Opening: 14.02.2014, 1 pm
Curator: Timothy Persons
+0034 91 259 67 18/19
Santander Art Gallery, Financial City
Boadilla del Monte, Madryt
Mon - Thu: 10 am - 6 pm
Fri: 10 am - 5 pm
The exhibition “Everybody is Nobody for Somebody”, which opens on February 14 in Madrid at the art gallery of the Santander Foundation, is the most extensive presentation of the Grażyna Kulczyk Collection ever held abroad. The exhibition showcases over 100 works by 57 Polish and international artists. The Santander Art Gallery has on permanent display works from the Foundation’s own collection, but each year, it also organizes temporary exhibits of works from the private collections of the world’s most important art collectors. Grażyna Kulczyk is the first such individual from this part of Europe to be invited by the Foundation.
The Grażyna Kulczyk Collection records the mutual interactions between the artists in Poland and artists and artistic trends worldwide in the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition in Madrid reflects the collection’s overall profile. “The social and cultural conditions in Poland from 1945 to 1989 were radically different in comparison to the West. Artistic concepts were interpreted from personal angles and their intercultural interpretations have shifted due to new political realities. This exhibition integrates artists from dissimilar political situations with the aim to show how the creative spirit has no borders.
The exhibition is an opportunity to present outstanding works by prominent Polish contrasted, often for the very first time, with works by renowned international counterparts. The curator suggests two possible paths for exploring the exhibition. The first one, connected with gender, with a clear dominance of the women’s art, starts with a painting by Agnes Martin. This theme then takes visitors through works by Polish female artists such as Alina Szapocznikow, Katarzyna Kozyra, Zofia Kulik and Agnieszka Polska, as well as international superstars in women’s art: VALIE EXPORT, Rosemarie Trockel and Annette Messager. The narration of this section of the exhibition closes with abstract compositions by Teresa Tyszkiewicz and Joan Mitchell.
The other part of the exhibition primarily highlights minimalist and conceptual art. For years, Grażyna Kulczyk has been gradually expanding her collection by adding new works by artists from these artistic movements. Apart from classic works of minimal art by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt, the exhibition also features works by outstanding op art artists such as Victor Vasarely, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Wojciech Fangor; visionaries who often drew on technical and scientific achievements, including Richard Buckminster Fuller, Gego, Loris Greaud and Sebastian Hempel; and, finally, a collection of works by representatives of the ZERO group: Heinz Mack, Günther Uecker and Otto Piene. The conceptual dimension of this part of the exhibition is reflected in works by prominent Polish artists: Roman Opałka, Edward Krasiński, Stanisław Dróżdż and Jan Berdyszak.
The works that link the two artistic paths touch upon the issue of collective memory. Works by Andrzej Wróblewski, Mirosław Bałka, Hubert Czerepok when set against the works by Jenny Holzer and Anselm Kiefer unveil a spectrum of issues addressed by artists all around the world.
The perception of Polish art in the international context has been one of the most important motivations for Grażyna Kulczyk. As noted by the curator: “This selection of works joined together form an enlightened crossroads that highlights the uniqueness and depth of the Grażyna Kulczyk Collection. It provides us with a more intimate view of how important Poland was in the building of conceptual thinking. This exhibition serves as a reminder that art is a universal language, an open window that can be seen through both ways.”
A catalogue to the exhibition has been published as well with an introduction by Grażyna Kulczyk, a word from the curator, Timothy Persons and an essay featuring an exchange of letters between two art historians: Anda Rottenberg and Julian Heynen. The purpose of the catalogue is to familiarize the readers and exhibition viewers with the historical and artistic background of the Grażyna Kulczyk Collection.