TRUTH BEAUTY GOODNESS From the Zachęta Collection
15.04 – 19.07.2015 TRUTH BEAUTY GOODNESS From the Zachęta Collection
Kamienica Hrabiego Raczyńskiego
artists: Krzysztof M. Bednarski, Marta Deskur, Zbigniew Dłubak, Janusz Kaczmarski, Jerzy Kałucki, Grzegorz Klaman, Marek Konieczny, Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Katarzyna Kozyra, Lech Kunka, Zbigniew Libera, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Agnieszka Polska, Joanna Przybyła, Joanna Rajkowska, Józef Robakowski, Erna Rosenstein, Robert Rumas, Jan Rylke, Jadwiga Sawicka, Kajetan Sosnowski, Henryk Stażewski, Alina Szapocznikow, Marian Szpakowski, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Jerzy Treliński, Małgorzata Turewicz-Lafranchi, Bogdan Anastazy Wiśniewski, Julita Wójcik, Jerzy Ryszard /Jurry/ Zieliński
curators: Hanna Wróblewska
cooperation: Julia Leopold and Robert Rumas
The famous platonic triad of the highest ideas and values is a quotation from one of the works presented at the exhibition: a photograph by Jadwiga Sawicka where this text is scratched into a plastic bottle. This title sounds somewhat ironic if we recall that these concepts are eagerly referred to by conservative critics when excoriating contemporary art for its lack of ideas and betrayal of ideals. But are they right? Perhaps, on the contrary, it is artists that stubbornly and resolutely still show us (critics and viewers) the often unwanted side of truth, by questioning goodness and beauty in their contemporary pop incarnations.
When the building of the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts (the word ‘Zachęta’ in Polish means ‘encouragement’) was finished in 1900, it was to serve for the presentation of a collection of current art, created by members of the society for the Warsaw public (and not only). The conceptual frame of the collection was created by the three names engraved on the building’s façade: Matejko, Chełmoński and Grottger.
Zachęta, in a way quite unlike any other institution, has already on several occasions had to start its collection again from scratch. After the Second World War, the majority of its first collection ended up at the National Museum. An unusual reminder of this collection is provided by the works of Edward Krasiński, recalling the form of Jan Matejko’s Battle of Grunwald (this work by Krasiński can be seen at the exhibition “Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art” in the Zachęta building to the end of May), Józef Simmler’s The Death of Barbara Radziłłówna and other works, or Julitaa Wójcik’s Pastoral Idyll that echoes Józef Chełmoński’s Indian Summer. From the times of the CBWA (the Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions “Zachęta”) are still to be found in our storage spaces paintings, graphic works and sculptures both by outstanding and famous artists, as well as those lesser known, purchased after exhibitions thanks to special funds from the Ministry with the intention of sending them to other institutions around the country (museums, culture houses, etc.) or to fulfil educational functions. From the 1990s, thanks to the persistence of successive directors and collaborations of curators with artists, to the collection have made their way works by the most outstanding figures in Polish art presented in Zachęta. From the war onwards, the gallery has not had a space for a permanent presentation of its collections. All the exhibitions halls, both those from the late 19th century, as well as the new ones from the end of the 20th century, serve for the presentation of temporary exhibitions. Despite this, we try to make our collection available for as wide a public as possible, loaning works, making available images of works and creating our own exhibitions that use works from the collections.
The latest presentation of the collection in the Raczyński tenement building on Małachowski Square, just opposite Zachęta is entitled TRUTH BEAUTY GOODNESS. The famous platonic triad of the highest ideas and values is a quotation from one of the works presented at the exhibition: a photograph by Jadwiga Sawicka where this text is scratched into a plastic bottle. This title sounds somewhat ironic if we recall that these concepts are eagerly referred to by conservative critics when excoriating contemporary art for its lack of ideas and betrayal of ideals. But are they right? Perhaps, on the contrary, it is artists that stubbornly and resolutely still show us (critics and viewers) the often unwanted side of truth, by questioning goodness and beauty in their contemporary pop incarnations.
Alina Szapocznikow, Henryk Stażewski, Jerzy “Jurry” Zieliński, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Erna Rosenstein, Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Katarzyna Kozyra, Zbigniew Libera, Marta Deskur, Robert Rumas, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Agnieszka Polska, Julita Wójcik and others – we show works, created from the 1960s to today, of artists who have often already become classics. The history of the emergence of these works is often connected with the history of Zachęta and its exhibitions, and with the history of art, but they often also constitute a commentary on today’s reality. Presented in the still unfinished ground-floor spaces of a tenement building, not on white walls, not in the environs of stucco and without the excessive scenography and additional arrangement interventions of a gallery, these works reaffirm their power.
Artists' works in the Zachęta collection
TRUTH BEAUTY GOODNESS
From the Zachęta Collection
15.04 – 19.07.2015
Kamienica Hrabiego Raczyńskiego
organizers: Zachęta – Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Kulczyk Silverstein Properties
official partner: Kulczyk Silverstein Properties
sponsor: Ciech SA
partner: Plac Małachowskiego
sponsors of the opening reception: InFormal Kitchen, VININOVA
media patronage: TVP Kultura, TOK FM, Gazeta Wyborcza, Gazeta Stołeczna, CJG, Notes na 6. Tygodni