Polish Printmaking


PRESSING MATTER - Chicago 2009

Pressing Matter

Od 20 marca do 19 kwietnia The Polish Museum of America w Chicago prezentuje wystawę PRESSING MATTER - A GLIMPSE AT THE POLISH PRINT CONTINUUM ukazującą pięć dekad polskiej grafiki.

Wystawie patronują Minister Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego RP, dyrektor stowarzyszenia "WSPÓLNOTA POLSKA" oraz Konsul Generalny RP w Chicago.
Kuratorzy wystawy: Beauvais Lyons i Monika Nowak

Więcej informacji na stronach:

Zdjęcia z otwarcia wystawy mozna obejrzeć na stronie:

An Array of Masters from a Hidden Collection

It is extraordinary that a rich and unknown collection of Polish graphic art can be found in the United States, in the biggest metropolis of the Midwest. In 1935, The Polish Museum of America (PMA) was founded in Chicago. Among the museum’s holdings are more than 1,000 prints by Polish artists from the period between the 17th and the 21st centuries, with an emphasis on prints from the 1920s–1930s and 1950s–1960s. Works on paper by Polish artists from these periods are often exceptionally rare, even in collections in Poland.

The inventorying of the PMA holdings undertaken three years ago resulted in an idea, initiated by the author of this text, for an exhibition of selections from the collection to be held at The National Museum in Kraków, Poland from September to December 2009. This will be the first time that works from The Polish Museum of America–representing the wealth of the institution’s holdings–will be on display in Poland on such a large scale. Over 100 of the most remarkable prints from 1919-1995 by 65 artists were selected. A lavish 250-page color catalogue has been published to accompany this exhibition. The works will also be shown at the Wrocław Museum in Poland in 2010. Upon its return to the United States, the exhibition will go on view in Chicago.

Located in Chicago, the PMA, one of the oldest ethnic museums in the United States, possesses a unique collection of Polish Graphic Art. The theme of the Southern Graphics Council Conference held in Chicago in 2009 is Global Implications. Considering that printmaking is an important art form in Poland and that Poles in Chicago and Illinois represent a large ethnic population in the region, The Polish Museum of America proposed an exhibition–Pressing Matter: A Glimpse at the Polish Print Continuum–featuring historic and contemporary Polish prints to be presented in conjunction with this prestigious international conference.

Limited exhibition space allows only for a glimpse at the museum’s historic collection of works on paper. The pieces selected are primarily from the 1950s and 1960s as this time period was marked with noticeable growth and development within the Polish graphic community. This interval is thought to be the most significant, following the flourishing of graphic arts in Poland during the inter-war period. Several works from the 1980s and 1990s were selected to illustrate the continuation of the stellar tradition of the Polish school of graphic art. While this exhibition provides only an introduction to the PMA’s treasures, we hope it will encourage viewers to become more familiar with Polish graphic art, with greater understanding and in more detail.

The exhibition offers a context for understanding contemporary graphic art in Poland by presenting the work of three generations of Polish printmaking. As a survey exhibition, the show offers a glimpse into the ways Polish print media has evolved over five decades. Established artists are shown alongside artists who represent the future of Polish printmaking: Marta Bozyk, Malgorzata Gurowska, Grzegorz Hańderek, Agata Jakubowska, Jerzy Jedrysiak, Małgorzata Malwina Niespodziewana, Henryk Ożóg, Mirosław Pawłowski, Anna Sadowska, Anna Sobol-Wejman, Krzysztof Skórczewski, Krzysztof Świętek and Stanisław Wejman. To give a historical context, the exhibition includes pieces from The Polish Museum of America collection created by a number of notable graphic artists working in Poland.

Monika Nowak
Art historian
Curator of The Polish Museum of America Graphic Art Collection

(na zaproszeniu: Grzegorz Hańderek "ZNAK (SIGN)" intaglio, 2008)
  • 27.03.2009