From 8 March the spaces of Wrocław City Gallery will fill up with painting inspired by architecture. Sadness of Modernism: Oppression and Depression exhibition is a display of 16 Polish young generation artists, for whom modernism is a starting point for both thematic and formal artistic research.
The official opening of the exhibition takes place on 7th March (Thursday) at 6:00 PM and is accompanied by an electronic music concert performed by ZAJWERT (Paweł Krzaczkowski).
According to idealistic visions of modernist architects the new style was to completely transform the 19th century social structures (by that time already anachronistic) and eliminate all their injustices. These expectations, however, turned out to be groundless. It was criticised for ignoring the needs of an individual or arbitrarily creating a new social order by imposing new needs, preferences and behaviour patterns on people. In consequence, modernism turned into a peculiar symbol of oppression and depression, while simultaneously triggering in people negative, sometimes even aggressive emotions directed against this type of architecture.
Thus, the Wrocław exhibition is to give young Polish painters an opportunity to explore contemporary meanings of modernism and illustrate how our thinking about it has evolved over the decades.
The first theme explored at the exhibition is oppressiveness of individuals towards architecture - oppressiveness falling within both sudden destruction processes and natural degradation processes (i.e. also connected with a disrespectful attitude towards the protection of architectural structures). The display examines human destructive inclinations towards architecture also in a purely painterly context by presenting paintings that break down geometry of solids and density of urban tissue.
The second motif examined at the show is oppressiveness of architecture towards individuals. Exhibited paintings not only take up the topic of control over society and interference in individual autonomy through architecture, but also extensively draw on repetitiveness of simple, geometric forms characteristic of modernism. When vieved from the perspective of how an individual functions in the urban landscape this repetitiveness can be identified with feelings of a specific apathy, passivity, hopelessness, melancholy or depression.
Artists represented at the exhibition include: Jakub Adamek, Karolina Balcer, Katarzyna Dyjewska, Karolina Jaklewicz, Celina Kanunnikava, Maria Kiesner, Anna Kołodziejczyk, Katarzyna Kowalska, Aleksander Laszenko, Anna Libera, Aleksandra Łatecka, Iwona Ogrodzka, Joanna Pałys, Iza Rogucka, Katarzyna Rutkowska and Noemi Staniszewska.
The exhibition is curated by Katarzyna Zahorska.
The Sadness of Modernism: Oppression and Depression exhibition lasts until 25 April 2019.
Photos from the opening:
Video from the opening: