Zbigniew Warpechowski, the artist known as a performer, poet, painter and theoretician of art, this time focuses on sculptures. They are accompanied by black-and-white photographs which document selected performances done by the artist from the 1970s to the 1990s.
At the exhibition titled Wlazł kotek na płotek" / "A Kitten Sits on the Fence Zbigniew Warpechowski, for the most part shows marble and sandstone sculptures which remind one of something long-lasting and real. The objects on display may seem an antithesis of performance art the artist has been doing previously, the most ephemeral of art genres which does not leave any material traces.
The collection of works so technically different from each other is a result of a complicated path Warpechowski has followed in his artistic work. Painting has been his focus since 1962; his works can be found in such museums as the Museum of Art in Łódź and the National Museum in Warsaw. He began writing poetry soon after, and his 1967 performance in Kraków (the artist did not use that term yet, he heard it for the first time in Marseille in 1975) was in fact connected with poetry. He was one of the first performers worldwide and certainly a pioneer of performance actions in Poland. He made his own definition of performance art and has been following it ever since. He draws attention to the fact that in this type of art everything happens "for real", takes place in the moment of the audience's actual presence, and includes an element of improvisation and risk.
Warpechowski is known for his all-or-nothing attitude both towards art and contemporary reality. Lately he has been calling himself an "avant-garde conservative". In his performances he criticises the life which lacks values and is geared to consumption; similar views can be found in the sculptures shown at the exhibition, Norwid na widłach" / "Norwid on the Fork, Autorytet" / "Authority. Another thread in Warpechowski's art - and a surprise for the lovers of his art – is the artist's connection with cinema, emphasised in the show. Warpechowski has done production design for a number of films, including four features by Grzegorz Królikiewicz.
The ambition of performance art is to grasp what is common to all forms of art, that is the moment of creative action which precedes artistic formalisation.
The exhibition presents Warpechowski as a versatile artist, consistent and nonconformist both in his views and in his approach to art.
Na wylot" / "Through and Through (1972), a film directed by Grzegorz Królikiewicz with Warpechowski's production design will be screened on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 18:00. During the meeting the artist will also present fragments of a play based on Faust, produced in 1976 for Television Theatre.
Opening: January 12, 2011 at 19:00.
The exhibition runs through February 12, 2011.
Art NEW media Gallery
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 41
Source: press material
Translated by: Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer