The Art of Seeing. Nowosielski and Others
December 5, 2023 – March 3, 2024
Attention! Due to the high attendance at the exhibition, extended visiting hours apply:
Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 AM – 5 PM (last entry at 4 PM)
Thursday–Sunday: 10 AM – 8 PM (last entry at 7 PM)
Monday – closed
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday after 4:00 p.m. tickets can be purchased only at the on-site ticket machine (payment by card or BLIK) or online.
Every viewer is in fact an artist as well, because if he joins in the process of entering the depths of the so-called work of art, he creates himself – from these words of Jerzy Nowosielski it is clear that art is primarily about seeing, and the process of expression and struggle with matter itself is rather a secondary matter. This approach has dominated the understanding of what art really is over the last century. The exhibition, organized on the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, is an attempt to place his work in the broader context of Polish art of the second half of the 20th century and invite viewers to the common act of seeing, and thus creating.
Jerzy Nowosielski's art is a unique synthesis of his fascination with Byzantine art, especially iconography, with the spirit of the avant-garde. The artist, associated with the Second Cracow Group and Tadeusz Kantor, developed his own individual style, drawing formally from surrealism and abstractionism, while at the level of meanings referring primarily to the universal human yearning for metaphysics. In his figurative representations, the recurring motif was most often the female body. All these ways of seeing, reproducing, and commenting on the world also ran through the works of other artists who, like him, experienced the trauma of World War II, as well as those born later.
The exhibition is divided into four narrative circles that can be distinguished in the artist's work, these are: surrealism, corporeality, eschatology, and abstraction. Within each of them, selected paintings, and drawings by Nowosielski, quotations from his words, as well as preserved film footage provide a kind of essential context or even an interpretative key to the presented works by other artists who take up similar themes. Among them are listed: Wojciech Fangor, Stefan Gierowski, Władysław Hasior, Maria Jarema, Jadwiga Sawicka, Teresa Pągowska and others. Thus, the aim of the exhibition is primarily to show the works in mutual dialogue.
One of the most important dialogical clashes from the point of view of contemporary artistic and social discourse is the masculine and feminine view of corporeality as exemplified by the works of, among others, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, one of the forerunners of the subject matter related to the objectification of the female body in the patriarchal social system on the ground of Polish art.
Institutions that lent items for the exhibition:
- Kraków, Starmach Gallery
- Kraków, National Museum in Kraków
- Radom, Jacek Malczewski Museum
- Radom, Mazovian Center for Contemporary Art “Elektrownia”
- Warsaw, National Museum in Warsaw
- Warsaw, Poster Museum in Wilanów, a branch of the National Museum in Warsaw
- Warsaw, Starak Collection
and private collections
Artist featured in the exhibition:
Maria Anto, Jan Berdyszak, Henryk Błachnio, Marian Bogusz, Tadeusz Brzozowski, Tomasz Ciecierski, Edward Dwurnik, Stanisław Dróżdż, Wojciech Fangor, Stanisław Fijałkowski, Stefan Gierowski, Zofia Gutkowska (Nowosielska), Zbylut Grzywacz, Władysław Hasior, Aleksandra Jachtoma, Maria Jarema, Tadeusz Kantor, Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Janina Kraupe-Świderska, Jerzy Krawczy, Piotr Kurka, Ewa Kuryluk, Alfred Lenica, Leszek Lewandowski, Zbigniew Makowski, Jadwiga Maziarska, Aldona Mickiewicz, Kazimierz Mikulski, Eugeniusz Mucha, Józef Nowak, Jerzy Nowosielski, Józef Nowak, Włodzimierz Pawlak, Teresa Pągowska, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Erna Rosenstein, Jadwiga Sawicka, Jacek Sempoliński, Jerzy Skarżyński, Kajetan Sosnowsk, Henryk Stażewski, Jonasz Stern, Jan Tarasin, Leon Tarasewicz, Tomasz Tatarczyk, Jerzy Tchórzewski, Danuta Urbanowicz, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Ryszard Winiarski, Rajmund Ziemski