioduszewski, Anna Molska, Marzena Nowak, Konrad Smolenski, Monika Sosnowska and Honza Zamojski
Curator: Stefanie Kreuzer.
The exhibition opens on the 27th of January 2013 at 12 pm in the Hall of Mirrors Morsbroich Museum and runs through the 28th of April 2013. It is accompanied by a catalogue featuring some 50 colour illustrations, with a foreword by Markus Heinzelmann, an introduction to the exhibition by Stefanie Kreuzer and texts of Karol Sienkiewicz and Noemi Smolik. For more information, see: www.museum-morsbroich.de
Source: press information, exhibition catalogue
Thumbnail credit: Stills from the video work Headache by Aneta Grzeszykowska