February 11, 2015 - Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw - Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto / Verso and Lest the Two Seas Meet
February 11, 2015

Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto / Verso and Lest the Two Seas Meet

In order of appearance: (1) Andrzej Wróblewski, Blue Chauffeur, 1948. Oil on canvas. Private collection. Courtesy of Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation. (2) Ali Cherri, The Disquiet, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Imane Farès.

Andrzej Wróblewski
Recto / Verso. 1948–1949, 1956–1957
12 February–17 May 2015

Lest the Two Seas Meet 
12 February–23 August 2015

Opening: 12 February 2015 

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


Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto / Verso. 1948–1949. 1956–1957
Curated by Éric de Chassey in collaboration with Marta Dziewańska 

Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–57) is one of the most important Polish artists of the 20th century. The artist manifested an unusually suggestive vision of war and human degradation, based on deep political commitments. His rich, diverse body of work was created over a very brief period (less than ten years), during a distinctly turbulent era.

The exhibition concentrates on two phases in his work: its very beginning, when the artist was trying to come up with his own painterly language (1948–49) and its very end when, after a period of faith in Stalinistm and voluntary submission to its mandatory guidelines, he attempted to redefine himself, as if starting from scratch again (1956–57). These two phases are connected in Wróblewski’s art, both in subject and form, by a unique and highly personalized approach to modernity and the avant-garde. His numerous double-sided paintings and works on paper created in these periods are the material sign of his being torn between political engagement and artistic experiment.

Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto / Verso. 1948–1949, 1956–1957 is curated by Éric de Chassey, the director of the French Academy in Rome—Villa Medici and a professor of the history of modern art at the École normale supérieure in Lyon in collaboration with Marta Dziewańska, curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The exhibition is accompanied by Andrzej Wróblewski. Recto / Verso—a publication edited by Éric de Chassey and Marta Dziewańska.

The coorganizer of the exhibition is Queen Sofia Arts Center in Madrid, in cooperation with Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation and Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Lest the Two Seas Meet 
Curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh

Artists: Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Haig Aivazian, Jananne Al-Ani, Doa Aly, Franciszek Buchner, Ali Cherri, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Mona Hatoum, Saba Innab, Emily Jacir, Seo Min Jeong, Nikita Kadan, Rajkamal Kahlon, Amal Kenawy, Jean Christophe Lanquetin, Maha Maamoun, Basim Magdy, Jumana Manna, Lada Nakonechna, Ho Tzu Nyen, Walid Raad, Khalil Rabah, Vlada Ralko, Mykola Ridnyi, Sharif Waked, Aleksandra Waliszewska, Andrzej Wróblewski, Danwen Xing

Lest the Two Seas Meet is an exhibition which was delivered in a conceptual dialogue with Andrzej Wróblewski’s legacy, seen through the prism of contemporary political events. In recent years, the world witnessed protests voicing demands of justice, social reforms, and political transformation, which in some cases developed unpredictably into civil unrest and wars. The human body has been at the center of these events, mobilized and deployed as a tool of resistance since the self-immolation of Bouazizi in Tunis in 2010.

The dramatic act shifted the sense of injustice from the private to the public sphere, stirring a wave of protests on an unprecedented scale. Each participant in the protests offers his or her individual body, which then exists between two forms, the individual and the collective, within conditions that are enigmatic. To approach this key moment of passage from the individual to the collective body, El Fetouh refers to the concept of the 13th-century philosopher Ibn ‘Arabi, barzakh, which literally means “isthmus” and pertains especially to an invisible line that separates two seas, each with its own density, salinity and temperature. Ibn ‘Arabi employs the term to designate anything that simultaneously divides and brings together two things. For Ibn ‘Arabi, the barzakh is a space and time between life and death, corporeal and incorporeal, material and immaterial, objective and subjective, body and soul; Ibn ‘Arabi uses the term “supreme barzakh” (al-barzakh al-a’lâ) as a synonym for nondelimited Imagination, the cosmos, the realm of possible things.

The exhibition is curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, initiator of the travelling biennial Meeting Points, and curator of the Home Works VI in Beirut in collaboration with Magda Lipska, curator at the Museum in Warsaw.

This exhibition was made possible by a generous donation from Rana Sadik and Samer Younis. 

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


Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto / Verso and Lest the Two Seas Meet at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
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