Małgorzata Markiewicz is an artist born in 1979 in Kraków. She creates objects, photographs, and films.
Artist born in 1979 in Kraków. Creates objects, photographs and films.
Between 1999 and 2004, she studied at the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. She graduated with honours. She belonged to the feminist group ‘grzenda.pl’ and the Artistic Association ‘Ośrodek Zdrowia’. She lives and works in Kraków. Since 2001, she has been enrolled in a PhD programme at the Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Between 2014 and 2015, she was a student of an independent postgraduate course at Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm.
Markiewicz uses textiles, crewel, and clothes. She refers to stereotypically female spheres – knitting, family, and home, as well as to what is known as the female art form – the tradition of artistic textiles. She elaborates on the problem of the cultural burden of gender identity and the social position of women. Agnieszka Rayzecher wrote:
In Markiewicz’s works clothes (usually dresses) become forms of media, whereas a fact of sewing or stylization legitimizes her as a woman and an artist.
Markiewicz’s early works were textiles and crewels designed not to exclusively be products of everyday use but also products that bear certain meanings. Often in a humoristic and direct way, her works referred to the sphere of eroticism and man’s imagination. Zabawki dla Dużych Chłopców (editor’s translation: Toys for Big Boys) (2000) were objects made of textiles and shaped into the erogenous parts of woman’s body (breast, vagina).
Grzyby (Mushrooms) (2001) were meant to recall breasts, vaginas, and penises. The artist also designed and created Podomki (2002), a sexy but ironic commentary on gender roles of women – housewives and objects of man’s erotic desire. These works of art were presented during the novart.pl festival by girls who wore them while roller-skating around the area. A part of clothes knitted by Markiewicz referred to motherhood (Sweterek dla Dwojga – A Sweater for Two, 2001) and interhuman relations (Motyw Żółtego – A Yellow Motive, 2003).
A similar thread was touched by her following work called Pary (Pairs) (2006) in which the artist paired singular gloves she found (of different patterns, colours and materials) into combinations that represent diversity and experiences of meeting and being with someone.
A transparent, knitted dress – Pajęczyna
(Spider’s Web) (2003), defined clothes as something organic, connected with the body and brought a number of associations. Joanna Zielińska wrote:
The knitted dress created by the artist, which in its web-ghost structure may seem to be a trap, also looks like a typical table linen with which we cover the table every day. We see the context of a grim consumption of what is feminine, a consumption that becomes possible because of the reproduction of the traditional house-family-motherhood roles of women.
In 2004 Markiewicz created Kwiaty (Flowers) – spatial objects that were combinations of different elements of woman’s clothes lay on the floor, reminiscent of growing buds. Created in the process of the intimate practice of rapidly throwing off clothes, the works balanced between innocence and desire. Clothes function here as objects that have a direct connection with the human body. The artist also showed photographs of Kwiaty in lightboxes, placing them against the natural green colour of grass.
A part of her doings was realized in the public space. In the installation Ciepło-Zimno (Warm-Cold) (2004) she confronted the cold stone railings and tiles at the courtyard of the Goethe Institute in Kraków with warm textiles and cloths. At a different time Markiewicz screened one single word on billboards spread around the city – Oddychaj (Breath) (2005). By exchanging the spate of information we unconsciously acquire every day, with the simple word, the artist pointed at the body as an important source of experience. For one of the interviews she said:
We lost the feeling of our own bodies.
Nowo-twory (2007) was built of soft, irregular, tangled figures made of old clothes the artist stuffed with magazines for women and advertising leaflets cut into pieces. The work of art was on the one hand interpreted through the disgust and abhorrence it roused and thus compared to abject art, while on the other hand some other critics pointed at the artistic gesture meant to incarnate, as well as defeat and neutralize her own fears.
The artist broadened her scope of expression at her individual exhibition in Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków in 2007 titled ‘Przemiany’ (Phases) by presenting a fresco painting and objects made of concrete. The installation Człowiek Rodzi się Delikatny i Słaby (Man is Born Delicate and Weak) referred to the Five Elements concept which assigns five seasons of the year to five different periods in the life of man (spring – birth, summer – coming of age, Indian summer – adulthood, autumn – getting old, winter – death). The five consecutive phases are represented by five fresco paintings to which Markiewicz added her own photographs. The photographic cycle Słabość Ma w Sobie Piękno (Weakness is Beautiful) was combined of five sarcophagus made of concrete, on which Markiewicz placed dresses known from photographs that lost their function and were abandoned. Małgorzata Mleczko wrote:
We might deal here with the willingness to bury one’s own inhibiting ‘enemy’ – in this case clothing, which is a shroud for the body, a mask we all have to wear.
– Projekty z Recyclingu - Dom, Kraków;
– Motyw Żółtego, Kraków
– Kołdra, Galeria Lokal, Kraków
– Pajęczyna, Galeria Potocka, Kraków
– Ciepło-Zimno, Goethe Institute / Dworzec Główny, Kraków
– Kwiaty, Otwarta Pracownia, Kraków
– Wystawa Tkanin Splamionych Haftem, Manhattan Gallery, Łódź; Flowers - Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome
– Przemiany – Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków
– Nowo-twory, Program Gallery, Warsaw
– Abandoned, Turf Gallery, London
– Momenty Bezwładności, Pauza Gallery, Kraków
– Albo-Albo, Le Guern Gallery, Warsaw
– Ukryte Piękno Meblościanki, Niedzielnych Spotkań i Domowych Pleśni, BWA Tarnow
– ESC, Wyjścia Ewakuacyjne, BWA Bielsko-Biała
– Wearable Nations, The Factory for Art and Design, Copenhagen
– Tkaniny EU, MOCAK, Kraków
– Nie-całe / Pół-pełne, Art Agenda Nova, Kraków
– Znikające punkty, Piekary Gallery, Poznań
– House, Home, Domesticity, Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm
– Negocjowanie Codzienności, Przytyck Gallery, Tarnowskie Góry
– Look at Me / Spójrz na Mnie, Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków
– Pieniądze Szczęścia nie Dają, Manhattan Gallery, Łódź
– Dziewczyny i Chłopaki, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
– Prym, BWA, Zielona Góra
– Święto Kobiet, Kraków
– Nature and/of Art, Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków
– Triennale młodych, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej, Orońsko
– Art. Jeune, Lille, France
– Biennale Młodych Artystów, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej, Orońsko
– Piękno, czyli Efekty Malarskie, Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko-Biała; Galeria Awangarda, Wrocław (2005); Galeria BWA, Zielona Góra (2005)
– Kowalska, Markiewicz, Simon, Potocka Gallery, Kraków
– Memory (W)hole, Ljubljana Castle, Ljubljana
– Polkolore, Stuttgart
– Czas kultury, Galeria Miejska Arsenał, Poznań; Program Gallery, Warsaw
– Beuty Free Shop, Prague, Czech Republic
– Miasta Stare, Sztuka Nowa, Quebec, Canada
– Uwaga! Polen kommen, Weimar, Germany
– Wiedźma Ple Ple, DLA... Gallery, Toruń
– Życie kobiety, Instytut Polski, Leipzig, Germany
– Jej Portret (nie)Wierny, Galeria Manhattan, Łódź
– Beelden Buiten, Tielt, Belgia
– Antifestival, Kuopio, Finland
– Art Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
– Scope London Art Fair, London, Great Britain
– Vienna Fair, Vienna, Austria
– Mamidło, Program Gallery, Warsaw
– Wreszcie Nowa! Małopolskie Kolekcje Sztuki Nowoczesnej, Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków
– Sąsiedzi, Blekinge Museum, Karlskrona Sweden
– Rauma Biennale, Rauma, Finland
– Efekt czerwonych oczu, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw
– Ok. Wyspiański, Muzeum Stanisława Wyspiańskiego, Kraków
– Dziedzictwo, Centrum Sztuki ‘Zamek’, Poznań
– Alfabet Polski, BWA Gallery, Tarnów
– New Territories, Lisbon, Portugal
– Zakamarki, BWA Gallery, Sanok
– Przypadkowe przyjemności, BWA Gallery, Katowice
– Excentric Paths, Riga Arsenal, Latvia
– Better Tomorrow, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome, Italy
– Oh no, not Death and Sex Again!, National Gallery of Art, Sopot
– Coexsitence, Tembi Gallery, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
– Rococo, Galeria KUB, Leipzig, Germany
– Artystki Artystom, Łaźnia, Gdańsk
– Otulina, Kordegard Gallery, Warsaw
– Wymiana Darów, Współczesne Museum, Wrocław
– NIE na MIEJSCU, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw
– Kolekcja Mocak-u, MOCAK, Kraków
– Two Sides, SWAN Day, Berlin
– Macierzyństwo, Warsztaty Sztuki, Lublin; 4 Art Boom Festival, Kraków
– Cosmopolitan Stranger, Hotel de Inmigrantes , Hasselt, Belgium
– Drżące ciało. Fotografia z Kolekcji Cezarego Pieczyńskiego, Starmach Gallery, Kraków
– Who makes Europe, Matadero, Madrid, Spain
– Nocne aktywności, BWA Gallery, Katowice
– Alternativa – WERNAKULARNOŚĆ, Instytut Sztuki Wyspa, Gdańsk
– Nie/dopasowanie, Wizytująca Gallery, Warsaw
– Gender w Sztuce, Museum of Contemporary Art MOCAK, Kraków
– VI Odsłona Kolekcji MOCAKu, Museum of Contemporary Art MOCAK, Kraków
– Krzątaczki, Dom Norymberski, Kraków
Author: Karol Sienkiewicz, December 2007, updated in May 2015, translated by Antoni Wiśniewski, April 2016.