Abstraction.PL at the Museum of Art in Olomouc (MUO) is the first such extensive exhibition of Polish abstract painting in the Czech Republic. It opens with works by Władysław Strzemiński, an icon of the Polish avant-garde, and ends with contemporary paintings by Piotr Lutyński.
The development of Polish abstract painting is closely linked to historical changes. The Abstraction.PL exhibition emphasises two main currents of abstract art: emotional and geometrical. The exhibition includes a wide variety of works, from Tachism and Art Informel all the way to geometric-constructivism defined by the first avant-garde. Currents that were born from abstract art, such as conceptualism and concrete poetry, are also signalled. Visitors will be able to see the works of 62 artists, which represent various trends and directions of abstract painting.
Abstraction.PL begins its journey through Polish abstract paitings in the 1940s with the avant-garde (Władysław Strzemiński, Maria Jarema, Jonasz Stern, Kazimierz Mikulski, Marian Bogusz), goes onto Tachism and Art Informel (Tadeusz Kantor, Alfred Lenica, Jerzy Kujawski, Teresa Tyszkiewiczowa), surrealism (Tadeusz Brzozowski, Erna Rosenstein, Jerzy Skarżyński), matter painting and structural painting (Jonasz Stern, Teresa Rudowicz, Aleksander Kobzdej, Bronisław Kierzkowski, Alfons Mazurkiewicz, Jacek Sempoliński), all the way to geometric-constructivism from the 1960s and 1970s (Stefan Gierowski, Stanisław Janikowski, Wojciech Fangor, Kajetan Sosnowski, Ryszard Winiarski).
The exhibition will also showcase works that are not so easily classified, such as works by Jerzy Nowosielski, Stanisław Fijałkowski and Jan Lebenstein. The 1980s and 1990s are represented by Jan Pamuła, who was the first artist in Poland to use computer software in his work, and Jerzy Kałucki, who could be considered a constructivist. Józef Hałas and Leon Tarasewicz are representatives of geometric painting based on synthesising images of nature, based on the richness of texture and colour. Deriving from abstraction, a separate current of art is represented by the works of Roman Opałka, Edward Krasiński and Jerzy Rosołowicz. Concrete poetry will be shown through the texts of Stanisław Dróżdż.
The core of the exhibition are exhibits borrowed from the private collections of Renata and Grzegorz Król from Warsaw, as well as Grażyna and Jacek Łozowski from Wrocław. It is also graced by works belonging to the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw, the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art.
The exhibition was prepared by an international team of historians, art theoreticians and curators including Štěpánka Bieleszová and Ladislav Daněk from MUO, while the catalogue texts were written by Krystyna Czerni, Barbara Ilkosz, Bożena Kowalska, and Andrzej Nakov. Beata Gawrońska-Oramus is behind the concept for the exhibition.
The exhibition is organised in partnership with the Museum of Art in Olomouc and the Polish Institute in Prague.
The project is co-organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand as part of POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme accompanying the centenary of Poland regaining independence. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2021.
Source: press materials, compiled by Culture.pl, translated by NR, Apr 2018