Paweł Althamer
Izaak
Glazed ceramic, mixed media
125 × 38 × 33 cm
2024

The sculpture depicts a ceramic portrait of the artist's oldest grandson. He is shown in an idyllic manner as an embodied part of nature with a basilisk in his hands and a frog at his feet. Ceramics, one of the sculptural forms Paweł Althamer studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, became a medium he revisited during the pandemic. Althamer creates psychological portraits of his family, combining a classic study of a model with insightful conversations with his subjects. The work, in Althamer's characteristic manner, also incorporates elements of self-portraitures from his childhood projected onto his family. The iconography of the sculpture itself refers to the 19th century fin de siècle and symbolism in Polish art.

Monika Sosnowska
Rebar
Rebar, concrete
235 × 123 × 104 cm
2024

The sculpture is made from a single piece of 13.5m long rebar supported on a cylindrical concrete form. Monika Sosnowska creates her works from tangible architectural elements, to which she provides structures that undermine their material properties such as heaviness, firmness or susceptibility to gravity. As a point of reference, she often draws on modernist vocabularies. The silhouette of the sculpture was inspired by the particular drawings by Władysław Strzemiński, who, experimenting with the theory of vision, drew people, houses and trees with a single line, giving it a convoluted, uneven shape. The form was meant to resemble the movement of the eye, which does not move evenly, but progresses in softly-flowing folds and angles.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas
Roma pasio peskro khier (Roma in front of the house)
Textile, acrylic on canvas
196 × 196 cm
2024

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas reinterprets historical representations of the Roma. She references a graphic by Auguste Bry (1805–1880), based on a drawing by Denis Auguste Marie Raffet (1804–1860). The lithograph depicts a group of seven Crimean Gypsies resting in front of a cave house. Such dwellings were typical in various mountainous regions, including the Balkans, Spain, Turkey, Crimea, and Slovakia, and were used by both Roma and other local populations. By artistically appropriating these historical representations, Mirga-Tas challenges the stigmatizing constructs imposed by the majority society over centuries. She creates a new, intimate narrative about Roma identity and culture, serving as a form of resistance and intellectual and creative decolonization, rooted in ethnic pride and self-acceptance.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas
Dromeskri zuta (On the Journey)
Textile, acrylic on canvas
228.5 × 313 cm
2024

In her new series On the Journey, Małgorzata Mirga-Tas explores the iconography associated with journeys and the depiction of Roma people. As a Polish artist of Roma heritage, she continually draws on her roots, utilizing art for introspection and transgression. By reinterpreting various historical representations of the Roma journey, she challenges long-standing stigmas imposed by mainstream society. Her work crafts a fresh, intimate narrative of Roma identity and culture, acting as a resistance against these constructs and promoting intellectual and creative decolonization, grounded in ethnic pride and self-acceptance.

Paulina Ołowska
Manifa
Oil and oil pastels on canvas
120 × 80 cm
2019

Often drawn to transitional cultural periods and photographic archives, Paulina Ołowska continues her meticulous analysis of the social environment of the 1960s and 70s. Her work incorporates elements from a snapshot by Robert Altman, renowned for documenting California's counterculture scene. The painting portrays a young performer at a 1970 protest in Berkeley's People’s Park. The title of the piece, Manifa, also resonates with contemporary and local contexts, referencing the annual feminist demonstration in Poland.

Karol Palczak
The Last Tree
Oil on aluminium
180 × 116 cm
2024

Karol Palczak is a careful observer of his surroundings. Krzywcza, a small village in south-eastern Poland where he lives, appears in his paintings as an epic landscape on the San River, but is surrounded by the emptiness of the multicultural Orthodox-Jewish-Catholic community that historically inhabited the area. Today, the area is economically strained, increasingly depopulated and, since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, militarised. Palczak's extremely realistic works are executed on metal and are recreated ‘frames’ of his immediate surroundings. The majority of his paintings is based on short films shot by the artist. He orchestrates, often with the help of colleagues, short scenes; these are semi-absurd actions, as the filmed action introduces the much-needed dynamics: games with firecrackers and stones thrown into water, burning car wrecks, burning human puppets, torched old willows. Palczak has painted the smouldering willow several times before, each time insisting on an even more precise and realistic recreation of the ‘frame’ of his film. There is no coincidence or seduction of technical prowess or casual detail in this extreme realism. Like the great realism pioneer Gustave Courbet, the painting is precisely constructed – the perfection of form, the subject choice, the set of references lead to a penetrating diagnosis of this place and time.

Erna Rosenstein
Fire Fountain
Oil on canvas
92.5 × 74 cm
1977

In Erna Rosenstein's works from the 1960s and 1970s, one can observe an eruption of biological forms and the violent processes that govern the canvases. The paintings are structured around central figures, which serve as the focal points of the compositions, arranged by lines. These abstract, yet expressive paintings should be seen in the context of Rosenstein's numerous drawings and sketches, built from potent arrangements made with ink and colored pens.

Erna Rosenstein
From a Distance
Oil and twine on wood
58 × 47.5 cm
1993

The portrait of the artist's mother was produced by scraping off the layers of paint. A string applied to the canvas emphasizes the passage of time. The work denotes a poignant image of a person who is absent, though still recalled by Rosenstein in many drawings, paintings and, above all, in poetry.

Wilhelm Sasnal
Untitled (frame from 'The Assistant')
Oil on canvas
40 × 50 cm
2024

The painting depicts a frame from Wilhelm Sasnal’s upcoming movie The Assistant, based on Robert Walser’s novel Der Gehülfe (1908). The frame features the protagonist Josef Marti, a copyist who adapts to his changing surroundings. Here, he is depicted in Carl Tobler’s garden, who humiliates and discredits his new employee. The painting is an example of Sasnal’s ability to construct works which perform in symbiosis with his films, often finding the common ground within aesthetic and subject choices.

Wilhelm Sasnal
Untitled
Oil on canvas
120 × 160 cm
2024

The work depicts a scenery in close proximity to Sasnal’s quotidian. The painting is based on a photograph which Sasnal tookwhen on a walk on a Sunday evening with his dog near his home in Kraków, a ritual which encapsulates a wide division of hisoeuvre.
The portrayal of the dandelions also refers to the artist’s captivation with Robert Walser, a Swiss writer from the early 20th century. Similarly to Walser, Sasnal often considers his daily walks to be a strong catalyst for his canvases, where the mundane is often transformed into the focal point of his paintings.

Agata Słowak
She Can't Get You Out Of Her Head
Oil on canvas
100 × 120 cm
2024

The artist's self-portrait is surrounded by personifications of various aspects of love. It explores the liberation from emotional ties in favor of pure sexuality and contemplates both "eros" and "agape," highlighting the hidden burdens within relationships. Agata Słowak's works, characterized by their strong subjectivity and intimate iconography, often exude a sense of mystery. She intuitively creates scenes derived from her imagination, which is supported by her personal experiences.

Piotr Uklański
Looted (On the Table, a Bouquet of Red Flowers, in a Blue Vase)
Oil on canvas
60.8 × 50.8
2024

The Polish government recently published The Report on the Losses Sustained by Poland as a Result of German Aggression and Occupation during the Second World War, 1939–1945. A large part of this extensive publication is devoted to recording which tangible achievements of Polish culture were destroyed or looted. Numerous valuable collections, especially paintings, owned by Polish and Jewish owners, were seized by German officials. This of course also applied to other valuable objects such as furniture, porcelain, carpets, silver and gold items, and so on. Piotr Uklański analysed this report in-depth and decided to symbolically commemorate some of the listed artworks. The task was almost a conceptual one, as most of the enumerated lost artworks were very poorly described, often lacking any image. He selected two descriptions: “On the Table, a Bouquet of Red Flowers in a Blue Vase”, medium size, and “Life-size Bouquet of Roses, Background with Oriental Design, Lively Colours” and based on this scarce information, he created the two presented paintings.

Piotr Uklański
Looted (Life size Bouquet of Roses Background With Oriental Design, Lively Colors)
Oil on canvas
66 × 50.8
2024
Artur Żmijewski
Still Life (Powder Rose)
Colour photography
53.5 × 71.5 × 3.5 cm
2024

The photographs of flowers are part of Żmijewski’s latest series, Still Life. Captured at the Chotomów cemetery in Warsaw, these images include both real and artificial flowers, serving as a poignant reference to mortality. This theme aligns with Żmijewski’s inclination towards exploring demanding subjects. The transience of time is emphasized by the decaying state of the flowers and the deliberately chosen dark background, an empty abyss, evoking a sense of uncertainty and unease through their formal composition.