The work by Agata Bogacka from the Foundation's collection at the exhibition in Zachęta



The exhibition "Diaries" presents Agata Bogacka’s newest paintings, a part of which were made under the influence of family histories either remembered or rediscovered after many years, and an interest on the artist’s part in her own genealogy.

The artist’s references to autobiographical elements are just a pretext for a more universal reflection on the theme of human memory. The artist is interested in the ways in which we record, and then recreate from memory certain images and the distortions that result from this process.

One of the key inspirations is a document found in her family archive: a notebook belonging to Paulina Żuławska, the artist’s grandmother, from the time of the Warsaw Uprising. The description of a route that the author had to take contained in the diary became the entry point for a work in which Bogacka tries to reconstruct that route. She has also painted similar “painting-maps” on the basis of the diary of Jonas Mekas, as well as the war-time recollections of Thomas Buergenthal.

In the painting compositions Exhibition 1 and Exhibition 2, meanwhile, the artist in symbolic mode attempts to piece back together the fragments of a broken sculpture made by her aunt, the sculptor Hanna Żuławska, on the basis of preserved photographs of her exhibitions. The nostalgic activity of putting in order old family photographs becomes for the painter an inspiration for creating a collage that resembles a genealogical tree. Composed of photographs only of women, the collage forms a declaration of feminism surprising in the light of the artist’s earlier comments on this topic.

Thus, works by Agata Bogacka based on a monochromatic colour-scheme and a diversity of textures are set in composition with selected paintings from the last three years (for example, from the series Mirroring from 2008 or Tatras from 2009) demonstrate both a new sphere of thematic interests and an evolution in the artist’s creative stance – we can observe a clear transition from the “here and now” to history understood in broad terms, and also a totally different stylistic approach from that used hitherto. Unchanged remains the artist’s interest in modes of recording reality and registering one’s emotional states, of the type we find in diaries or notebooks.

The work "I, Krystyna M. left home on Tuesday (01.08.1944 Warsaw - 12.08.1944 Podkowa Lesna, Poland)" from the collection of ING Polish Art Foundation will be presented at the exhibition.

Agata Bogacka. "Diaries"
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
12.08 - 9.10.2011
Curator: Joanna Kordjak

The artist is realising this project realised under the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland scholarship.

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