July 16, 2014 - Zachęta National Gallery of Art - Summer 2014 exhibitions
July 16, 2014

Summer 2014 exhibitions

Victor Man. Zephir. Exhibition view. Photo: Paweł Eibel.

Summer 2014 exhibitions

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art

pl. Małachowskiego 3
00-916 Warsaw
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday noon–8pm,  
Free admission on Thursday 

T +48 22 556 96 51
informacja [​at​] zacheta.art.pl


Victor Man: Zephir
8 July–31 August
This summer we present  the  first individual exhibition in Poland of the work of Victor Man—the Romanian painter, recently named Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year 2014. Born in Cluj in 1974, he is equally inspired by the ancient and the modern. In his work he concentrates on the development of an autonomous iconography in which frequent literary references intermingle with his own biography. Literature and art history, collective memory and personal experience are the elements woven together by the artist into a non-linear story where distinctions between present and past, fiction, imagination, and reality are abolished. These overlapping of points of reference run throughout all his works, where the fusion of gender, androgyny, or, more generally, the uncertainty of physiognomy and appearance form a recurrent theme that strengthens the image of an identity in perpetual movement and suggests how rich and mysterious the essence of things can be beyond their appearance. At once timeless and visionary, his paintings resist easy interpretation, but rather suggest alternative possibilities of recognition, remembrance, and seeing.

Curators: Friedhelm Hütte, Katarzyna Kołodziej; in cooperation with Deutsche Bank

Accompanying the exhibition is the catalogue Victor Man: Szindbád. Artist of the Year 2014 with texts by Friedhelm Hütte, Bogdan Ghiu, Alessandro Rabottini, and Alexandru Monciu-Sudinski.

Cosmos Calling! Art and Science in the Long Sixties
1 July–28 September
With the onset of the post-Stalin thaw in the Eastern Bloc countries and the proclamation of a scientific-technological revolution, science and technology became an important weapon in Cold War rivalries on both sides of the Iron Curtain, causing space flight, modern telecommunications and nuclear energy to emerge as the symbols of the incipient decade. New scientific disciplines, possible thanks to developments in astronautics enabling a literal ‘detachment from the earth,’ as well as a rehabilitated cybernetics, previously regarded in the communist bloc as a bourgeois ‘pseudo-science,’ shaped the collective imagination and provided a strong inspiration for all artistic disciplines: from painting, sculpture and music to design, architecture and urban planning. 

The exhibition presents artists’ ambiguous ties, exploited by communist propaganda, with science, technology and industry. Whereas the idea, popular as a leitmotif of 1960s retreats and symposiums, of collaboration between artists and scientists remained confined to paper, industrial design was a field where it had a chance to be fulfilled, if only to a limited degree. Besides designs for industry, the show features artistic/applied works that served as a critique of the technocratic system and contested the role that the communist authorities envisaged for design.

Curators: Joanna Kordjak-Piotrowska, Stanisław Welbel

Accompanying the exhibition Cosmos Calling! Art and Science in the Long Sixties is a publication that features 12 essays devoted to the visual arts, music, film, design, architecture/urban planning and fashion, viewed in the context of their relationships with science and technology, especially astronautics and cybernetics. 

Cosmos Calling! Art and Science in the Long Sixties, edited by Joanna Kordjak-Piotrowska, Stanisław Welbel, graphic design Magdalena Frankowska, Artur Frankowski (Fontarte), Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2014.

Monument: The Architecture of Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz
17 June–24 August
The exhibition, connected with the presentation in the Polish Pavilion at this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice, concerns the issue of the mythmaking potential of architecture. Szyszko-Bohusz, a former legionary connected with Józef Piłsudski, as an architect of the regime projected monuments: buildings that were to act as the memorials of the epoch, to express the spirit of the reborn state and to revive its praiseworthy history, but also to give testimony to the good life and progress through the effective realizing of the commissions of the political and financial elites of the day.

Organisers: Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, The Institute of Architecture Foundation
Curators: The Institute of Architecture (Michał Wiśniewski, Dorota Leśniak-Rychlak, Dorota Jędruch, Marta Karpińska, Agata Wiśniewska)

The relation between modernism and politics is further described in a catalogue accompanying the connected exhibition Impossible Objects at the Polish Pavilion in Venice. The publication is designed by Jakub Woynarowski, with essays by the Institute of Architecture curators (“Impossible Figures”) as well as David Crowley (“Piłsudski’s Architect”), Dariusz Czaja (“The Polish Theatre of Death”), Jan Sowa (“Our (Impossible) Modernity”), and Jean-Louis Cohen (“Invisible Modernisms”). 

Impossible Objects, edited by Dorota Leśniak-Rychlak. Available to download here.


Summer 2014 exhibitions at Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
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