The exhibition presents 41 works by the twenty greatest photorealists, including Ralph Goings, Richard Estes, Robert Cottingham, and Robert Bechtle. Their works have never before been presented in Poland.
This project, organized for the 90th anniversary of formal Polish-U.S. diplomatic relations, is a broad artistic and educational undertaking. The idea is to show people, trends, and concepts related to American culture which were important to generations of Poles living their youth in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, in the reality of People's Poland and its political propaganda.
|John Baeder, Pappy's Place, 1985, oil, canvas © John Baeder, Louis K. and Susan P. Mesel Family Collection||Robert Bechtle, Alameda Chrysler, 1981, oil, canvas © Robert Bechtle, Louis K. and Susan P. Mesel Family Collection|
The starting point for the exhibition's author is Aldona Jawłowska's 1975 book Drogi kontrkultury / The Roads of Counterculture. She set down the creed of a generation for whom American experiences in the field of culture, from the 1950s and the beatnik movement to the contestation movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s, were among the most important elements of social consciousness. The philosophical, literary and cinematic concept of the "road" has set off a whole chain of associations leading the viewer through the world of film, music, literature, poetry, and visual arts. The exhibition is a kind of artistic and multimedia experiment. It presents not just works of art, but also installations, film projections, including documentaries, large-sized photographs and soundtracks created specially for the project.
Richard Estes, Pressing, 1978, acrylic, board © Richard Estes, Louis K. and Susan P. Mesel Family CollectionA number of works by American photorealists have been brought to the National Museum in Krakow
. Their pictures are a window onto American reality in its most typical and characteristic manifestations. The "father" of American photorealism was the New York art dealer and collector, Louis K. Meisel, who set up a gallery in SoHo, Manhattan, in 1969, promoting mainly paintings by photorealists. He also coined the term "photorealism" and outlined the theory and assumptions of this trend. Meisel has written numerous books and monographs on photorealism, while his gallery is familiar to cinema and TV audiences from the famous show Sex and the City.
The exhibition presents 41 works by the twenty greatest photorealists, including Ralph Goings, Richard Estes, Robert Cottingham, and Robert Bechtle. Their works have never before been presented in Poland, though photorealism is familiar in Europe from many exhibitions - most recently "Picturing America: Photorealism in the 1970s" at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. Louis K. Meisel is a co-curator of the Berlin project at the Deutsche Guggenheim and of the exhibition at the National Museum in Krakow.
The exposition is accompanied by an extensive interdisciplinary educational programme which will be run not just at the museum but also at popular venues such as the Alchemia club, Pauza gallery, Mikro cinema, Lokator club, and many others.
The "American Dream" exhibition forms part of the "American season" organized this summer at the National Museum in Krakow and unquestionably will be its greatest experience. Other shows in the series include:
- "Weegee. From the collection of Hendrik Berinson" (May - July)
- "Polish Museum of America. Graphic Art Collection" (September - December)
- "Art or Advertisement" (July - September)
- "Jam Session. American Ambassadors of Jazz Set Off Into the World" (August - September)
- "First Step Towards a Collection of Western Contemporary Art" - an exhibition featuring paintings by Eric Fischl and Philip Taaffe, photographs by David LaChapelle, and collages by Andy Warhol, among other works (until December 2009)
Source: Press release