Magdalena Abakanowicz, UNTITLED, (date unavailable), jute, resin, wood, 53,9 x 18,5 x 9,6 inches / Eugeniusz Markowski, A CARD, 1976, oil on canvas, 49,6 x 55,1 inches
Green Point Projects, a new cultural initiative in Brooklyn founded in April 2017 and located in a repurposed warehouse in an industrial part of Greenpoint are pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition: “A Walking Lesson: ABAKANOWICZ / MARKOWSKI”, curated by Marek Bartelik.
The exhibition will gather together sculptures and graphic works by Magdalena Abakanowicz and paintings and drawings by Eugeniusz Markowski. This is the first US show of Abakanowicz following her death earlier this year, and the first major show ever of Markowski in this country. The two artists have never been presented in the same show.
As curator of the exhibition Marek Bartelik writes in the exhibition catalog:
“Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) and Eugeniusz Markowski (1912-2007) —these two artists are not an obvious pairing. She was a world-renowned sculptor known for works that communicate foremost the angst and pain of living under the dark shadows of a totalitarian regime and the Cold War, as well as broader personal traumas experienced after World War II in Poland and elsewhere. He was a painter, little known outside of his native country, whose highly expressive compositions of naked people spoke about human life in a highly satirical, but also humorous way, exposing its anarchical madness put in—to use the words of the art critic and poet Mariusz Rosiak — “a corset of mental stereotypes of his time and place.” What they shared artistically was their strong commitment to a figurative expressiveness with the uniquely Polish backlights on history. “
Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) was still a child when World War II broke out, and studied at the State Higher School of Visual Arts in Gdańsk and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw during the Stalinist period, when artists were required to follow the doctrine of Socialist Realism. She distinguished herself with her giant weavings, called Abakans, made from dyed sisal fiber, which won her a Gold Medal at the São Paulo Biennale in 1965, the same year that she started to teach at the State Higher School of Visual Arts in Poznań, where she would work until 1990. In the United States, she have had exhibitions at major museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., and the PS1 Museum and Metropolitan Museum, both in New York. Today, she remains Poland’s most-exhibited artist, with works in almost every major museum in the world, where they are prominently displayed.
Eugeniusz Markowski (1912-2007) graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts a year before the outbreak of World War II. After the Polish defeat in the fall of 1939, he escaped to Italy, where he actively took part in local artistic life, wrote articles for the Polish press, and worked for the Polish Embassy in Rome. In 1950, Markowski moved to Ottawa, Canada, where he took on the function of the chargé d’affaires at the Polish Embassy, responsible for, among other duties, the repatriating of Polish art left in North America after the beginning of World War II. After his return to Poland in 1955 he assumed the position of Director of the Department of Cultural Promotion Abroad at the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art. Between 1970 and 1984, he taught at his alma mater, as well as the State Higher School of Visual Arts in Poznań. His works were shown in Poland and abroad (Royal Academy of Art in London; Kunsthalle Mannhaim; Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico). In 1963 Markowski represented Poland in the São Paulo Biennale. His works are in many public collections, mostly in Poland.
The exhibition is accompanied by a full-size catalogue (cover below), which will include poems by Wislawa Szymborska and Tadeusz Rozewicz in original translations from Polish into English by Marek Bartelik.