Mirosław Bałka Tops Polish Art Ranking 2011
#photography & visual arts
small, Mirosław Bałka Tops Polish Art Ranking 2011, Miroslaw Balka, photo: Włodzimierz Wasyluk, ranking main 09 06_6427239.jpg
Claiming first position for the third time in a row, internationally acclaimed Polish sculptor is recognised as the top polish contemporary artist by Kompas Sztuki Art Ranking.
contemporary polish artists
Chosen among 288 other artists and 5 artistic groups, Mirosław Bałka is labelled Poland's number one artist in terms of points awarded for prestigious exhibitions, publications, participation in important exhibitions, fairs, awards etc. The ranking is put together and ranked by art experts, owners and directors of galleries and its initiators are Kama Zboralska i Piotr Cegłowski.
Second position in the Art Ranking went to two artists who died in 2011, painter, illustrator, designer and philosopher Jerzy Nowosielski and one of the most radical and famous conceptual artists Roman Opałka. For the second time in a row, sculptor and artist Alina Szapocznikow poshumously ranked fourth. Painter, illustrator and comic strip artist Wilhelm Sasnal made it to the top ten for the first time.
Mirosław Bałka uses simple means to film everyday scenes and moments, most of them observations of details which go on to assume a mysterious and poetic dimension in his films. Tiny events produce images of great intensity, which touch upon fundamental human experiences, fears and hopes. Many of the projections have small sculptural additions that give them a concrete place in the exhibition space and involve the ephemeral medium of video in a physical reality.
Born in 1958 in Warsaw, notions of history and the residue of memory weigh heavily in Bałka's approach to art. Growing up in Catholic Poland under a Socialist regime where Western popular icons were rejected, the artist recalls that his childhood heroes were saints and martyrs. He was the grandson of a funerary-monument sculptor, and the son of a master masonry craftsman. These religious and familial traditions lend his work a pervading sense of sacredness, a somber view of history and the individual's relationship to it.
According to critics, Bałka's film installations and sculptures often return to a history and memory of the dark experiences and lives of Poles, crimes committed against humanity in the twentieth century, which tug the mind in all sorts of directions. His works, recall the tragedies of European history such as the Holocaust, although never in an overtly literal way.
Editor: Marta Jazowska