Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź: Plans for 2019

The Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź will begin 2019 with a project titled Prototypes which includes testing the notion of its own collection. Invited artists will be using the works from the museum collection to model our contemporary reality. Their interventions will transform the MS collection into a pool of practices and methods waiting to be re-used, updated and animated. This is how we want to counterbalance the “production” of new works in the spirit of environmental friendliness: by re-using the already existing works of art and filling them with new contexts.

In 2019 works of art from the MS collection will be creatively approached by the following artists: Fashion House Limanka, a team composed of Barbara Kinga Majewska, Michał Libera and Konrad Smoleński, and Carolina Caycedo within the three editions of the Prototypes project.

Prototype – an idea which may become an inspiration for practical solutions that help transforming the social reality – provides the framework for the entire 2019 MS programme and traces of prototype thinking will pervade the rest of museum activities. The idea will become the point of departure for reflections over new models of community, testing the critical potential of artistic gestures but also delineating the genealogy of forms in interventions of individual artists as well as in a creative exchange among diverse artists, which illustrates an assumption, inscribed in prototype thinking, according to which relationships among works are more important than a single piece.

Approached in this way, artistic activity does not illustrate social and political ideas but it becomes a laboratory, which generates solutions that potentially are socially or politically meaningful. A series of planned exhibitions will help in developing a catalogue of methods suggesting a wide variety of options for using the museum collection. Animating its collection, one of the principal roles of the Muzeum Sztuki, will be this time pursued through artistic means.

Wide presentation of Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński oeuvre at the exhibition at Gemeentemuseum in The Hague holding the biggest collection of works by Piet Mondrian and representatives of De Stijl, will be an opportunity to confront the works of different artists and to present the two artists featuring in the MS collection as leading figures of European avant-garde. This subsequent monographic exhibition of Kobro and Strzemiński develops themes introduced by exhibitions at Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), Moderna Museet (Malmö), and Centre Pompidou (Paris), where the oeuvre of the couple of avant-garde artists was interpreted through the notion of “prototype” and the idea of “realistic utopia” stemming from it. “Realistic utopia” is understood as an ideal model, which may stimulate the most practical solutions to be proposed here and now. 

A collective exhibition Pangea United will test what benefits art can bring into working with environmental imagination. Pangea – “whole-Earth” or “all-Earth” – is one of ancient supercontinents assembled from modern continental blocks. By using this geological metaphor the exhibition proposes to imagine a “whole-Earth” citizenship and Earth as a household. Works shown at this exhibition will explore and expand human perceptions of diverse forms of life in seeking for the opportunities of co-existence in the spirit of interdependence, co-responsibility and care for what we are sharing.

The second collective exhibition Composing Space. Sculptures in the Avant-garde will create the community of objects to provide the contextual framework for re-reading the oeuvre of Katarzyna Kobro. By showcasing works by Kobro side by side with sculptures of her contemporaries we will be able to identify traces left by thinking about space, movement, and corporality in avant-garde sculpture. The exhibition will also highlight the choreographic potential embodied in sculptural experiments.

The museum also plans two retrospective exhibitions of artists whose oeuvre in different ways links with the history of the institution. The exhibition of Marek Chlanda Study of Obedience will depart from the title work presented in 2018 and remind its prototypes featuring in the works of the artist already in the 1980s. By reminding interventions in private apartments and squats referred to as “drawing locations” and the idea of learning as self-instrumentalisation we will highlight formal and conceptual development inscribed in Marek Chlanda’s artistic practice.

A different retrospective will be the exhibition of RH Quaytman works titled Chapter 35. The American painter deploys techniques of mechanical reproduction and traditions of conceptual art to create closed series of works divided into chapters. Subsequent parts are numbered to mark the passage of time and the gradually completing life and artistic project. Quaytman treats all exhibitions and paintings presented as one creative undertaking. Works on display in Łódź will include her earlier artworks making reference to Kobro and Strzemiński together with later works based on them. 

The programme for 2019 also provides for the launching of a project aimed at collecting stories told by people who used to work at the Muzeum or permanently collaborated with our institution. Valuable information about the life of the museum and communities connected with it disappear together with people who are the living memory of the Muzeum. We will interview these people and use the recordings to preserve the memory about the institution and people who have been and still are creating it.

Apart from publications that traditionally accompany exhibitions, for 2019 the Muzeum plans, inter alia, to further develop the publishing series devoted to the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.

Exhibitions plan (in chronological order):

Prototypes: Fashion House Limanka. New Collection

22 February - 21 April 2019
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Curator: Maria Morzuch

Pangea United

22 March - 9 June 2019
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Curator: Joanna Sokołowska
Artists: Alan Butler, Carolina Caycedo, Czekalska/Golec, Agnes Denes, Anetta Mona Chişa/Lucia Tkáčová, Diana Lelonek, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Tamás Kaszás (in cooperation with Anikó Loránt as an ex-artists' collective), Teresa Murak, Christine Ödlund, Artavazd Peleshyan, Sin Kabeza Productions (Cheto Castellano & Lissette Olivares), Jerzy Rosołowicz, Alicja Rogalska, Zhou Tao, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, and Monika Zawadzki.

Exhibition organised in cooperation with Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst in Oldenburg is the next stage of the project For beyond that horizon lies another horizon.

Katarzyna Kobro & Wladyslaw Strzeminski. Een Poolse avant-garde

23 March - 30 June 2019
Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands
Curators: Jarosław Suchan and Hans Janssen

Prototypes: Konrad Smoleński, Michał Libera, Barbara Kinga Majewska

12 April - 30 June 2019
ms2, Ogrodowa 19
Curator: Michał Libera

Marek Chlanda. A Study of Obedience

28 June - 13 October 2019
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Curators: Magdalena Kownacka, Anna Saciuk-Gąsowska

Prototypes: Carolina Caycedo and Zofia Rydet. Care Report

6 September 2019 - January 2020
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Curator: Aleksandra Jach

Composing the Space. Sculptures in the Avant-garde

4 October 2019 - February 2020
ms2, Ogrodowa 19
Curators: Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk, Katarzyna Słoboda
Artists: Katarzyna Kobro, Naum Gabo, Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Antoine Pevsner, Jean Arp, Alexander Archipenko, Henri Laurens, Julio González, and others.

RH Quaytman. Chapter 35

October 2019 - February 2020
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Curator: Jarosław Suchan


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