The most well-known Polish collector of art has found herself among The Top 200 COLLECTORS in this year’s Art News ranking.
This is Grażyna Kulczyk’s second international success of 2015. In June, she was invited to join one of MoMA’s prestigious program boards in New York, where she was the first person from Central and Eastern Europe to sit on the Modern Women’s Fund Committee. In early July, Kulczyk was ranked among the world’s most important art collectors by the magazine Art News. She joins the list alongside such figures as Roman Abramovic and Dasha Zhukova of Moscow, Karen and Christian Boros of Berlin, François Pinault of Paris, Victor Pinchuk of Kiev, Patrizia Sanderetto Re Rebaudengo of Turin, and Charles Saatchi of London. In addition to Kulczyk, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and collectors from the Rubell Family were recognized for the first time by the publication.
Today, Grażyna Kulczyk’s collection includes more than 500 works and is the largest private art collection in Poland and one of the most important in this part of Europe. Its value is estimated at nearly 100 million euros. The collection includes works from artists such as Władysław Strzemiński, Zofia Kulik, Tadeusz Kantor, Roman Opałka, Paweł Althamer, and Piotr Uklański.
Over the past several years, Kulczyk’s collection has become increasingly international, as she has added photographs by Andreas Gursky, painting by Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, and Anslem Kiefer, works by the notable female artists Yayoi Kusama and Rosemarie Torckel, the minimalists Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Agnes Martin, and pieces from ZERO art group members Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Güther Uecker, as well as installations by Loris Gréaud and Olafur Eliasson.
Importantly, Kulczyk’s collection is just one of the elements of her general mission – all Kulczyk’s investments balance business and art. This approach is exemplified in Stary Browar (Old Brewery) in Poznań, which in 2004 became the site of her private gallery, as well as the Art Stations Foundation, dedicated to organizing exhibitions based on her collection, performances, and concerts. The Foundation also aims to promote educational programs and promote contemporary art in everyday surroundings.
Grażyna Kulczyk’s cultural activity is not limited to Poland. As a member of the Russia and Eastern Europe Acquisitions Committee, she supports programs at Kunsthalle in Zurich and London’s Tate Modern. She was also recently involved in the renovation of a historic brewery in Switzerland, which she hopes to transform into a museum of Polish contemporary art.
"The motivation for building my collection and my involvement in international projects has for years been my desire to promote Polish artists, who deserve the same attention as the world’s biggest names. Poland is one of Europe’s largest countries. We should strive to 'play in the premier league' – to shape the debate and trends. Today, the world’s leaders’ opinions about a country are based not only on politics, military power, or the economy, but also on our ability to be creative, on our social capital. This is why it is extremely important that Poland stresses its role and great contributions to the fields of art and culture. Works by Polish artists appear in galleries around the world, but there is still a lot to do. If my voice on boards of international institutions might bring works by Polish artists into their collections then I think it’s worth it. We have art we can be proud of. "
Sources: Fundacja Art Stations, artnews.com, oprac. AS, 10.07.2015, trans. AA 13.07.2015