Magazine of art press and reviews from London
Saatchi Gallery presents to London contemporary “Polish Art Now” exhibition.
David Franchi – Saturday, 8th June 2013
“this exhibition presents interesting aspects”
“Polish Art Now” is a brilliant exhibition, at the Saatchi Gallery, London.
It is interesting to see arising Polish art new ideas. “Polish Art Now” is organised by Abbey House, an auction company in Warsaw, Poland, whose aims are to promote Polish contemporary art, and to put a foot in the UK art market. Abbey House claims they received enthusiastic reactions when got in touch with London market.
There are, in fact, some common grounds between the two nations; for example, the shared history during the II World War, when the two nations were fighting together against the Nazism. Many refugee Polish soldiers have been part of the UK army ranks.
Another strong point of contact is the massive Polish community of expatriated in the UK: for example, London is plenty of Polski Skleps, the delicatessen Polish shops.
Therefore, the arrival of Polish art was much awaited. At its opening evening, “Polish Art Now” exhibition was able to catalyse numerous visitors from the Polish community of London, including the patronage of many, if not all of them, media from Poland, a number of which was present at the Saatchi Gallery. It could have been the prestigious venue, the Saatchi Gallery, or the town of London, to attract so many visitors.
However, this exhibition presents interesting aspects. First of all, these artists have a substantial manual approach. Manual skills are so evident, to leave the public a bit misplaced, because of the idea that Poland is an underdeveloped country. But no, ladies and gentlemen, it is a choice… Who can really think that Poland does not have modern technologies to step into the most new art movements?
It is a choice those artists have made, a sort of re-evaluation of manual vintage techniques. It is also a common ground they share. This is another point that is interesting to see with them. At the Saatchi Gallery exhibition, Polish artists are significantly connected with the past, such as having a foot in the back and a foot in the front. In many of the artworks one can see clear traces of Masters of the past. While these Polish artists work around the world, a clear goal of “Polish Art Now” is to show a small range of pieces by artists who work inside the country, therefore inexorably touched by a particular structure and tradition.
This is not enough to make a movement of them; a part of being Polish, using manual techniques, and being artists of Abbey House, they don’t have much in common. “Polish Art now” showcases artists with different styles and it is very difficult to find a leitmotif for all of them. However, this exhibition could be a start, an occasion to find frequent ideas and styles.
As one of the fastest growing markets in Central Eastern Europe, Poland’s rapidly growing artistic community is now attracting the attention of international collectors. With a market estimated at USD 100m, Poland has become the regional leader in art trade and auctions. This momentum is in no small part due to the many impressive publicly and privately funded projects which have helped to build an international presence.
The list of artists on display at the Saatchi Gallery is: Julia Bistuła, Andrzej Cisowski, Wojciech Fangor, Stefan Gierowski, Agata Kleczkowska, Aleksander Kobzdej, Eugeniusz Markowski, Stanisław Młodożeniec, Marek Niemirski, Jakub Słomkowski, Henryk Stażewski, Anna Szprynger, Szymon Urbański, Maciej Wieczerzak, and Jan Wyżykowski.
Curator is the renowned critic Sacha Craddock, and Bogusław Deptuła is Co-Curator.
The exhibition “Polish Art Now” is at the Saatchi Gallery, London, from 3rd to 10th June 2013.