New event in Soviet relic casts an eye beyond Polish borders
Warsaw’s thriving contemporary art scene has often faced criticism for its lack of internationalism. If you want to discover the next Miroslaw Balka or Wilhelm Sasnal, the city’s numerous galleries offer ample opportunity; but beyond the country’s home-grown talent, little else is available. This is about to change with a new contemporary art fair that wants to bring foreign galleries and artists to the Polish capital.
Not Fair, scheduled to open next month (22-25 September), will be held in one of the city’s most recognisable buildings, the Palace of Culture and Science, a Stalinist skyscraper that Warsawites love to hate. “It’s a spectacular venue and is located right in the centre of the city and its cultural life,” says the fair’s founder Michal Wolinski, who also runs the Warsaw-based gallery Piktogram. The idea behind Not Fair, Wolinski says, is to “merge the mood and quality of an art exhibition with the opportunities that art fairs provide for cutting-edge galleries and young artists”.
The time is also ripe to shift the tastes of local collectors from “Modern to contemporary, and from local to international”, Wolinski says. So he invited Warsaw galleries with the most international programmes such as Foksal Gallery Foundation and Galeria Stereo to the fair, as well as international galleries, including Jan Kaps and Galerie Tobias Naehring from Germany; Galerie Bernhard from Zurich; and Schloss from Oslo.
Each of the 23 participating galleries will present a solo show by one of the artists they represent. A prerequisite, however, is that the galleries take into account the “special character” of the venue.
Not Fair will run alongside Warsaw Gallery Weekend, which Wolinski organised in its first four years.
The Soviet Union offered the Palace of Culture and Science as a gift to the people of Poland. It was constructed between 1952 and 1955 by 3,500 Soviet workers.
• Not Fair, Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, 22-25 September
Source (c): theartnewspaper.com