Kuśnierska 6 St., Elbląg

Opening: 3.10.2019

Exhibition: 4.10-10.11.2019

 

IN is an exhibition of works by Ludmiła Popiel (1929–1988) and Jerzy Fedorowicz (1928–2018), representatives of the post-war avant-garde and the Conceptual movement in art, famed as co-founders of the legendary meetings of artists and theoreticians in Osieki. A duo in art and private life alike, they were among the key figures of artistic life in Poland in the 1960s and 1970s and participated in meetings, symposia and events that became seminal in shaping Polish avant-garde art. Still, Popiel and Fedorowicz remain little-recognised as artists. IN is a step towards filling this gap and offering them a deserved place among the most important avant-garde and Conceptual artists.

The exhibition revolves around one of their most important projects, which summarised and encapsulated major avenues of their reflection. The multipart installation IN, comprising a spatial objects and a set of geometrical paintings, was shown for the first time exactly forty years ago (in 1979) at the Akumulatory 2 Gallery in Poznań, run by Jarosław Kozłowski. The piece became a materialisation of the artists’ reflection on the relations and entanglements that occur between the individual and the system, the artist and the field of art, and between the spheres of art and culture.

The language of geometry provided one of the major tools for Popiel and Fedorowicz to convey their artistic considerations. Throughout nearly three decades, it functioned as the common denominator of a variety of projects in which the artists addressed artistic, existential and spiritual questions. The combination of the subtle form of such artistic expression and the gravity and universality of the approached topics is an emblematic aspect of their work.

The show conveys the attitude represented by Popiel and Fedorowicz: subtle, disinterested artists who discerned value in phenomena occurring on the margins – unclear, mysterious, resisting systematisation and assessment. The exhibition presents the artists’ abstract paintings from the 1960s and the early 1970s alongside later Conceptual theoretical models, manifestos and texts documenting artistic concepts. It also includes photographic documentation of actions and events presented in the form of archival photos and new large-format prints from negatives in the artists’ family archive. These will be accompanied by a selection of little-known and previously unpublished photographs from Osieki. They provide a glimpse into the everyday life of the Osieki meetings, while also highlighting and problematising the double role played by Popiel and Fedorowicz as organisers of the initiative and participating artists.

Jerzy Ludwiński defined Popiel and Fedorowicz as “artists of the plein-air era”. Apart from the Osieki meetings, which they co-created, Fedorowicz also participated in another emblematic event of that period: the 1st Biennial of Spatial Forms in Elbląg in 1965, and his work can still be viewed in Romuald Traugutt Park. The Biennial was initiated by the EL Gallery, where the artist’s pieces are now presented more than half a century later.

Ludmiła Popiel (1929–1988) and Jerzy Fedorowicz (1928–2018)

Graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (1954), their work embraces paintings and drawings, Conceptual actions and projects, theoretical texts. They settled down in Koszalin in the mid-1950s. Co-founders of the meetings of artists, scientists and theoreticians in the nearby village of Osieki. Active participants of Polish artistic life the 1960s and 1970s, they took part in the 1st Biennial of Spatial Forms in Elbląg in 1965, the Symposium of Artists and Scientists in Puławy in 1966, and the Wrocław ’70 Symposium, among other events. Their work has been presented in several individual shows, at Galeria Sztuki Informacji Kreatywnej (Wrocław, 1972) and Galeria Piwna 20/26 (Warsaw, 1982), among other venues, as well as numerous group exhibitions, including Conceptual Reflection in Polish Art: Experiences of Discourse, 1965–1975 (Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 1999). Their pieces belong to the collections of such institutions as the Koszalin Museum, National Museum in Krakow, Wrocław Contemporary Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

Curators: Marika Kuźmicz, Łukasz Mojsak

Cooperation: Agnieszka Popiel

Coordination: Karina Dzieweczyńska, Marika Kuźmicz

Co-financed by the Creativity Promotion Fund of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

 

 

Foksal 11 St. app. 4 (2nd gate, 1st. floor), Tue. - Sat. 12-6 PM.
contact:  marika.kuzmicz@fundacjaarton.pl
  Marika Kuźmicz tel. +48 502 055 130