Current and announcment

20 Years or 5 Linear Metres

When one wishes to express themselves in creative ways and receives a friendly welcome within the environment of the Academy of Arts, then, in a way, they become part of a particular structure. They might find it to be poles apart from the other constructs – the ones that they have known so far. In many cases, the Academy’s quirky ambience, smell and vivacity become indispensable for their general functioning. And it does not matter at all that this bit of the world is immersed in the surrounding existence as it is. On the one hand, the Academy’s structure is affiliated to the state educational setup. On the other, it functions as a self-propelled phenomenon, whose vitality thrives on the idea exchange and on putting those ideas into action. There is no doubt that the strength of this unique being lies in its particular, abstract condition, which eludes any category, thus hindering any attempts to perform a logical verification of its operation mode. The more we try to classify and describe the type of interactions that are helpful in imparting experience, the more they escape our control. As it turns out, it is the idea of freedom that is the superior driving force capable of pushing forward all this turmoil. Each budding idea needs special conditions and opportunities to grow independent. Therefore, from a certain perspective, the Academy can be perceived as an enclave, quite similar to a greenhouse, wherein emerge life forms that could not have been born elsewhere.

In accordance with this specific concept of art education, the most favourable conditions need to be created, to ensure budding artistic sensibilities would be able to thrive outside the abode in which they came to life.

Twenty years have passed since the branch of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków changed into an independent art academy. This newly gained independence brought about the emergence of the Chair of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, which later evolved into the Chair of Painting – whose teachers present their works in the current exhibition. This display is the first in the series of artistic events planned by the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice to highlight this celebration year. The anniversary has become a pretext to demonstrate the diverse range of artistic output and the vast scope of possibilities offered by this educational institution. 20 Years, or 5 Linear Metres is a review exhibition, featuring very unique expressions by artists related to the Chair of Painting. The curator’s ingenious plan included entrusting a fragment of the gallery’s space to the artists and allowing each of them to present their works within this given space. Therefore, five linear metres represent a hypothetical dimension that will be converted into space containing a unique artistic output. This roughly delineated area constitutes both a limitation of artistic freedom, an endeavour to bring order and a means of fostering interesting compromise, in the dialogue involving so many and such different artistic viewpoints. It is worth noting that each piece of this colourful mosaic has its own story to tell – and each is a result of a particular set of circumstances. However, despite this presentation’s internal structure being so remarkably diverse, there are many elements in common, as well as many relations between them – and viewers might find them incredibly interesting. It is also an opportunity to observe paths pursued by art creators, all affiliated with the Chair that started 20 years ago. Such differing interpretations of the world amount to an interesting ideological twist, with the inclusion of works by many young, acknowledged artists who have graduated from the painting department.

In our current pandemic reality, when everything seems far from easy with the virus all around, there have been some doubts about whether it makes sense to create this exhibition at all – and with everything considered, we have decided to move on and gather the courage to replace fear with hope.

Jakub Adamek, Maciej Bieniasz, Zbigniew Blukacz, Kazimierz Cieślik, Antoni Cygan, Jerzy Fober, Katarzyna Fober, Jolanta Jastrząb, Janusz Karbowniczek, Szymon Kobylarz, Piotr Kossakowski, Antoni Kowalski, Dominika Kowynia, Aleksander Kozera, Maciej Linttner, Roman Maciuszkiewicz, Michał Minor, Małgorzata Rozenau, Jacek Rykała, Krzysztof Rzeźniczek, Michał Smandek, Paweł Szeibel, Andrzej Tobis, Agnieszka Trzos, Ireneusz Walczak, Paulina Walczak-Hańderek, Miłosz Wnukowski

Maciej Linttner, Ireneusz Walczak