With this summer’s weather varying between extremes, almost every day provides a good excuse to visit Warsaw’s impressive art galleries. Luckily, July and August are full of fascinating temporary art exhibitions, perfect for spending a culturally and visually-satisfying afternoon. We narrowed them down to the four most promising ones:
1. Silence and the Will of Life by Koji Kamoji at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art.
Artist Koji Kamoji (born 1935) moved from Japan to Poland at the age of 24 and is known for his breathtaking installations, his minimalist, modern way of portraying universal values, and the unique merging of Polish and Japanese cultures. Silence and the Will of Life is a retrospective exhibition, with pieces ranging from the 1960s to present day. Interestingly enough, you might recognise one installation, as it has been extensively shared throughout social media by 20-something art enthusiasts (it involves one room of the Zachęta being turned into a pond, but I won’t disclose much more).
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
Pl. Małachowskiego 3, zacheta.art.pl
Available until the 26th of August.
2. Foreign Bodies by Nobuyashi Araki, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Eva Kot’átkova at Raster.
This art exhibition focuses on the way the human body is perceived, treated, and manipulated by the social and educational system (Koťátková), advanced cosmetics practices (Grzeszykowska), or the male gaze (Araki). The exhibition combines surrealism, photography, and avant-garde, and leaves the viewer mesmerised by the complexity and mystery of the human body.
ul. Wspólna 63, rastergallery.com
Available until the 4th of August.
3. A Beast, a God, and a Line at the Museum on the Vistula.
This beloved museum of modern art returns in big style on the 20th of July with an art exhibition curated by Cosmin Costinas (director of Para Site contemporary art centre in Hong Kong). It is one of the larger exhibitions, featuring over 50 (1) artists, most of them from Asia and the Pacific region. Various political, historical, and cultural references can be found, ranging from the remnants of colonialism to the contemporary exploitation of natural resources and Islamophobia (especially manifested in the Rohingya Crisis).
Museum on the Vistula
ul. Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22, artmuseum.pl/en/muzeum
Available until the 7th of October.
4. Polska by Alicja Biała at Leica 6×7 Gallery.
The art exhibition, titled “Poland,” presents a collection of photocollages from the “Polish paper-cut” series, which focuses on defining the collective identity of Poles: its symbols, motifs, emblems. Eye-catching and amusing (some political satire is always a good idea), the artist uses images from the Internet, family archives, press clippings, as well as photos taken exclusively for the project. Being Polish has never looked so colourful.
Leica 6×7 Gallery
ul. Mysia 3, warsaw.leica-gallery.pl
Opens on the 26th of July.