Winner of the Katarzyna Kobro Award 2012 -Natalia LL

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

Natalia LL - Natalia Lach-Lachowicz was born in 1937 in Żywiec. In the years 1957-1963 she studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław supervised by professor S. Dawski. She has been a member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers since 1964. In 1970 Natalia LL (alongside Andrzej Lachowicz and Zbigniew Dłubak) was one of the co-founders  of Permafo Gallery and group, active until 1981. She has contributed to the international movement of feminist art, participating in symposiums and exhibitions for years now.

One of the best known projects by Natalia LL is Consumer Art From the beginning of the 1970s, and Post-Consumer Art  made several years later. It depicts a model performing actions and making gestures connected with consumption. The works constitute a photographic performance close in convention to a film narration. The artist is interested in a variety of topics; in the 1980s she tackled philosophical, religious and magical issues. She frequently puts herself as the heroine of her photographs. In her brave projects the artist combines erotic threads with personal ones, feminist issues with political ones reaching, with full awareness to the world of pop-culture. Her later works, from the beginning of the 21st century, comment on important events, including political ones, from an individual point of view. The artist is, however, focused on her personal problems referring mostly to the tradition of body-art. It is this direction, next to conceptualism and questions about the nature of art, proved essential in her work.

The artist’s works have been presented at various important art. Exhibitions both in Poland and abroad. They are owned, among others, by Frauen Museum in Bonn, Museum of Modern Art in Lubljana, Ludwig Museum in Cologne, International Center of Photography in New York and Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Since its beginnings in 2001 the Katarzyna Kobro Award has been a unique prize in the field of arts as it is awarded to artists by artists. The originators of the idea of the annual award, whose winner is selected by a jury consisting of representatives of various fields of art, were  Józef Robakowski and the late Nika Strzemińska (d. 2001), Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński’s daughter. Any artist can be nominated for the Award only once.

The objective of the Award is honouring a progressive, seeking attitude of an artist who is open to the exchange of thoughts, and a disinterested initiator of cultural events. Until 2010 the Katarzyna Kobro Award was presented to the winners at Wschodnia Gallery. Since then, however, by the decision of Józef Robakowski, and the award’s then-sponsor – Dariusz Bieńkowski, it has been handed out at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź.

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

Curator: Maria Morzuch

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), creator of social actions, projections, objects 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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