"The current exhibition at the Foksal Gallery comprises several large-format works on paper (drawings in colour) that are visual explorations of order and the ways in which it is disrupted (...), as well as on equilibrium and its disturbances".
Michael Kidner You Name It 2007
"This is the first time that the Foksal Gallery has hosted an exhibition by the eminent British artist Michael Kidner (b. 1917). Kidner, who will be turning 90 in September 2007, read history and anthropology at Cambridge University before moving on to study the fine arts at a number of colleges and academies. While his work and attitude to life and art have led him to explore multiple areas of learning - his is an art 'eager-to-know' - he is, to a great extent, guided by intuition and immediate experience, and is highly attuned to feeling.
cy*'Paintings do communicate feelings, a feeling, I think,'
** he recently said with an embarrassed laugh. His work also displays a peculiar sense of humour, and a lively intelligence revealed in the titles he gives his pieces: a wit similar to the one intimated by certain terms introduced into the realm of physics, chaos theory and cosmology - in metaphors, elisions, and paradoxes. A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts, Kidner lives and works in London though he has travelled extensively for most of his adult life, usually accompanied by his wife, Marion Frederick-Kidner, who has come to be profoundly involved in his artistic choices and decisions.
Equilibrium Disturbed at the Foksal Gallery is not the first exhibition Michael Kidner has had in Poland: he has shown his work here several times since the 1981 exhibition at the ON Gallery in Poznan that brought him to the Polish public, and most notably at the retrospective at Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz in 1985 (followed by shows at the Krzysztofory Gallery in Krakow, the National Museum in Wroclaw, the University Gallery in Cieszyn, the Muzalewska Gallery in Poznan; his works are in the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, and have been acquired by private collectors). He has exhibited in most European countries, in some of which he has executed public commissions, and in the United States. Kidner's work is to be found in major collections throughout Europe and the USA (including the Tate in London, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and MoMA in New York). In the 1960s the artist was involved with the art group Systems. He was associated with the then-prominent Grabowski Gallery in London (founded and run by Mateusz Grabowski, who in the 1970s donated his collection of international art to Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz). For many years, Michael Kidner taught at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham (in the 1980s he was guest lecturer at the Cieszyn branch of the University of Silesia). He has maintained contacts with Polish artists including Jerzy Kalucki, Jerzy Wronski, Andrzej Szewczyk (1950-2001), and Marek Chlanda. He has taken an interest in the creative developments of Katarzyna Kobro, Henryk Stazewski, and Wladyslaw Strzeminski. Moreover, he has worked closely with Ryszard Stanislawski and Jaromir Jedlinski. Last year, Michael Kidner confessed that:
'It was a great moment in my life that exhibition in the Lodz Muzeum Sztuki.'
The current exhibition at the Foksal Gallery comprises several large-format works on paper (drawings in colour) that are visual explorations of order and the ways in which it is disrupted (on purpose by the artist or because of the intrinsic nature of a system), as well as on equilibrium and its disturbances. We have here works such as Lurching Man, Collapsing Order no. 1, or Colour System Becoming Unpredictable 1. All the above, like the other works displayed at Foksal, were made in 2007. One of them is titled You Name It in keeping with the artist's custom of asking people what associations they have when looking at a newly-made work of his, and how they would name it. This approach rooted in dialogue, is very much in evidence at the present exhibition. The artist phrased it well when he said that his aim is
'to let the outcome of the work grow of its own accord.'
Michael Kidner is associated with the Angela Flowers Gallery in London, who will be holding a retrospective of his work from September through October 2007. We appreciate the assistance the Flowers Gallery provided with the organisation of the Michael Kidner exhibition at the Foksal Gallery."**The exhibition is running from 5th September till 5th October 2007.
Foksal Steet 1/4, 00-950 Warsaw