October 9, 2010 - Zachęta National Gallery of Art - Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’s Hokaina
October 9, 2010

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’s Hokaina

Jakub Julian Ziółkowski

Exhibition open until 28 November 2010

Pl. Małachowskiego 3
00-916 Warsaw
phone (48 22) 556 96 01
office [​at​] zacheta.art.pl


The exhibition Hokaina is a monographic presentation of the work of Jakub Julian Ziółkowski, a highly successful young Polish artist who made his debut in 2004. In the frame of this year’s Gwangju Biennale he showed a series of drawings illustrating George Bataille’s Story of the Eye, which the magazine Artforum declared one of the “hits” of the Biennale.

Ziółkowski treats both the reality in which he finds himself and art history as a whole with the same ahistorical off-handedness, using them as an inexhaustible reservoir of forms and motifs for building a private symbolism. His paintings and graphic works recall multi-layer compositions, where the tales spun create a dispersed web of meanings. His is a metaphysical painting, which through history does not understand the recent past in which we are submerged, but a supra-situational dialogue with the great tradition of art and visual culture. Jakub Julian Ziółkowski is one of the first artists of the youngest generation who, in his own way, turns away from the contemporary to draw inspiration from other sources, such as: the surrealist tradition, metaphysical painting, the art of Japan and India, the work of Neo Rauch, Giorgio de Chirico, Alfred Kubin, James Ensor, Otto Dix, or even Pablo Picasso. In the artist’s works, individual motifs and elements build an apparently chaotic world in which, however, a certain order paradoxically reigns. A frequently encountered theme in his work are still lives and nature itself, portrayed in great detail, ornamentally filling the space of the canvas. In a similar way, Ziółkowski’s studies of people, penetrating both their psychic and physical interior, painted flat, without perspective are a particular kind of, as Jakub Banasiak writes, “impression on the theme of a portrait”.

The exhibition in Zachęta begins with the artist’s best known work, The Great Battle Under the Table, borrowed from the Zabludowicz collection, which takes up virtually the whole space of the gallery’s Mały Salon. In subsequent rooms are presented works made over the course of the last few years, such as: Untitled (Journey) from the Friedrich Christian Flick collection; Oesophagus from the Goetz collection; Untitled from the ING Foundation Collection of Polish Art, and Sleep and the work Suffering and Torture from other private collections, as well as other works by the artist. Viewing the exhibition, one is stuck both by the precision and the mastery of this young painter making use of different techniques, and his quest for new forms and stylistics, a constant need for experimentation and development. In the final space of the exhibition hang his newest works, mainly gouaches, made especially for the exhibition at Zachęta.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated book, containing both texts about the artist’s work and over a hundred reproductions of his works (paintings and gouaches) from the last five years.

Curator: Hanna Wróblewska

For images and press information please contact Olga Gawerska: press@zacheta.art.pl

For the catalogue please consult the Zacheta’s bookshop: ksiegarnia@zacheta.art.pl

The exhibition organised by Zachęta National Gallery of Art and The ING Polish Art Foundation

Sponsors of the gallery: Netia, Caparol, Lidex, Peri
Media patronage: Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, TOK FM, The Warsaw Voice, Stolica, Art&Business, Artinfo.pl

Zacheta National Gallery of Art

Zachęta National Gallery of Art
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