W inner of the 2012 Katarzyna Kobro Award - Natalia LL

Her photographs have become part of the canon of Polish art of the second half of the 20th century. However, the artist deals also with drawing, performance art, video art, installation and sculpture. Natalia LL is the winner of this year’s Katarzyna Kobro Award!

Natalia LL - Natalia Lach-Lachowicz was born in 1937 in Żywiec. Between 1957 and 1963 she studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław under the supervision of Professor S. Dawski. Since 1964 she has been a member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers. In 1970 Natalia LL was one of the co-founders (alongside Andrzej Lachowicz and Zbigniew Dłubak) of Permafo Gallery and group, active until the end of 1981. She has been contributing actively to the international feminist art movement, participating in numerous exhibitions and symposia.

One of the best known works by Natalia LL is “Consumer Art” series from the early 1970s, and “Post-Consumer Art” created several years later. The cycle depicts a model while performing gestures and actions related to consumption. The works of the series make up a photographic performance, close in its form to film narration. The artist interests cover a number of various topics; in the 1980s she used to undertake philosophical, religious or magical themes. She often makes herself a heroine of her photographs. In her daring projects she combines erotic motifs with personal ones, feminist issues with political ones, borrowing also with full awareness form the pop-culture world. Her later works, coming from the beginning of the 21st century, comment in a very individual way on important events, including political ones, yet the artist remains focused on her personal problems, mainly referring to the body-art tradition. This direction, next to conceptualism and the questions about the nature of the art, have become essential strands in her work.

The artist’s works have been presented at numerous important art exhibitions in Poland and abroad. They are to be found, among others, in collections of the Frauen Museum in Bonn, the Museum of Modern Art in Lubljana, Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the International Center of Photography in New York, Musée National d'Art Moderne and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris

The Katarzyna Kobro Award, inaugurated in 2001, has been a unique prize in the field of art, since - as the only prize in Poland - is awarded to the artists by the artists. The idea of an annual award for artists, whose winner is selected by a jury of representatives of various fields of art, came from Józef Robakowski and the late Nika Strzemińska, the daughter of Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński. An artist can be nominated for the Award once only.

The Award is meant to honour a creative pursuit and progressive attitude of artists open to the exchange of thoughts and selfless initiators of cultural events. Unitl 2010, the Katarzyna Kobro Award was presented to the winners at Wschodnia Gallery. Since then, however, following the decision of Józef Robakowski and the award’s then-sponsor Dariusz Bieńkowski, the award giving ceremonies have been taking place at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź.

This year’s jury members were: Elżbieta Anna Jabłońska, Jadwiga Sawicka – the chair of the award committee, Marta Deskur, Paweł Susid, and Robert Rumas.


Former winners:

2001 - Zbigniew Dłubak (1921-2005), art theoretician, painter, photographer.
2002 - Jürgen Blum – Kwiatkowski (b. 1930), painter, sculptor, an organizer of artistic activities.
2003 - Andrzej Dłużniewski (1939- 2012), painter, graphic artist and designer, photographer, performance artist.
2004 - Krzysztof M. Bednarski (b. 1953), sculptor, object and installation creator, poster artist.
2005 - Teresa Murak (b. 1949), author of actions, performances and interventions.
2006 - Krzysztof Wodiczko (b.1943), initiator of social actions, projections, objects, and videos.
2007 - Jerzy Lewczyński (b.1924), artist, photographer.
2008. - Zbigniew Rybczyński (b.1949), multimedia artist, author of experimental animated films, director, director of photography.
2009 – Andrzej Lachowicz (b.1939), graphic artist, photographer, painter, film creator, art theoretician.
2011 – Zygmunt Rytka (b. 1947), inter-media artist, photographer, installation author.

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