Locked for nearly half a century behind an Iron Curtain, Poland’s political transformation plunged the country head first into a bewildering world of capitalism, contrast, chaos and color. Marked by its sense of unrestrained adventure, the Museum of Warsaw’s most successful temporary exhibition to date recalls in vivid detail the intrigues and the mayhem of the 1990s. Shot by some of the leading photographers of the era, but supplemented also by random public contributions, the collection’s 1,000 photographs chart varying chapters of the city’s story to offer a textured, warts and all retrospective of the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s amazing!
What: Gloss, Matte, Color
When: Closes February 19th
Where: Museum of Warsaw (Rynek Starego Miasto 32, muzeumwarszawy.pl)
Home to what some say is the most dynamic coffee scene in the Central Eastern Europe, it stands to rights that the Polish capital also boasts the region’s most important coffee fair. Attracting both industry professionals and coffee devotees, this two-day event will bring together dozens of stalls presenting different coffee roasters, hardware brands and coffee related products. As per tradition, it’ll also host the Polish Barista 2023 Championship and the Polish Brewers Cup.
What: Warsaw Coffee Festival
When: Feb 4th to Feb 5th
Where: PKiN (Pl. Defilad 1, warsawcoffee.pl)
Organized by the Zachęta’s little sister, Monika Chlebek’s Close Up exhibition celebrates the unbreakable bond between man and dog. Sometimes veering into abstract territory, this tender tale of love presents several close-up portraits of animals, giving the viewer the impression of looking deeply into the eyes of four-legged model – through this, we experience the almost mystical connection people have with dogs. So say the curators: “these paintings bring an understanding that we all belong to the primal wildness and world of nature”.
What: Monika Chlebek: Close Up
When: ongoing till April 2nd
Where: Zachęta Project Room (Pl. Gałczyńskiego 3, zacheta.art.pl)
An icon of Polish queer culture, Andy Nguyen was better-known under the stage name of Kim Lee. A casualty of Covid, for two decades this outstanding artiste became a legendary figure on the drag scene, with this exhibition paying tribute to the legacy built by Nguyen. Among other things, visit to view over stage costumes, personal items and photos shot by award-winning photographer Rafał Milich – not just of Ngyen / Lee, but also Warsaw’s wider Vietnamese community. Long associated with the bars of Wola, the exhibition’s location has been by no means incidental.
What: Kim Lee: Warsaw’s Queen
When: ongoing from Feb 2nd
Where: Museum of Wola (Srebrna 12, muzeumwarszawy.pl)
Featuring artists from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland, over 100 works of art have been gathered by the National Museum of Art in Warsaw. The title of the exhibition references not just the summer solstice, but also the ‘solstice’ that occurred in Nordic painting at the turn of the 20th century. It was then that the Scandinavian countries saw their art scene blossom, and it is this that comes across in an exhibition that further touches o themes of nature, work, national myths, inner being and metaphysical landscapes.
What: Solstice. Nordic Painting 1880-1910
When: ongoing till March 10th
Where: Museum of National Art in Warsaw (Jerzolimskie 3, mnw.art.pl)