Zofia Rydet and Július Koller

Zofia Rydet and Július Koller

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

(1) Július Koller,Universal Futurological Question Mark (U.F.O.), 1972. Courtesy of Tate Modern and the Július Koller Society, Bratislava. (2) Zofia Rydet, Sociological Record, 1978–1990. Courtesy of Zofia Rydet Foundation.

September 25, 2015

Zofia Rydet: Record, 1978–1990
Július Koller: ?

25 September 2015–10 January 2016

Opening: 25 September

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
ul. Pańska 3
00-124 Warsaw


Zofia Rydet
Record, 1978–1990
Curators: Sebastian Cichocki, Karol Hordziej  

Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978–1990 offers the presentation of Zofia Rydet’s legendary photographic project Sociological Record. The artist began the development of the cycle in 1978 and continued almost until her death in 1997. Convinced that objects and images gathered in private spaces defined people and “revealed their psychology,” Rydet decided to pursue the mission of documenting the interiors of houses. The artist was interested in the ties that connected people with objects and architecture, as well as the way individual aesthetic preferences, and political and religious views, manifested themselves through the arrangement of private space. Sociological Record comprises around 20,000 photographs from more than one hundred villages and towns located mainly in the Polish regions of Podhale, Upper Silesia, and the Suwałki area. Sociological Record is broken into numerous sub-categories, some of which evolved into separate cycles, e.g. TV Sets, Women on Doorsteps, Windows, and Disappearing Professions. Always on the road and with a camera in her hand, Rydet never made prints from most of the negatives that Sociological Record comprises. As a result, only a modest portion of her work is known today. The exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw attempts to reconstruct an exhibition that never came into being—it relies largely on guidelines from Rydet’s notes and private written correspondence. 

Organizers: Foundation for Visual Arts, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Exhibition display: Marcin Kwietowicz, Grażyna Stawicka
Graphic design: Pilar Rojo
Project website: www.zofiarydet.com
This exhibition has been co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland

Július Koller
Curators: Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg, Georg Schöllhammer

“Since 1968, the question mark has been my signature, subject matter, medium; and I have become a question mark. My work has turned into a question mark.”
–Július Koller, “Letter to Tomáš Štraus,” 1978

Július Koller (1939–2007) is an iconic figure of the Eastern European avant-garde. Since the rediscovery of his work in the early 1990s by Slovak artists and intellectuals, his practice has been an important inspiration for a younger generation of artists worldwide. This exhibition examines the breadth, scale and conceptual rigor of Koller’s work; the majority of pieces to be presented will be shown in Poland for the first time. It aims to generate a new approach in the interpretation and presentation of the artist’s continuous practice developed from 1963 until 2007. Július Koller aimed to use real objects and everyday life as part of his artistic strategy; by working with radical artistic methods intended to distance himself from art and aesthetics, he created a new “cultural situation” resulting in a “new life, a new creativity, and a new Cosmohumanist Culture.”

The exhibition architecture created by the artist Josef Dabernig refers to this genuine artist’s grammar and addresses the modernist architecture of the exhibition space and its former purpose as a furniture store.

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Květoslava Fulierová.

Július Koller ?has been produced in collaboration with the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava; Collection Linea, Bratislava; Bratislava City Gallery; SOGA Collection, Bratislava; First Slovak Investment Group, Bratislava; Július Koller Society, Bratislava; Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation, Vienna; Martin Janda Gallery, Vienna; gb agency, Paris; and through the assistance of private lenders.

Curatorial collaboration on behalf of the Museum: Magda Lipska
Exhibition architecture by: Josef Dabernig

Further press information and contact: www.artmuseum.pl/prasa / prasa [​at​] artmuseum.pl


Zofia Rydet and Július Koller at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
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September 25, 2015

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