One of the themes of Jadwiga Sawicka’s works are words and phrases almost literally taken out of context, from newspapers, commercials, or electronic media. At the beginning of her activity, the artist juxtaposed them with images of everyday objects on the same canvas: presented clothing items with a limited range of colours and cosmetics were accompanied by fragments of advertising slogans, newspaper extracts, titles, and summaries of TV series.
In Jadwiga Sawicka’s works, individual objects and phenomena appear belonging to everyday life, as well as words and phrases taken out of context, from newspapers, commercials or electronic media. Items of clothing, such as a shirt, trousers, skirt, gloves, and a jacket assume the painted form of a simplified, monochromatic image of clothing, having no particular features; they become more concrete while being photographed. In a series of photos from 1997, presenting casual clothing separately, they are captured on a uniform background of plastic foil and artificial leather: a leather coat, a colourful dress, a suit, trousers, a bathing suit.
The project, Revitalisations, was implemented Wojciech Gilewicz in Sanok in 2007. The long-term marginalization of the city and its exclusion from comprehensive modernization projects prompted the artist to undertake his own, non-standard intervention, using the illusionistic potential of painting. The intention of the action was to repair the visual deficiencies of the urban fabric, to supplement its defects with the help of images, and by doing so, lead at least its temporary and provisional revitalization. During the artist’s several-week work in the public space of Sanok, pictorial mock-ups of reality covered the progressing degradation and neglect of buildings and streets. They replaced missing tiles of wall claddings, hid glaring dirt and lichen on elevations, filled plaster gaps, fitting perfectly into their shape.
A wooden pharmaceutical vessel in the shape of a chalice with a short and smooth foot on a circular pedestal. The bowl is elongated and smooth with an inscription made in cream-toned oil paint: “Radix Turpethi”.
The picture was painted with oils on a wooden board. On the background of a landscape with a low horizon, two figures are depicted: a Guardian Angel and a child which he leads by holding its hand.
Shrine of the cabinet type, intended for hanging, with three figures presented in the scene of the Scourging of Christ. The shrine comes from the Podhale region but we do not know the name of its creator, the time of production and its exact place of origin. It was bought by Maria and Bronisław Dembowski for their collection during the years 1887-1893.
Dowry chests used to be an inseparable element of the furnishings of almost every house. They were often passed down from generation to generation, repainted, renovated, and in time considerably differed in the colour and ornamentation of their original appearance. Time, fashion, and also wardrobes which were cheaper and cheaper and consequently more accessible, were their enemies. Cheap chests were usually made of softwood, which was often attacked by insects.
Full wooden sculpture depicting a man’s figure dressed in a folk outfit similar to outfits worn by Podhale highlanders in the 2nd half of the 19th century. It was purchased for the Tatra Museum’s collection in the 1990s. There is no information about its author, place, or time of completion.
Set on a profiled base with bar holes is a picture painted on both sides of a board, presented in a simple frame, flanked with a wavy ribbon on the sides and topped with a decoratively cut peak with a cross. The structure of the procession float is painted with oil based cobalt paint.
The folk sculpture Madonna and Child was made in the 19th century by a village woodcarver Jan Kluś of Olcza (originally, Olcza was an independent settlement, now it is a district of Zakopane). It belongs to the most outstanding sculptures in the collection of the Tatra Museum.
Nero’s Torches by Henryk Siemiradzki, also called Candlesticks of Christianity, initiated the collection of the National Museum in Kraków. On the painting, the artist immortalised one of the most tragic moments in the history of Christianity, which was the burning of alleged perpetrators of the fire which broke out in Rome during the reign of Nero in 64 AD, described by Suetonius and Tacitus.
The guild chest, often also called “the mother”, was the most important object for the guild brothers. It was connected with the functions it performed. First of all, it was a treasury, in which statutes, books, and other important documents were filed, and money and guild jewels were often hidden in its cleverly hidden secret box. Shoemakers in Kęty were exceptionally dynamic; they sought to conquer the neighbouring markets with their excellent products and succeeded in so doing.
The project Genderqueer was implemented by Lidia Krawczyk and Wojciech Kubiak in the period 2006–2008. The first comprehensive presentation of a series of paintings, photographs, films, and sculptures was the exhibition, Becoming, in Bunkier Sztuki Gallery (2008), which, at the same time, was the crowning touch for all the activities related to it. The themes of the exhibition focused on the topic of the constant need to declare one’s identity and sexuality. The subject of interest to the artists was an attempt to show the ambiguity of the relations formed between what is feminine and masculine. People who expressed their willingness to share their experiences, related to expressing their own gender identity that deviates from socially expected conventions and the traditional division of gender roles, have become the protagonists of images and photography.
The work The Bird Column was created in 2003 in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery and functioned as an exhibition in the process. The titular Bird Column, called by Lutyński “an animated sculpture” and “a large nest full of birds”, took the form of an installation: it was a developed construction, inside which there were paintings and objects made of wood and the birds, whose singing was heard throughout the Gallery from microphones placed nearby. In the next room, there was a goat with its kids. The whole exhibition was accompanied by texts referring to the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, the patron of animals, ornithologists, and bird breeders.
The works by Marcin Maciejowski reveal interest in the present and everyday life of a human being. His pictorial commentaries on reality are the result of insightful and multifaceted observation of Polish society. The artist analyses customs, explores stereotypes and cultural patterns. He deals with media topics, presenting figures known from the first pages of newspapers (politicians, journalists, celebrities), topics of sensational events, as well as social and economic problems. He devotes much attention to the social reception of art and the role of the artist.
St. Kinga was presented in art in two ways – as a young person in a rich princess’s costume or as an older nun in the Poor Clare habit. Jan Matejko made a deliberate statement of both conventions and portrayed St. Kinga at the age of around 60, in the princess’s robe and with attributes referring to her life at the Poor Clares Monastery (prayer book, crosier, view of the Monastery in Stary Sącz). The model for the character was Countess Katarzyna Adamowa Potocka, known from another portrait painted by Matejko – this time in a contemporary outfit.
Feretron is a special type of paintings or sculptures with saints' that were used not only during the procession in church celebrations, but also as portable altars during pilgrimages.
The monument dates back to the1st half of the 18th century and comes from a wooden church in Szczawnica, which was built in 1550 and demolished in 1894. The procession float which can be found in the collection of the Pieniny Museum is placed on a base in the shape of an elongated rectangle, wound around with a plait.
The collection of historical paintings on glass in the Tatra Museum includes 459 paintings. Most of them are paintings on sacral themes that performed religious and decorative functions in the highlanders’ rooms. Only thirteen of them are secular images. Nine of them are devoted to the scene drawn from the bandit’s legend when Janosik’s fellowship receives a new companion who shows off his agility and, while jumping over a bonfire, simultaneously cuts the tip of a spruce with a shepherd’s axe and shoots off the tip of a fir–tree with a pistol held in the other hand.
The picture of Wilhelm Sasnal presents a view of the burning Concorde aircraft. The artist recreated the frame from an amateur film made from a car window, which was the only video recording of the disaster at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in 2000. Presented for the first time at the exhibition, Scene 2000, at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, the picture is part of a series of canvases by this artist connected with the subject of disasters and accidents. Despite the fact that Sasnal created a few pictures concerning the subject of the Concorde catastrophe (shown in the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery at the exhibition POPelita), each of them should be perceived as a separate work, and not a specific work cycle. Sasnal’s deep fascination with recordings showing the course of the catastrophe may indicate the artist’s desire to reach the “truth”, to spot what was hidden under the layer of words, descriptions, and interpretations. This pursuit is driven by the awareness of the impossibility of achieving the goal.