Polish School of Collage. Exhibition by Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski.

Artists look and penetrate into matters that do not reveal themselves on a daily basis. This is the most important role of art – setting traps for problems hidden in us and around us.

Maria Anna Potocka, “Final Song”, Krakow 2020

As part of the Stop with Art project, sketches for paintings appeared in the display windows of stops in Kalisz, which are the first stage of collage realization. It is often a special moment, inspiring and triggering the desire to further transform the juxtaposed fragments of photographs, cut from albums about art, historical documents and the press. Further work on collages can be followed in the Gallery space.

Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski are among the most recognizable Polish artists. They met in the studio of Professor Grzegorz Kowalski, known as Kowalnia, at the Sculpture Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. They made their debut in the nineties and since then they have been part of the canon of Polish and world art. Since graduation, they have stayed in touch, are friends, as well as collaborate and exhibit together. During their joint residence in Japan, they started a series of works on paper, using ink and stamps. They have been creating collages since 2017.

Collages are made of fragments cut from albums about art, photo and anatomical albums, which the artists put together in surprising and dense compositions. The multi-layered painting works have a clear color and texture. Body, nude, extermination, abstraction are some of the themes appearing at the exhibition, but none of them dominate. Despite the fact that, over the years of struggle in the field of critical art, artists have accustomed the public to calls for an uprising and revolution, we will not find any politics in the collages. Its place is taken over by reflection on art. The works require concentration, insight into the context, and sensitivity.

Paweł Althamer Born in 1967, he lives and works in Warsaw; sculptor, author of artistic activities, installations and videos. In his work, starting from the experience of a specific physical “I,“ he blurs the boundary between what is individual and social, between private and public space, between representation and reality, making realistic sculptures from perishable materials, modest interventions into reality, and extensive projects involving collaboration and participation of other entities or groups, e.g. the homeless, children, residents of a block of flats in a Warsaw housing estate, or staff working in galleries. Since 1994, he has been running weekly ceramic workshops for people suffering from multiple sclerosis at the National Artistic Center “Nowolipki“ in Warsaw; their joint works are exhibited as Paweł Althamer & Grupa Nowolipie. His works have been shown, among others during individual exhibitions in The Neighbors New Museum, New York (2014), Almech Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2011), or One of Many, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2007), as well as collective exhibitions in As you can see. Polish Art Today, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2014), Performa 13 New York (2013), The Encyclopedic Palace. 55th Venice Biennale, Venice (2013).

Artur Żmijewski A visual artist associated with the Foksal Gallery Foundation, one of the representatives of critical art in Poland. In 1990-95, he studied at the Sculpture Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He represented Poland at the 51st Biennale of Contemporary Art in VeniceThe with the film Repetition. From 2006, he was the artistic editor of the Krytyka Polityczna magazine for several years. Today he cooperates with the journal a rank and file editor. He is a laureate of the prestigious Ordway Prize (2010) awarded jointly by the New Museum in New York and the Creative Link for the Arts organization; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Per L’Arte awards in 2000 and TVP Kultura awards in the category “Alternative Culture and Visual Arts.” His most famous works include: Oko za oko [Eye for an eye] (1998), Berek [Tag] (1999), Lekcja śpiewu 2 [Singing Lesson 2] (2003) , KR WP (2000), Na spacer [For a walk] (2001), Nasz śpiewnik [Our Songbook] (2003), 80064 (2004), Polak w szafie [The Pole in the Wardrobe] (2006), Katastrofa [Catastrophe] (2010), Msza [Mass] (2011) He is also the author of the film Oni [They], shown as part of Documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007 and the film Spojrzenie [Gaze], shown in Kassel as part of Documenta 14. He is also the author of film series Demokracje i Wybrane prace [Democracies and Selected Works]. He was the curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art (2012). In 2013, he was awarded the Jerzy Stajuda Art Criticism Award.

We present the registration of the artistic activities of Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski as part of the “Polish Collage School” at 7 stops in Kalisz:

  1. Parczewskiego 02 (kierunek jazdy: plac Jana Pawła II, Łódzka, Warszawska)
  2. Plac Jana Pawła II 01 (kierunek jazdy: Stawiszyńska Skarszewska, Łódzka Warszawska)
  3. Górnośląska Kaliniec 03 (kierunek jazdy: Górnośląska Dworzec PKS)
  4. Wyszyńskiego (Sawickiej) Słoneczna 10
  5. Chopina II LO (kierunek rogatka)
  6. Nowy Rynek Babina 06 (kierunek jazdy: Chopina)
  7. Śródmiejska Złoty Róg (kierunek jazdy: Pl. Jana Pawła 2

EXHIBITION DURATION: September 6 – October 16, 2021

Closing of the exhibition with the artists’ participation – Friday, October 1, 2021, at 7 pm – 10 pm

The exhibition Polish School of Collage is an event accompanying
The 61st Kalisz Theater Meetings – the Festival of Acting Arts