Czysta formolność

Mere Formality

Venue: Galeria Labirynt and Galeria Labirynt 2, Lublin
Curator: Marcin Krasny

Galeria Labirynt:
Tomek Baran, Anna Bąk, Filip Berendt, Izabela Chamczyk, Jakub Czyszczoń, Paweł Eibel, Alice Gaskon, Jerzy Goliszewski, Karolina Hałatek, Kornel Janczy, Tycjan Knut, Aleksandra Loska, Piotr Łakomy, Krzysztof Mężyk, Olga Mokrzycka-Grospierre, Mikołaj Moskal, Sławomir Pawszak, Cezary Poniatowski, Tomasz Saciłowski, Lena Szczesna, Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, Natalia Załuska, Anna Zaradny, Marcin Zarzeka

Galeria Labirynt 2:
Rafał Bujnowski, Jarosław Fliciński, Alice Gaskon, Goro, Rafał Jakubowicz, Łukasz Jastrubczak, Adam Jastrzębski, Robert Kuśmirowski, Wojciech Łazarczyk, Przemysław Matecki, Galeria Niewielka (Maciej Kurak/Max Skorwider), Katarzyna Przezwańska, Ewa Sadowska, Łukasz Skąpski, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia

It has been few years now since formalism in arts ceased to be a marginal phenomena, perceived by the representatives of progressive art institutions with a hardly concealed contempt. The approved anew (as it never became extinguished) model of art requires a new name. Therefore, the references are made to terms that have already appeared in the Western media such as “new formalism”, “zombie formalism”, “neoformalizm” or other “whatever-you-wish-formalism”. Art which is based on formal solutions to such an extent that it becomes almost autonomous in relation to its surroundings and whivh avoids storytelling, has returned to the public galleries. No wonder. After all, it is the artistic Esperanto, the most basic artistic language, giving primarily sensual pleasure and purely aesthetic joy resulting from being in contact with art, and according to some, also providing the most sublime, transcendent experiences.

The “Mere Formality” exhibition is a presentation of both the youngest generation of artists and those a bit more mature, whose  works are brimming with  interesting formal trends. Such names as Anna Zaradny, Jerzy Goliszewski or Małgorzata Szymankiewicz are no longer unrecognizable. Tomek Baran, Cezary Poniatowski and Krzysztof Mężyk have recently won the acclaim of critics, audiences and collectors alike and Natalia Załuska, Jakub Czyszczoń or Anna Bąk are quickly conquering the imagination of the viewers.

Finally. Because in the 20th century, abstract art and the one based on formal solutions rarely enjoyed good publicity in Poland. The fate of the post-war Polish avant-garde has been a short-term high tides and long-term low tides of enthusiasm for formal art. Every few years, the fascination was replaced by disregard and resentment appeared to replace the infatuation. In the 90s, this model of art disappeared almost completely. Those in preference of it were hiding behind thick walls of arts academies, where they would indulge in the art based on “painting solutions,” by hostile critics sometimes termed as “mud” or “snot”. Very rarely this stagnation was punctuated by the careers of artists who were able to interestingly develop model of abstract art.

The statement <indeed, the young are formalists> would surely be an exaggeration, but  it can be easily proved that the Polish representatives of this current are strong enough in both quantity and quality of which designing an exhibition would be a pure formality. Both literaly and metaphorically.

In addition to the main exhibition at the Galeria Labirynt, at the same time at the Galeria Labirynt 2 an accompanying presentation will be opened, where you’ll find works – paintings, photographs, texts, documentation footage and videos – executed during the recent decade. They make a visual essay on the model of abstract art, on the the possibilities, paradoxes and traps associated with it, as well as on how it happened that the Polish formalism survived reactivation. It will be a story not without a serious dose of laughter, let alone the smirks. The aim of both exhibitions and the catalogue, which will be published on the occasion of the openings is to launch a discussion on today’s condition of abstract art and, more broadly, formal art, and finding the most adequate language to speak about it.

June 24th (Wednesday)
4 p.m discussion: Łukasz Białkowski, Magdalena Kownacka, Michał Lasota | led by Stach Szabłowski (Galeria Labirynt, 5 Popiełuszki Street)
6 p.m.  opening of the main exhibition (Galeria Labirynt, 5 Popiełuszki Street)
8 p.m. opening of the accompanying exhibition (Galeria Labirynt 2, 3 Grodzka Street)

June 25th (Thursday)
12.00 a.m. discussion with participation of the artists | led by Magdalena Kownacka (Galeria Labirynt, 5 Popiełuszki Street)


patronat medialny

The accompanying exhibition (Galeria Labirynt 2, 3 Grodzka Street):