“Poles Don’t Invest In Things, Rather They Invest In Ideas.”
Poland’s war-torn history has shaped the way in which Poles deal with art. “You have to remember that this is the Poland where people lost everything every 20 years and therefore they have learned to only buy things for the next years, maybe five…,” says Director of Zachęta National Gallery Hanna Wróblewska.
To learn more about what characterizes Poland’s contemporary art scene, its artists as well as its audience, watch the interview with the director of the biggest and most recognized contemporary art gallery in Poland…
Who are the most important artists of the 20th century? The Zachęta National Gallery tried to answer this question in the year 2000 when the institution celebrated its 100th anniversary. Art historians, critics, and curators were asked to set up two lists: the first with Polish artists, the second with international artists. The result was presented by the gallery:
The ten most important Polish artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tadeusz Kantor, Katarzyna Kobro, Roman Opałka, Henryk Stażewski, Władysław Strzemiński, Alina Szapocznikow, Witkacy, Witold Wojtkiewicz, and Andrzej Wróblewski.
The ten most important international artists: Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, Wassily Kandinsky, Andy Warhol, Kasimir Malewitsch, Salvador Dalí, Piet Mondrian, and Constantin Brancusi.
In the same year there was an exhibition curated by the Swiss Harald Szeemann. Among other works there was a sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan “La Nona Ora”: Pope John Paul II lying on the floor struck by an meteorite. Due to the strong influence of the Catholic Church in Poland, this work of art provoked a public scandal.
The versatile collection of the Zachęta National Gallery reflects the complex history of this institution. Today the focus is placed on contemporary Polish art. The video shows works by Julian Antonisz, exhibited in the gallery.
Mother Earth Sister Moon until May 19, 2013
The Splendour Of Textiles until May 19, 2013