The 2019 Katarzyna Kobro Award for Ewa Ciepielewska
On Monday, December 14th, the Katarzyna Kobro Award ceremony took place for the 18th time. The purpose of the award is to distinguish and honour the attitudes of progressive and innovative artists. The 2019 laureate was Ewa Ciepielewska.
The jury consisting of Cecylia Malik (chairperson), Marta Krześlak, Honorata Martin and Jaśmina Wójcik have appreciated the laureate:
For taking contemporary art to the free Vistula River.
For the climate museum in action.
For sharing her love for art and nature with other artists.
For taking other artists, both those mature and those who are just starting their adventure with art, to her wooden galar (transl. scow). For sharing delight, experience, food, art and adventure with them. For the fact that, under the sail she painted "w Dzikiej kocham się Wiśle" (transl. "the wild Vistula I love”), artists, for whom Ewa is a supportive guide, sister, mother, shaman, create excellent works.
For painting, consistence in art, modesty and joy.
For connecting people - those from the left and right banks of the Vistula.
For being the embodiment of the values thanks to which we have a chance to survive on this planet.
For "zło bobrem zwyciężaj" (transl. "overcome evil with beavers").
Ewa Ciepielewska is a painter, perfomer, activist, altruist and nature lover. She was born in 1960 in Wałbrzych. She is a graduate of painting at the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, under the supervision of prof. Konrad Jarodzki. In 1982, she was a co-founder of the "Luxus" group - one of the most important artistic formations of the 1980s. She is its member to this day. In 1997, she founded the "Volans" association which supports young artists. For 15 years, she has been spending a significant part of the year on the Vistula, sailing a traditional wooden boat called "Solny" (transl. "Salt").
The consequence of this involvement was the creation of the "Flow" project in 2015. One of its goals is to use art tools to preserve the river in its natural state. The periodical project of mobile boat residencies, existing outside the official circulation, connects artists, musicians, performers, curators and other activists. Its effects were shown at exhibitions at Hamburger Bahnhof (2018), Alter Hafen (2017) in Berlin, Gdańsk City Gallery (2016, 2018), the Austrian Cultural Centre (2019) and the Razem Pamoja Foundation in Kraków (2017, 2018).
Moreover, Ciepielewska presented her artworks at individual and collective exhibitions, including those at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Zachęta - National Gallery of Art, the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Strykejernet in Oslo, John Hausard Gallery in Southhampton. Furthermore, her works are part of private and public collections, including institutions such as Museum Jerke in Recklinghausen, Wrocław Contemporary Museum and the National Museum in Warsaw, Wrocław and Kraków.
Apart from painting, Ciepielewska is interested in social and community cases in the context of art. She has an interest in looking for non-institutional forms of togetherness in the face of social and ecological crises. The artist combines conscious artistic practice with a strong political stance, which is manifested by vegetarianism, pro-ecological activities and supporting all freedom initiatives. In 2020, Ewa Ciepielewska's activities were awarded "Order Rzeki Wisły" (transl. "the Order of the Vistula River") by the raftsmen community. She is an active member of the "Save the Rivers" Coalition.
The idea for the annual Katarzyna Kobro Award, presented to the selected artist by other artists, came from Józef Robakowski. The purpose of the award is to distinguish and honour the attitudes of progressive and innovative artists. Originally, the prize was awarded at Galeria Wschodnia. Since 2011, the event has been organised by Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and its curator is Maria Morzuch.
2001 - Zbigniew Dłubak
2002 - Jürgen Blum-Kwiatkowski
2003 - Andrzej Dłużniewski
2004 - Krzysztof M. Bednarski
2005 - Teresa Murak
2006 - Krzysztof Wodiczko
2007 - Jerzy Lewczyński
2008 - Zbigniew Rybczyński
2009 - Andrzej Lachowicz
2011 - Zygmunt Rytka
2012 - Natalia LL
2013 - Cezary Bodzianowski
2014 - Robert Rumas
2015 - Jadwiga Sawicka
2016 - Karolina Wiktor
2017 - Piotr Bosacki
2018 - Cecylia Malik
The sponsor of the Katarzyna Kobro Award is Rossmann Polska: