Dotyk / The Touch
16th September 2016, 6.00 p.m.
Art Exhibitions Office in Kielce
Kapitulna 2, 25-011 Kielce
Curator: Eulalia Domanowska
Cooperation: Henryk Gac
The participants: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ewa Axelrad, Krzysztof M. Bednarski, Jerzy Bereś, Czekalska + Golec, Oskar Dawicki, Iwona Demko, Wojciech Doroszuk, Barbara Falender, Thorsten Goldberg, Diana Grabowska, Natalia Janus-Malewska, Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz, Marek Kijewski / Kocur, Grzegorz Kowalski, Zuzanna Krajewska, Maciej Kurak/Max Skorwider, Natalia LL, Anna Orlikowska, Andrzej Paruzel, Krzysztof Pijarski, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Adam Procki, Leszek Przyjemski, Joanna Rajkowska, Damian Reniszyn, Józef Robakowski, Zygmunt Rytka, Aleksandra Ska, Ryszard Stryjecki, Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, Iza Tarasewicz, Longin Witczak, Jan St. Wojciechowski, Agata Zbylut
Exhibition open: 17th september - 14th october 2016
The exhibition prepared by Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, Eulalia Domanowska, a curator, with the help from Henryk Gac, focuses on the phenomenon of hapticness in art. Appealing to the touch is an example of transformations art has undergone in the last fifty years – from the conceptual and minimalistic, highly intellectualized, to the one stimulating our senses.
For centuries the sense of touch has been underestimated in Western culture as a possible aesthetic experience, mainly due to numerous prejudices. It is considered an animal, corporal, less civilized skill of a human. However since the beginning of mankind it played vital role in art, especially in sculpture. Touch is essential in perceiving the space. We are able to recognize not only the material qualities of objects but also the spatial relations between them. The subtlety and complexity of spatial modelling of sculpture can be fully revealed only at a close distance, “at arm’s length”, and best in a direct tactile contact.
Over thirty Polish artists and Thorsten Goldberg, a Berliner, take part in the exhibition. We present installations, objects, photographs, video films and sculptures by artists of different generations, both very well known, like Magdalena Abakanowicz and Maria Pinińska-Bereś, and those young ones like Natalia Janus and Małgorzata Szymankiewicz whose works refer in various ways to the phenomenon of hapticness. Some of the presented works one can touch, embrace, sit or lie on them. Some show good or bad touch. The others – through the motif of a hand – refer to the creative thread in art. Touch can also be therapeutic – such meaning have the sculptures by Longin Witczak and films presenting amazing workshops for the deaf and blind run for twenty years by Ryszard Stryjecki in The Polish Sculpture Centre in Orońsko.
The oldest works are from 1968: „Table II – A Feast” from the cycle „Little Psychofurniture” by Maria Pinińska-Bereś, and „The Seed” by Adam Procki. Tatiana Czekalska and Leszek Golec, for years making art referring to our surrounding and posthumanistic philosophy, present a new work containing the fur of a cat named Whale. Marek Kijewski and Małgorzata Malinowska “Kocur”, the next duo, since 1996 have been applying in their works organic shapes and unconventional materials like candies, jellybeans, feathers which resulted in very sensual effects. The works by Maria Pinińska-Bereś and Iwona Demka belong to the feministic trend in art. They use soft, “womanly” materials clearly associated with hapticness. Visitors would have a chance to play with “Cuddle Toys” by Iwona Demko, as well as with wooden amorphous sculptures by Longin Witczak, “Utility Forms” by Damian Remiszyn, and columns by Aleksandra Ska which are the result of reflection on the icon of modernist art, “Infinite Column” by Constantin Brancusi. The work of Romanian artist is made of bronze, while Aleksandra Ska applies something that can be squeezed and deformed, that is warm and nice is touch comparing to metal. A hand is one of the main motifs (and motives) of this exhibition – a hand referring to the act of creation which is as important as a completed work of art. “Anatomies” by Magdalena Abakanowicz, “Pendulum” by Jerzy Bereś, a series of drawings by Thorsten Goldberg, “Minimal, Essential, Objectively Moderate 1” by Ewa Axelrad, photographs by Zygmunt Rytka and Jan St. Wojciechowski, and “I will tell you about my fingers” a film by Józef Robakowski present the creative power of the authors in various ways.
The next group of works: soft objects by Maciej Kurak and Max Skorwider duo, a dress by Agata Zbylut, „Bicycle Thieves” a fluffy, unrealistic intermedia work by Krzysztof M. Bednarski, sensual furniture by Ewa Axelrad and Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, “The Art of Animals” by Natalia LL, “A Braid” by Iza Tarasewicz, “Raspberry Days” a beautiful film by Wojciech Doroszuk, sculptures by Barbara Falender present the sensual character of the haptic art and its primary functions.
We can also talk about a good touch and a bad touch. The first one is shown in „My father has never touched me in that way” a film by Joanna Rajkowska; the latter in “The Shows” a photograph by Leszek Przyjemski. There is a conceptual installation by Andrzej Paruzel who collected the dust from the studios of Henryk Stażewski, Władysław Strzemiński and Yves Klein, a famous French artist, and the three channel video installation by Anna Orłowska, “Memory of the Garden” telling about the sensual garden for the blind in Bolestraszyce.
Special thanks to Stefania Zgudko, Magdalena Grabowska and Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, to Arboretum in Bolestraszyce, "Signs of Time" Contemporary Art Centre in Toruń, BWA Gallery in Warsaw, Piekary Gallery in Poznań, Propaganda Gallery, Wrocław Contemporary Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Radom, Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, and to Małgorzata Gurowska and Iwo Rutkiewicz who made the graphic design for the project.