18.03.2007 - 17.06.2007
Art Stations, Słodownia
dr Paweł Leszkowicz
2007 was a special year in terms of Kulczyk Foundation’s exhibition repertoire. This year we organized an unprecedented presentation, truly monumental in scale and scope, namely GK Collection # 1, the first exhibition of art from Grażyna Kulczyk collection.
Put together over many years, the collection covers both works of modern art and those dating back several centuries ago. In particular, however, Grażyna Kulczyk is passionately committed to collect contemporary art. What she appreciates in art is experimentation, complexity and brevity.
The Collector’s ambition is to shape the development of contemporary art and architecture, to promote young local artists, at the same time presenting established international names. In this respect, she sees collecting art as essentially more than a private pleasure, namely as a public mission to promote contemporary art and artistic freedom. That is why she decided to put a part of her public collection on public display. The collection is composed of artworks by both Polish and international masters. Next to contemporary classics, it shows interest in many upcoming Polish artist of the young generation. In this sense, the first presentation of Grażyna Kulczyk collection offers a new understanding of Polish art and provides it with an international context.
Paweł Leszkowicz, the curator of the exhibition divided the collection into a series of thematic exhibition rooms – sub-exhibitions devoted to different artistic and social issues. The exhibition leads through the room of the library, the room of the nude, the room of body sculpture, the room of perversion, the room of fashion, the room of religion, the room of the object, and finally the room of the museum. Over a hundred of artworks employing a range of techniques and media deal with the problems of identification, sexuality, religion and the condition of a work of art as such.
For the first exhibition of the collection the following classics of Polish modern art have been selected: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jan Berdyszak, Tadeusz Brzozowski, Jan Cybis, Józef Czapski, Barbara Falender, Julian Fałat, Stanisław Fijałkowski, Władysław Jackiewicz, Maria Jarema, Tadeusz Kantor, Jacek Malczewski, Teresa Murak, Jerzy Nowosielski, Roman Opałka, Piotr Potworowski, Erna Rozenstein, Brunon Schulz, Mikołaj Smoczyński, Henryk Stażewski, Władysław Strzemiński, Alina Szapocznikow, Jerzy Tchórzewski, Andrzej Wróblewski.
Next to their works we presented such contemporary artists as: Mirosław Bałka, Marek Chlanda, Tomasz Ciecierski, Marta Deskur, Katarzyna Górna, Elżbieta Jabłońska, Ryszard Kaja, Leszek Knaflewski, Grzegorz Kowalski, Katarzyna Kozyra, Mariusz Kruk, Ewa Kulasek, Piotr Lutyński, Marcin Maciejowski, Agata Michowska, Igor Mitoraj, Dorota Nieznalska, Franciszek Orłowski, Maciej Osika, Laura Pawela, Robert Rumas, Jadwiga Sawicka, Andrzej Szewczyk, Tomasz Tatarczyk.
The inclusion of many international artists provided a global context for the exhibition. These were, among others: Vanessa Beecroft, Thomas Demand, Candida Höfer, Zhang Huan, Mariko Mori, Hadrian Pigott, Liliana Porter, Caio Reisewitz, Bettina Rheims, Thomas Ruff, Antonio Tapiés and Andy Warhol.
To top it all, the exhibition included many examples of art dating back several centuries ago – icons, sculptures and academic painting, which served as important historical references. The collection is conceptualized as a series of separate units, called “rooms”, which reflects the physical division of the exhibition into a series of rooms in which to locate different subparts of the collection. The author of a unique exhibits arrangement is Raman Tratsiuk, an artist associated with Poznań Academy of Fine Arts. The viewer is invited to pass from room to room, from scene to scene, while each interior represents different propositions, different aesthetics, different problems both in art and life. As a result, each exhibition room constitutes a separate exposition and the whole presentation can be referred to as “an exhibition of exhibitions”.
Grażyna Kulczyk collection combines the function of a museum and a modern art center. With the vast historical scope of the art covered and division into separate units-rooms, the collection transformed the gallery of Stary Browar into a genuine modern art museum. In fact, this first public display of Grażyna Kulczyk collection foreshadows the Collector’s plans to create a private art museum in the future.
GK Collection # 1 exhibition attracted an audience of ca. 30 000 and the catalogue published on this very occasion was warmly received by the readers who decided to honor it with several awards.