11.01 – 11.03.2012 Warsaw ENcourages
artists: Edward Dwurnik, Nicolas Grospierre, Rafał Jakubowicz, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Robert Kuśmirowski, Kobas Laksa, Jan Smaga, Joanna Rajkowska, Leonard Sempoliński
curator: Małgorzata Bogdańska-Krzyżanek
collaboration: Zofia Koźniewska, Joanna Waśko
Warsaw is Poland’s largest and fastest growing city. Zachęta, today the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, combines Warsaw’s history, tradition and present. It is the city’s oldest art gallery and the only one to have been incessantly located in the same building erected in the early 20th century. The building was founded by the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts, known as Zachęta, whose goal of promoting contemporary art is continued by the Zachęta gallery to this day.
The exhibition, Warsaw ENcourages, presents selected works from the Zachęta’s collection. It is the third collection in the institution’s history. The first was the collection of the 1860-founded Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts, moved during the Second World War to the National Museum in Warsaw. The second was the collection accumulated between 1945 and 1989 (when Zachęta functioned as the Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions) currently partly scattered throughout the country. The third – present – collection has been systematically built up since the 1990s and mainly comprises works by Polish contemporary artists who have exhibitions at the gallery as well as works co-produced by Zachęta as part of its projects.
The selection presented here includes works about Warsaw or with Warsaw in the background.
The city’s history is documented by Leonard Sempoliński’s photographs from the 1950s, showing the oldest part of town and newly constructed buildings which today form its architectural canon. History is also evoked by a sentimental journey undertaken in a film by Joanna Rajkowska, an artist with partly Warsaw roots. Kobas Laksa’s large-format futurist photomontages depict visions of future life and hypothetical new functions of present-day Warsaw buildings photographed by Nicolas Grospierre. Works by painter Edward Dwurnik and the photographer duo Aneta Grzeszykowska & Jan Smaga offer detailed, partly sociological portraits of specific city locations, such as the Zachęta or YMCA buildings. In Robert Kuśmirowski’s project, one of Warsaw’s oldest and most elegant high streets, Krakowskie Przedmieście, becomes the scene of a performance piece without losing its important role of a busy artery. In a project by Rafał Jakubowicz, it is the Zachęta’s exhibition rooms that become the background for an artistic action.
Zachęta National Gallery of Art as part of the project Art Gallery at Warsaw Chopin Airport.
Artists' works in the Zachęta collection
11.01 – 11.03.2012
partner of the project: Warsaw Chopin Airport
strategic partner of the gallery Centrum Dobrego Obrazu
sponsor of the opening ceremony: A.Blikle
media patronage of the gallery: Gazeta Wyborcza, TOK FM, The Warsaw Voice, Stolica, artinfo.pl