Today marks the 64th anniversary of the death of Andrzej Wróblewski (born 1927 in Vilnius – died 1957 in Tatra Mountains).
The exhibition “A Difficult Age. Szapocznikow – Wajda – Wróblewski”, which presents the work of Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016), Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973) and Andrzej Wróblewski (1927-1957), opened at the private museum MO muziejus in Vilnius, which was established by the collector couple – Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus.
The first installment of Anda Rottenberg’s curatorial concept took place in 2018 at the Silesian Museum in Katowice (more at: https://www.andrzejwroblewski.pl/aktualnosci-news/szapocznikow-wroblewski-wajda/)
“We are very proud and happy with this exhibition. We will present Poland’s most prominent artists, whose works can be seen and admired in one place – a truly extraordinary opportunity. One of the main reasons for this project was understanding of how little Andrzej Wróblewski, who was born and raised in Vilnius, is known in Lithuania beyond a narrow circle of professionals and how awkward it still is to talk about the history of Vilnius in the whirlwind of World War II”, says Milda Ivanauskienė, MO Museum director.
Among the exhibited works are: Executed Man, Execution with a Gestapo Man, Execution, (Execution II, Poznań Execution), Sunken Cities, (Sunken City I), (Man’s Head on Red Background) and many more.
The exhibition is on view at MO museum in Vilnius until July 18.
MO museum, Pylimo 17, Vilnius, Lithuania
Exhibition from March 20 to July 18, 2021.
Today, on Katarzyna Janowska’s show “Reservations”, the nominations were announced in the O!Lśnień – Cultural Awards of Onet and the City of Krakow plebiscite.
Among them, in the Visual Arts category, Wojciech Grzybała and Magdalena Ziółkowska, for organizing, despite pandemic restrictions, the exhibition “Waiting Room. Andrzej Wróblewski” at Moderna galerija in Ljubljana.
You are invited to vote at https://olsnienia.onet.pl
The nominated for the O!Lśnień Awards are those whose work was available to the public in 2020 in Poland, or who achieved spectacular international success. The list of nominees, based on the recommendations of critics and people of culture, was prepared together with Katarzyna Janowska by the editors of the Onet Kultura, as well as Robert Piaskowski, representative of the President of Kraków for the matters of culture, and Izabela Błaszczyk, director of the Kraków Festival Office.
The poll will last until midnight on February 28. The winners will be announced on March 5 during an award ceremony which will be transmitted on onet.pl at 8:00 pm.
The reopening of art museums and galleries is great news! Starting today, at the State Gallery of Art in Sopot you can see a selection of works from the collection of Maria and Marek Pilecki – the exhibition entitled “Life passes, but art lasts” features works by Andrzej Wróblewski.
The Collection of Artworks of Maria and Marek Pilecki is an important part of the landscape of Polish contemporary art collections. Paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings represent a wide range of media and artistic expressions by several hundred artists, also from foreign countries. But what is most characteristic in this collection is its humanistic and existential backbone, referring to the vision of man in the contemporary world. The original title of the collection – “Life” – reflects this perfectly. The importance of the collection is always confirmed by the names of well-known and recognized artists, and there are quite a few of them. A significant part of the collection is occupied by the work of Jan Lebenstein. We also have here such names as Andrzej Wróblewski, Franciszek Starowieyski, Juliusz Studnicki, Andrzej Strumiłło, Nikifor Krynicki, Jerzy Nowosielski, Eugeniusz Markowski, Maria Jarema, Jan Dobkowski, Edward Dwurnik, Zdzisław Beksiński, Kiejstut Bereźnicki, Adam Myjak and many other outstanding artists. As the curator and author of several works from this collection, together with State Gallery of Art Director Zbigniew Buski, I would like to invite you to see this extraordinary exhibition – says Professor Henryk Cześnik, curator of the exhibition.
State Gallery of Art, Plac Zdrojowy 2, Sopot
Exhibition from January 9 to May 9, 2021.
The Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation is making the Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room exhibition available online. The show opened on 15 October 2020 in Moderna galerija in Ljubljana, one of Europe’s most prestigious museums of modern art. It will stay open until 10 January 2021. The exhibition is now available online for those who cannot travel to Ljubljana.
Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room consists of 121 works created mainly in the years 1955-1957. Some of the works are inspired by Wróblewski and the art critic Barbara Majewska’s 1956 trip to Yugoslavia. A large part of the exhibition consists of paintings that have never been exhibited before or were last shown to the public in 1958. The exhibition also features artists from former Yugoslavia, including some of whom Wróblewski met personally, building a common context and often establishing a direct dialogue with the Polish artist. The curators of the exhibition are Magdalena Ziółkowska and Wojciech Grzybała from the Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation, and Marko Jenko from Moderna galerija. The exhibition and its online version were produced in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Thanks to the dedicated website – waitingroom.andrzejwroblewski.pl, you can take a virtual walk around the exhibition and see all the works presented in the space of Moderna galerija – six rooms totaling over 800 m2. All the visitors are presented with a selection of texts devoted to the exhibition, including an essay written by Magdalena Ziółkowska and Wojciech Grzybała, entitled The Waiting Room as Harbinger from the publication accompanying the exhibition of the same title. It also features video content – Barbara Majewska reminiscing about Andrzej Wróblewski and their joint trip to Yugoslavia in the fall of 1956, the documentation from the exhibition opening and a video of the curators conducting a guided tour of the show. The website waitingroom.andrzejwroblewski.pl is available now in English and soon in Polish and Slovenian.
15 October saw the opening of the exhibition “Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room” at one of the most prestigious museums of modern art in Europe – Moderna galerija in Ljubljana. The exhibition was officially opened in the presence of representatives from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Slovenia, Polish media, and the Slovenian world of culture and art. The opening was organized despite the tightening sanitary regime and the limited number of guests. Zdenka Badovinac – the director of Moderna galerija, greeted the guests who appeared at the event:
It is a great joy that we can show the paintings of the most important painter of Central and Eastern Europe in Ljubljana, Badovinac said.
Wojciech Grzybała, the president of the Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation and Monika Grochowska, deputy director of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute also took the floor. The Consul of the Republic of Poland, Kamila Duda-Kawecka, read a letter from the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Slovenia, Krzysztof Olendzki.
Together with Magdalena Ziółkowska and Marko Jenko, we asked ourselves how to present Wróblewski – as a historical figure on the one hand, and as a timeless, ever relevant painter on the other. The historical background of the exhibition is a snapshot from his 30-year life – the three weeks he spent travelling around Yugoslavia, the South. As his companion on that trip, Barbara Majewska, would later say, these twenty-three days resulted in wonderful works, said Wojciech Grzybała during the opening.
The exhibition at Moderna galerija will last until 10 January 2021.
The co-organizer of the exhibition is the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
On October 15, 2020, in Ljubljana (Slovenia) a unique event promoting the work of Andrzej Wróblewski will take place – the opening of the exhibition Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room. This is the first foreign show that focuses on the final years of the artist’s work. The exhibition at Moderna galerija, one of the most prestigious museums of modern art in Europe, consists of over 120 works created between 1955 and 1957. A large number of these paintings have never been exhibited or haven’t been displayed for over sixty years. The exhibition is the largest undertaking in the eight-year activity of the Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation, which carries out the mission of promoting the artist’s work in Poland and around the world. The show is organized in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room at Moderna galerija
Moderna galerija is one of the oldest and most prestigious museums in Central Europe. For several decades, it has initiated daring exhibition and academic projects devoted to the heritage of post-war Yugoslavia and Central and Eastern Europe. The exhibition Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room will be on show in Slovenia’s capital for three months – until January 10, 2021.
Across six rooms with a total area of over 800 m2, over 120 works by Andrzej Wróblewski from the final period of his life [i.e., 1955–1957] will be presented. They will include three well-known paintings Waiting Room I, The Queue Continues, Waiting Room II, (Chairing I), and Tombstone, (Tombstone of a Womanizer), as well as numerous gouaches, monotypes, and a dozen or so large-format works created on brown packaging paper. Among them, a great majority are works that have never been exhibited before or were last shown to a wider audience in 1958.
This is the first exhibition of Wróblewski’s work outside of Poland in which the curatorial team – Magdalena Ziółkowska and Wojciech Grzybała from the Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation and Marko Jenko from Moderna galerija – has focused on the final years of the artist’s work. This period symbolically begins on May 10, 1954 with the birth of Andrzej’s firstborn son, known to his family as Kitek, and ends with Wróblewski’s death on March 23, 1957 in the Tatra Mountains.
“Waiting room mentality”
The metaphorical through line of the exhibition rests upon two symbolic figures—people pinned to chairs in anticipation, reflection, and timelessness; degraded, anonymous, and undifferentiated. This “waiting-room mentality,” as the German playwright Heiner Müller once called it, is characteristic of the experience of Communist Central and Eastern Europe. Magdalena Ziółkowska explains: “The exhibition can be treated as an attempt to answer the question of why, after more than seventy years, it is worth returning to the artist’s 1956 trip to Yugoslavia. For some, this will be an analysis of government documents, a careful look at the collected facts, or reading daily entries in the artist’s diary. For others, this will be a journey full of questions and hypotheses, a journey shrouded in mystery.” And although everyday life in Yugoslavia during Tito’s rule differed so much from the economic conditions and the socio-artistic situation of the Polish People’s Republic and other countries behind the Iron Curtain, such perspective allows one to take on more universal matters related to moral existence, bodily regimes, as well as affective labor and mourning.
The exhibition focuses on six themes. The first, the protagonists of which are the delegates, is the reconstruction of Wróblewski and art critic Barbara Majewska’s trip to Yugoslavia between October 30 and November 21, 1956. The delegates are, of course, Andrzej Wróblewski and Barbara Majewska. “It is apparent that this journey was undertaken at a time when Wróblewski was suffering a complex personal crisis that forced him to reconsider his own artistic stance. In this sense, as Barbara Majewska has explained, the trip ‘was not only a trip in the atmosphere of the Polish October, but also a trip south.’ In other words this was primarily a sensual journey to experience ‘other hill forms, other smells, flora, other kinds of light, other buildings, and other people.’”
The curators present numerous archival materials, photographs, documents, and artworks, in which one can find direct inspirations from Yugoslav contemporary art, figures such as Lazar Vujaklija, but also landscape, folklore, local architecture, and “stećci”—carved stone tombstones found in this part of Europe. “Many of his works painted after this visit in late 1956 and early 1957 display a striking anticipation—or rather a frightening intuition—of death, in their focus on the motifs of tombstones and funerals, just as other works of that period converged on the motifs of the petrifaction or reification of the human body.”
Their complete form is the monumental canvas Tombstone, (Tombstone of a Womanizer), whose protagonist, the womanizer, is full of contradictions. The theme of the womanizer is the second part of the exhibition. This figure constitutes a roadmap to a collection of eighty-six monotypes, probably created at the turn of 1956/1957. At the exhibition, we will see thirty-three from the thirty-five so far recovered artist’s monotypes. It is in this technique that Wróblewski evokes themes present in his early work—fish, horses, violins, vehicles, and the chauffeur; but one subject firmly occupying the artist’s attention is the female body, transformed in countless ways and depicted with numerous attributes. Because these works reference all of the most important themes raised by Wróblewski throughout his lifetime, this series is considered to be his “artistic last will.”
The third question taken up in the exhibition, on which the viewers are led by the chaired man—more a specter than a hero/protagonist—is the theme of waiting, the mesmerizing inventory of waiting rooms, queues, and chairings. Here are works exhibited during Wróblewski’s lifetime at the 3rd Exhibition of the “Po Prostu” Salon at Warsaw’s Jewish Theater in August 1956, as well as various depictions of women and portraits of a young model.
Another part of the exhibition, whose protagonists are mothers and daughters, nurturers, carers, lovers, and wives, is dedicated to the day-to-day of Wróblewski’s home life, and motherhood. Numerous portraits of Wróblewski’s wife, female nudes, interiors of the artist’s Kraków apartment and studio are engaged in a dialogue with the famous Mothers, Anti-Fascists painting, submitted by the artist to the Polish Exhibition of Young Art under the slogan “Against War, Against Fascism,” organized as part of the 5th World Festival of Youth and Students in the summer of 1955.
A separate space has been devoted to works organized around the theme of the boy—a very important and widely unknown topic in the artist’s late work, led by the famous canvas, Boy against a Yellow Background, Model, (A Boy).
The last part of the exhibition consists of the artist’s works from which emerges the figure of the protagonist—a hero with a twofold nature, heading for the unknown, beyond the horizon, somewhere straight ahead, in a timeless vehicle. Sometimes, he is the chauffeur, other times—the passenger. As Branislav Dimitrijević writes in his essay, “Wróblewski’s Rückenfigur,” this double figure is also the literary protagonist of Różewicz, Apollinaire, and Lorca’s poetry—visually untranslatable, but filled with a suggestive mood.
The exhibition was preceded by a three-year conservation project led by the Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation and Professor Marzenna Ciechańska from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. As part of the effort, the team carried out conservation of seventy privately owned objects on paper, constituting the majority of works on show in Ljubljana.
In addition to paintings, gouaches, monotypes, pencil and ink drawings by Wróblewski, the exhibition will feature artworks by artists from the former Yugoslavia, including some whom Wróblewski met personally, that build a common context and often establish direct dialogue with Wróblewski.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with the same title, published in English, with seven critical essays by Ivana Bago, Branislav Dimitrijević, Wojciech Grzybała, Marko Jenko, Ljiljana Kolešnik, Ewa Majewska, and Magdalena Ziółkowska. The publication also includes the presentation of archival materials, photographs from Wróblewski and Majewska’s trip, and reproductions of 220 works by the artist. The catalogue is co-published and distributed by the prestigious German publisher Hatje Cantz.
The catalogue publishing partner and co-organizer of the exhibition is the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
 With respect to the titles of the works, we have differentiated between the titles given by the artist and those given by his mother, Krystyna Wróblewska (1904–1994), as well as by curators and researchers following the artist’s death. The artist’s own title, if it exists, is provided first, followed by the title, in parentheses, published in 1958 by the artist’s mother.
 Branislav Dimitrijević, “Folklore, Modernity and Death. Wróblewski’s Visit to Yugoslavia,” in Avoiding Intermediary States. Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–1957), eds. Magdalena Ziółkowska and Wojciech Grzybała (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2014), p. 494.
 Ibid., p. 484.
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An exhibition devoted to artist’s stay in Yugoslavia and his late work. Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room – 15.10.2020-10.01.2021
More than 120 works from the last years of his work. Among them there are such famous paintings as Waiting Room II, (Chairing I), Waiting Room I, The Queue Continues, Tombstone, (Tombstone of a Womaniser) numerous gouaches, monotypes, and a dozen or so large-format works created on brown packaging paper. A great majority are works that have never been exhibited before or were last shown to a wider audience in 1958.
In one of the most prestigious museums of modern art belonging to L’Internationale – Moderna galerija in Ljubljana from 15 October 2020.
Moderna galerija is one of the oldest and most prestigious museums in Central Europe, which for several decades has been initiating bold exhibition and scientific projects devoted to the heritage of post-war Yugoslavia and Central and Eastern Europe. Exhibition Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room will be held in the Slovenian capital for three months – until 10 January 2021.
The exhibition is made possible thanks to the support of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Curators: Wojciech Grzybała, Marko Jenko, Magdalena Ziółkowska.
Andrzej Wróblewski. Waiting Room
15.10.2020 – 10.01.2021
“Late Klee”, an exhibition of more than thirty works by Paul Klee from the artist’s family collection is on show at London’s David Zwirner. As the organisers say: „The works on view in Late Klee highlight the diversity of Klee’s visual practice during this period. The play of line is evident in a series of graphic works that are often highly diaristic and personal. His skill as a colourist is presented through entirely abstract compositions as well as figurative pieces depicting mask-like faces.”
Among the presented works are the well known and frequently exhibited: Diagram of a fight (Schema eines Kampfes] (1939), Untitled (Grids and wavy lines around “T”) [Ohne Titel (Gitter und Schlangenlinien um “T”)] c. 1939 and Torture (Folter) 1938. The exhibition is accompanied by a display of early abstractions by Andrzej Wróblewski from private European collections, most of them shown for the very first time. Such juxtaposition provides an opportunity to confront Wróblewski’s work with his texts discussing inspirations including Klee’s oeuvre.
‘[…] In addition, my approach to favourite artworks is not constant but shifting. Modern art in particular is rich enough a field to provide me with a suitable ‘mentor’ at every stage of my inner life. Among the painters for whom I have a so-called weakness are Chagall, Klee, early (‘photographic’) Surrealism, the first phase of Cubism, Cézanne – each for a different reason. I like art that is extremely emotional and poetic, or extremely intellectual, one that does not seek the painting, but a method of creating creation. I like the changing artist’s personality – like that of Picasso, for instance – and the modern practice that consists not in creating individual masterpieces, but a certain succession of works that, taken together, constitute an equivalent of today’s masterpiece.’
David Zwirner, 24 Grafton Street, London
Exhibition from March 6 to April 18, 2020.