Between Collectivism and Individualism
Maria Brewińska in conversation with Stach Szabłowski i Karol Sienkiewicz (in Polish)

Zachęta / cinema room (entrance through the cloakroom )
free entry

For the finissage of the exhibition “Between Collectivism and Individualism - Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and 1960s”, we invite you to a meeting with curator Maria Brewińska, who will be interviewed by Stach Szabłowski and Karol Sienkiewicz. We express the hope that this meeting - although devoted to a completely different issue - will be in solidarity with the Ukrainian nation, as well as with the artistic community in Ukraine.

The exhibition of the Japanese avant-garde presents for the first time in Poland groups, art works and documentation of artistic movements from Japan from the crucial post-war years. The two important decades of the title, still marked by the experiences of war and political ferment, went down in history as a time of extraordinary transformations, in which Japanese culture was redefined. The exhibition presents new art of Japan - including the groups Jikken Kōbō, Gutai, Kyūshū-ha, Neo Dada, Zero Jigen, Hi-Red Center, The Play, GUN, Bikyōtō - art relevant to those times which made Japan a new centre of artistic life. The reconciliation of two seemingly opposing attitudes - individualism coming from the West and collectivism typical for traditional Japanese art - which was characteristic of that period, turned out to be invigorating for the development of Japanese contemporary art. How did the exhibition of the Japanese avant-garde in Zachęta come about? How was the contemporary language of Japanese art shaped in this exceptional period in which Japan, for the first time in its history, joined the processes of global cooperation and transformation? What creative strategies did artists practice in the turbulent 1950s and 1960s? These and other issues will be discussed.

Maria Brewińska - curator at Zachęta, author of such exhibitions as Gendai: Between The Body and Space. Contemporary Japanese Art (2000, CCA Ujazdowski Castle); Kim Sooja (2003); New Zone - Contemporary Chinese Art (2003); Yayoi Kusama (2004); Cai Guo Qiang - Red Flag (2005); Black Alphabet - Contexts of Contemporary Afro-American Art (2006); Bill Viola (2007); Wilhelm Sasnal. Years of struggle (2007); Revolutions 1968 (2008); Goshka Macuga - Untitled (2011); Piotr Uklański. Forty and Four (2012/2013); Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Affective operations (2017), Alienations or The Fext Next Time (2019) and others.

Karol Sienkiewicz - art critic, art historian, author of the books: “Świadomość Neue Bieriemiennost” (with Kasia Redzisz, 2012), “Zatańczą ci co drżeli. Polish critical art” (2014) and “Patriot of the Universe. The thing about Paweł Althamer” (2017). He collaborates with Dwutygodnik, Gazeta Wyborcza, and Przekroj. In 2012 he received the Jerzy Stajuda Art Criticism Award.

Stach Szabłowski - curator, art critic and publicist. Graduate of the Institute of Art History at the University of Warsaw. In the years 1998-2006, associated with the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. In the years 2009-2015, an expert at the Polish Film Institute. Curator of several dozen exhibitions, art festivals in public space and art projects carried out in Poland and abroad.

event accompanying the exhibition
  • 25.11.2021 – 13.03.2022
    Between Collectivism and Individualism —
    Japanese Avant-garde in the 1950s and the 1960s

    The exhibition presents, for the first time in Poland, avant-garde Japanese art from two historical decades, a time of ground-breaking events and transformations that resulted in the emergence of the Japan we know today. It features works by the most important artists of the time, rarely shown outside Japan, and documentation of the avant-garde movements of the time.

    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
Upcoming events
  • 05.12.2023 – 05.01.2024
    Józef Wilkoń
  • 05.12 (Tue) 17:30
    Zachęta signs!
    (in Polish and Polish Sign Language)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 05.12 (Tue) 18:00
    Pani Drozdowa
    Meeting with Józef Wilkoń (in Polish)
  • 06.12 (Wed) 12:00
    Santa's Day at the Zachęta
    (workshop in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • Zdjęcie; kadr przedstawiający kilka prac z wystawy Pejzaż malarstwa polskiego.
    09.12 (Sat) 12:30
    Saturday ArtWalk
    Guided tour in English
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 10.12 (Sun) 12:15
    Sunday guided tour
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 12.12 (Tue) 17:30
    Zachęta signs!
    (in Polish and PJM)
    Zachęta Project RoomZPR