To Rend and To Sew

This essay was published in a catalogue accompanying Beata Ewa Białecka’s 2018 Ave Kobieta exhibition at the National Gallery in Gdansk.     Who are we looking at when we look on Beata Ewa Białecka’s portraits of children in death and those who grieve them? With very few points of reference provided by dress or setting, … Continue reading

On Andrzej Klimowski

This essay was commissioned for a new book on the posters of Andrzej Klimowski published by Self-Made Hero in 2018.   In 1980 English-born Andrzej Klimowski had been living in Warsaw for seven years and was working as the designer of posters for the state film distributor and a number of theatres around Poland. That … Continue reading

Dan Perjovschi: The Power of the Margins

A piece written in 2010 ….   The international art world ‘discovered’ Dan Perjovschi in 1999 when his drawings were displayed in the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.[1] Under the title ‘rEST’, he covered the floor with cartoons and slogans in thick marker-pen reflecting on life in Eastern-Central Europe since the overthrow of communist … Continue reading

Études with a camera – Dóra Maurer’s films and photoworks

  What can one do with a cobblestone? This was a question asked and answered by Dóra Maurer in 1971. It is the title of a series of photographs in which she documented a cobblestone being obliged to participate in various activities. After tethering it with string for one photo, in another she pulls it … Continue reading

Review of Liverpool Biennial 2014

This review appeared in Frieze, Sept. 2014.   You can imagine the bemusement when the commission arrived. British artist Chris Evans – a participant in this year’s Liverpool Biennial – invited Boodles, the celebrated luxury jewelers in the city, to craft a piece of jewellery in response to the art festival’s press release. This is … Continue reading

Public art and its opponents

This is a review of two books – Joanna Rajkowska’s Where the Beast Is Buried (Zero Books, 2013) and Tom Finkelpearl’s What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013) – which appeared in Frieze magazine.     Recently, a work of art returned to Warsaw after spending almost two years in an … Continue reading

Symposium on Zoos in Central Europe in London in mid September organised by Eszter Steierhoffer

The Dark Side of the Modern Home

This is an extract of an essay published in Sparke, Massey, Keeble and Martin, eds., Designing the Modern Interior (Berg, 2009) ♦ The modern home is, conventionally, bathed in the light of order. Adolf Loos’s vision of a ‘New Zion’ stripped of its nostalgic ornament; Le Corbusier’s ‘fenêtre en longeur’; and Pierre Koenig’s glass curtain walls … Continue reading

Dan Perjovschi: The Power of the Margins

The international art world ‘discovered’ Dan Perjovschi in 1999 when his drawings were displayed in the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.[1] Under the title ‘rEST’, he covered the floor with cartoons and slogans in thick marker-pen reflecting on life in Eastern-Central Europe since the overthrow of communist rule 10 years earlier. Over time, his … Continue reading

‘Laughing at My Head’ – The ‘Immature’ Art of Neue Bieremiennost

I was commissioned to write a piece about the early years of artist Mirosław Bałka and his colleagues when they sailed under the flag of ‘Neue Bieremiennost’. The piece appears in a book written and edited by Kasia Redzisz and Karol Sienkiewicz with the title Świadomość Neue Bieriemiennost (Fundacja Open Art Projects, Warsaw, 2012). ♦ … Continue reading