June 20, 2011 - Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art - Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’s In Utero
June 20, 2011

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’s In Utero

Jakub Julian Ziółkowski, “Untitled,” 2009.
Acrylic and oil on canvas 200 x 175 cm.*

Jakub Julian Ziółkowski:
In Utero

9 June–29 July 2011

14 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW


Jakub Julian Ziółkowski: In Utero

Parasol unit is pleased to dedicate a solo exhibition to the Polish artist Jakub Julian Ziółkowski. Ziółkowski’s paintings are a wild hallucinatory journey into his strange and often frightening universe. Skeletons battle soldiers in murky swamps; towers of eyeballs goggle cartoonishly; flesh peels wetly off bare bones. Ziółkowski has an unflinching attitude to the corporeal: the body takes centre stage, at once defiled and dissected.

Ziółkowski’s vision parallels a collision between the fantasy planet of Hieronymus Bosch and the grotesque cartoonish world of Philip Guston, viewed through the lens of the artist’s extraordinary imagination. Influenced by the folk tales and the often dark history of his native country, and by contemporary culture, Ziółkowski’s references are wide-reaching: from the Ancient Greeks to André Masson to Frank Zappa. Ziółkowski’s measured and often delicate command of his medium belies his sinister subject matter. His paintings resonate with an unnerving atmosphere, which speaks profoundly of the darker side of human nature.

Jakub Julian Ziółkowski was born in Zamosc, Poland, in 1980; he lives and works in Zamosc and Crakow. The exhibition at Parasol unit is his first solo exhibition in a public institution in the UK. It features a selection of paintings executed throughout his young career. Ziółkowski’s solo exhibitions include Hauser & Wirth in New York and London (2010 and 2006 respectively), Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (2009) and Foksal Gallery, Warsaw (2005). He participated in group shows ‘Library of Babel / In and Out of Place’ at 176 Gallery, London in 2010, ‘Head-Wig’ at Camden Arts Centre in 2009, ‘psyche’ at Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, Düsseldorf and ‘Schüttelreime’ at Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp (both 2008). In 2009, his work was featured in the exhibition ‘Younger Than Jesus’ at the New Museum in New York. He took part in ’1000 Lives,’ The 8th Gwangju Biennale, Korea in 2010 and ‘Heaven’, the 2nd Athens Biennale in Greece in 2009.

This exhibition is accompanied by a new publication with essays by Ziba Ardalan and Jakub Banasiak. It is co-published and distributed internationally by Koenig Books.

The exhibition is generously supported by Polish Cultural Institute.

Related events:

Thursday 23 June, 7pm
Intercapillary Places: Poetry at Parasol Unit
Carol Watts and Marianne Morris
Exploring key themes in the current exhibition this event will include a talk by Carol Watts: Reader in Literature and Poetics, Birkbeck, University of London and a performance by poet and founder of poetry publisher Bad Press, Marianne Morris.

Thursday 30 June, 7pm
Dr. Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr. Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius will deliver a presentation on the work and art historical references of exhibiting artist Jakub Julian Ziółkowski. Katarzyna is currently a Sessional Lecturer in History of Art in the Department of History of Art and Screen Media at Birkbeck. Before her arrival in the UK in 1993, she was Curator of Italian Paintings at The National Museum in Warsaw and in 2009 she was appointed Deputy Director of this museum.

Thursday 14 July, 7pm
An evening of contemporary dance choreographed by Jose Campos .
The characters framing the happenings in space are just as important as the event itself… sometimes the frame is even more crucial. Look closer for details and suggestions of time passing, finding freedom within limitations, and the body as an absurd constant with no beginning or end.
Jose Campos is founder of London based dance collective DO NOT DANCE UK.

About Parasol unit:

Founded in December 2004, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is a registered educational charity in England and Wales and a not-for-profit institution that operates purely for the public benefit. Every year the foundation organises four thought-provoking exhibitions of works in various media by contemporary artists, and also sets up a variety of other artistic projects. Each exhibition is accompanied by a publication and related educational events. The foundation does not bear the founder’s name, and its exhibitions are not derived from the founder’s collection. Admission to exhibitions is free of charge.

Parasol unit operates like publicly funded institutions in London. Currently about 60% of the funding is provided by the founder and 40% through Gift Aid, charitable organisations, private donations and the sale of merchandise. The exhibition space has been put at the disposal of the foundation free of charge by the founder. Thanks to this new model between private funding and public support one of London’s most vibrant contemporary art spaces has come to exist.

*Image above:
Goetz Collection, Munich.
© Jakub Julian Ziółkowski.

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski's In Utero
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
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