Irenka Kalicka, Ewelina Kaliszczuk, Marta Sala, Grzegorz Siembida, Łukasz Stokłosa, Ludmiła Woźniczko

Estrus and Promiscuity​

"Estrus and Promiscuity" – words Henryk Sienkiewicz used to describe the work of young Polish artists. The phrase used in the exhibition’s title, featuring six young artists living and working in Kraków, highlights the more recently notable connotations between the painting characteristic of prospering Polish art in the early twentieth century, and the latest trends in the work of young painters.

Young Poland, recognized as the most prolific period of development in Polish culture and art, had its origin in Kraków. A new approach to the matter of painting, the treatment of the topic as well as grasping the presented object, regardless of whether it was a landscape, portrait or still life, aroused controversy amongst the representatives of a conservative, positivist generation. Moreover, this was also the time wherein parties, scandals, and artistic endeavors were most widely discussed in literature. Kraków buzzed from gossip, small conspiracies as well as harmless squabbles. It's been more than a hundred years, howbeit, in Kraków, consuming large quantities of strong spirits, spending time in small pubs, discussing the essence of art and eventually digressing from it, as well as smoking one cigarette after another still continues. You end up staggering home just when the Planty Park is being blanketed with morning fog. To say nothing of the arguing, slander, reconciling, cooperation and jealousy. Only romances tend to be less ardent. Everything moves at the Kraków pace.

On account of the former information, Kraków can be regarded as unprogressive, if not conservative, but it cannot be denied that these presumptions possess a unique charm. It is also undeniable that the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts, in front of which a monument – of the Great Jan Matejko – bearing arguable beauty has been allocated, shapes the most interesting Polish artists. As if to spite the opinions and false assumptions, Kraków artists, in a unique and nonchalant way, do their own thing.

In the art rush for exhibitions, records, innovative theories, and being involved in the issues of the nation, city, as well as estate developments all in a fashionable manner, Kraków’s painting returns to its roots. The ancestral spirit can be felt in it. Both in terms of the subject matter as well as painting itself. In the works we see the preserved memories of a trip, immortalized faces of friends, inscription of the nearest surroundings, except that everything has been processed by a slightly delirious mind. The paintings are succulent, full of expression, created with vigorous strokes, but without artificial exaltation. The artists focus on gestures; they aspire towards a goal that has been suspended in consciousness. 

The exhibition will display the works of five artists, whose acts of creation, usually and unconsciously, turn toward the modernist generation as well as photographic comment, which like Stanczyk always sees more.

Katarzyna Wąs


Bank Pekao Project Room media patrons
Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art media patrons