Neoplastic Room. Open Composition
6 July 2010 - 3 July 2011
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
The spaces around the Neoplastic Room begin to successively fill in by works of contemporary artists that find in the Strzemiński’ work moments, which are still worth of confrontation. "Open Composition" - developing around the exhibition Room - inaugurate on 6 july 2010 - the projects created especially for this occasion by Grupa Twożywo and Jaroslaw Fliciński and also works of Daniel Buren, Magdalena Fernandez, Igor Krenz, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Elzbieta Jablonska, and Julita Wojcik.
Neoplastic Room, which is the inspiration and starting point, has been revived to its historical function: became again a place of exhibition of works by Katarzyna Kobro, Henryk Berlewi and Theo van Doesburg.
In 1946 Muzeum Sztuki, initially located in a few dozen rooms of the former city hall, gained its new seat: the 19 th century palace of the Lodz industrialist Maurycy Poznański. The Director of the Museum of the day, Marian Minich invited Władysław Strzemiński to cooperate at arranging the new exhibition rooms. The artist was entrusted with the task of designing the space that would contain the collection of European avantgarde works, gathered on his initiative in the 1930s. The Neoplastic Room, as it was called, was opened at the same time as the Museum – two years later, and immediately became the main attraction of the Museum.
Unfortunately, it was not so for long: in 1950 the Room’s polychromes, alluding to the constructivist-neoplastic aesthetics, were painted over, and the works exhibited there, deemed inappropriate as far as the official style of social realism was concerned, were placed in magazines. The Room was reconstructed by Strzemiński’s student: Bolesław Utkin, in accordance with the original plans as late as in 1960 and since then, for almost half a century, it was the focal point of the permanent exhibition of the Museum in Lodz. The situation changed in 2008 when the collection was moved from its former place to ms2, , a historical weaving plant turned into new exhibition spaces of Muzeum Sztuki. The Room which, after long discussions, we decided not to move alongside the collection, but to leave it in the place it had been designed for by Strzemiński, lost the status of the collection’s focal point and became a catalyst and a point of reference for the activities of other artists. The activities which, in dialogue with the work of the Polish artist, would creatively develop the meanings embedded in the work and make them more contemporary, as well as direct our attention towards these aspects of the works that have previously been concealed. The signals of the coming change of the status of the Neoplastic Room were: the modifications that the room underwent as a part of the 2006-2008 series of three exhibitions-sketches for the future permanent exhibition (presented at ms2), and the activities conducted by artists during such projects as Museum as a Luminous Object of Desire (the Director of the Museum being dressed by Julita Wójcik in a sweater mirroring the aesthetics of the Room), Delusive Orders (a video by Igor Krenz commenting on the Room’s obsessive geometry) and I Repeat Them to Reach Them (the transformation of Strzemiński’s work into an autonomous museum exhibit and, simultaneously, into an accessible set of DIY for everyone, made by Elżbieta Jabłońska). Placing Daniel Buren’s installation Cabane éclatée avec tissu blanc et noir in the vicinity of the Room was also an important undertaking in this respect. The French artist’s installation does not directly refer to the aesthetics of Strzemiński’s work but it enters into a more profound relation with the " economy of a gift " on which it was based, just like the Neoplastic Room is a place " given " by the artist to the works of another artist (to the paintings by Henryk Stażewski from the Museum’s collection).The activities mentioned above constitute the beginning of a process resulting in other spaces surrounding the Neoplastic Room being gradually filled by works of artists who find points still worth confronting in Strzemiński’s work. This way, the story, whose climax seemed to be the Room itself, has a chance of finding its continuation in the present.
Artists: Władysław Strzemiński, Daniel Buren, Magdalena Fernandez, Jarosław Fliciński, Grupa Twożywo, Igor Krenz, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Elżbieta Jabłońska, Julita Wójcik.
The exhibition is curated by Jarosław Suchan