Places / Poland

Vita Zaman Visits Poland’s Art Scene – Part II

Poland rocks! (My soundtrack to the trip was by hip-hop girl band Cipedrapskuad). Click for more.

Palace of Culture and Science next to Centralny railway station

I visited the temporary space of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Above its main entrance hangs MUZEUM, an illuminated neon sign designed by artist Paulina Olowska.

Museum of Modern Art Warsaw

The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

The museum’s major focus is educational and popularization projects – on the production of knowledge – and thus on laying the intellectual foundations for the museum’s future activities.

Joanna Mytkowska - director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Joanna Mytkowska – director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

This show was one of the highlights of my trip to Poland. It dealt with themes of activism and sports and has really engaged the visitors and transformed the space in a very unexpected and creative way.

This experimental project, “Square in the Pavilion”, integrates the seemingly disparate disciplines of art, architecture, design, and sport, which inform the metropolitan area’s rich and diverse street culture.

Then I visited my favorite gallery – or perhaps a group of friends, or perhaps an elusive society that shares an attitude toward art and life – Galeria Czułość. The English translation of this name is “tenderness” or the “light sensitivity of photographic paper”.

Czulosc GalleryCzułość is run by artist Janek Zamoyski and focuses on contemporary photography.

Founder of Czułość Janek Zamoyski and artist Paweł Eibel

Founder of Czułość Janek Zamoyski and artist Paweł Eibel

Paweł Eibel and Zuzanna Koszuta in Czułość Gallery

Paweł Eibel and Zuzanna Koszuta in Czułość Galeria

Photographs by Lena Dobrowolska

Czułość Galeria

Czułość Galeria

We had a coffee in the best office space I have ever seen; it is a pity that the gallery has to move soon.

The Czułość Galeria located in a moody residential district in a pre-war style villa. Outside its window, an overgrown garden lends an appropriate setting for this melancholic crew.

 This beautiful work gives me ideas for ” The school of happiness” show.

Janek Zamoyski's work

Janek Zamoyski’s work

Czułość hosts a lot of music events, and there is a band rehearsal space in the basement.

Later I walked to the Starter Gallery. Although the streets were covered with snow, I heard the surreal sound of an owl in this city garden, or some other bird I no longer know the name of …

Starter Gallery

Starter Gallery

Marika Zamojska, owner of Starter Gallery

Marika Zamojska, owner of the Starter Gallery

On the way to lokal_30 – the gallery has moved to a new location.

Drawing by Jaśmina Wójcik in lokal_30

Artist Kamen Stoyanov, who presented at lokal_30, is originally from Bulgaria but now lives and works in Vienna.  

Detail from Kamen Stoyanov’s work “Guys, this is not LA, but it is a cool place too!”

Director of Lokal_30 Gallery Agnieszka Rayzacher and her daughter

Director of lokal_30 Gallery Agnieszka Rayzacher with her daughter

Ewa Juszkiewicz’s painting called “Eye”

It was the last fat day before Lent and these traditional Polish pączki were everywhere.



Michal introduced me to his German collector Siegfried Seewald, who is fluent in Polish.

Michal Kaczynski and Siegfried Seewald

Michal Kaczynski and Siegfried Seewald

Le Guern Gallery‘s curator Kamil Julian walked me through Tomek Baran‘s solo exhibition.

Curator Le Guern Gallery Kamil Julian

Kamil Julian

Tomek Baran is a winner of the Strabag Art Award International in Vienna, where he will be an artist-in-residence this winter.

The Tomek Baran's art work

Tomek Baran’s painting

Warsaw under snow

Warsaw under snow

We celebrated the day with the guys from Raster over a lavish dinner and conspired about the future of art and its distribution.

Lukasz Gorczyca and Michal Kaczynski, Raster Gallery

Traditional prewar Polish food

Traditional pre-war Polish food

Next day we drove to Łódź , the third-largest city in Poland.

Klara Czerniewska

It is much grayer than Warsaw but, again, a city with a strong spirit and an amazing museum.



Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź is one of the oldest museums of modern art in the world.

The mural by Os Gemeos and Aryz in Łódź:

By Os Gemeos and Aryz at Urban Forms Gallery in Lodz

We had lunch with the curator of Sztucki Museum Maria Morzuch – a true and original punk and witness of the avant-garde scene in Łódź – Raster’s Klara Czerniewska, and the owner of the Tari Bari bistro, Martyna Sztaba.

Klara Czerniewska and Martyna Sztaba, Tari Bari bistro

Klara Czerniewska and Martyna Sztaba, Tari Bari bistro

Meet Martina – ex-gallerist and current owner of this stylish restaurant, which serves the best burgers in Poland.

Musician and poet Marcin Pryt from the legendary band “19 Wiosen” (19 Springs in English) joined us. Here are some of his songs:

We had cake with Marcin and Michal in a café located on Piotrkowska Street, Europe’s longest commercial street, which goes on for 5 km.

With  Marcin and Michal

Good-bye Poland! It was fun and I will be back soon!

Miserable or what?!

Miserable or what?!



Finally, I am back in Vienna. In order to recover after so much traveling I drove through the Viennese woods and stopped in Kahlenberg, a panoramic spot linked to Polish-Austrian history.

Kahlenberg Сhurch

Kahlenberg Сhurch

The Kahlenberg Church was founded to memorialize the Battle of Vienna, which took place in 1683 after Vienna had been besieged by the Ottoman Empire for two months. The battle was won by the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the latter being only represented by the forces of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland (the march of the Lithuanian army was delayed, as a result of which they arrived in Vienna after it was relieved). The Viennese garrison was led by Ernst Rüdiger Graf von Starhemberg, subordinate of Leopold I Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor. The overall command was held by the commander of the Polish Crown’s forces, the King of PolandJan III Sobieski.

King John III Sobieski blessing Polish attack on Turks in Vienna

King John III Sobieski blessing Polish attack on Turks in Vienna

The Church is dedicated in the honor of Sobieski.

Kahlenberg church

Kahlenberg Сhurch

It is getting dark and I am ready to go to bed early… Tomorrow I am flying to Tirana.

More about Albanian contemporary art next week!

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