ZACHĘTA – NATIONAL ART GALLERY, KATARZYNA KULCZYK
Zachęta — National Art Gallery is a national culture institution, whose history dates back to the 1860s. Its mission is presentation and promotion of contemporary art. The Gallery holds individual and collective exhibitions of Polish and foreign artists as well as important exhibitions devoted to particular issues. It was established by Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych (Society for Fine Arts Encouragement), an organisation gathering artists and art enthusiasts, founded in 1860. It received the status of a National Art Gallery in 1994.
In 2015, thanks to an initiative by Katarzyna Kulczyk — vice-president of Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych, pieces from the collection of Zachęta were exhibited in a revitalised, historic building — Kamienica Hrabiego Raczyńskiego (Count Raczyński’s Mansion House) — in the very centre of Warsaw. Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych supports the National Art Gallery by way of organising education and promotion-related projects connected with contemporary art.
The exhibition featured the most important pieces of Polish contemporary art owned by Zachęta — National Art Gallery. For the first time in many years, an exhibition of Zachęta’s collection presented so many works, covering the period from the 1960s up to the present day. It featured unquestionable classics (Stażewski, Szapocznikow), leading artists of the Polish ‘critical art’ (Libera, Rajkowska) and artists of the younger generation (Wójcik, Polska). Also, for the first time in many years, “Święto wiosny” (The Rite of Spring) by Katarzyna Kozyra was presented — as an axis of the whole exhibition.
The curator of the exhibition was Hanna Wróblewska, director of Zachęta — National Art Gallery, in collaboration with Julia Leopold and Robert Rumas.