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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 30, 2010
Stalowa Wola
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Christmas With Heart
December 30, 2010   
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The What the Heart Tells You. Christmas in Non-Professional Art exhibition on display at the Regional Museum in the southeastern city of Stalowa Wola features over 100 works by 40 acclaimed artists working in the naïve art style from Poland.

In Poland, non-professional art, also known as art brut, raw art or naïve art, emerged in the 1930s. To date, Poland’s Nikifor (1895-1968) remains one of the greatest artists of this kind in history. The pictures shown in Stalowa Wola include one of Nikifor’s very few works with Christmas as the theme.
Other painters featured in the exhibition include Stanisław Zagajewski, Katarzyna Gaweł, Maria Wnęk, Bronisław Krawczuk, Eugeniusz Krawczuk, and Władysław Luciński. Their works are shown alongside sculptures by Jędrzej Wawra and Jan Lamęcki.

Depicting their spiritual experiences and ideas of the Christmas season, naïve sculptors use materials ranging from wood to clay and coal. They also employ a wealth of techniques, including watercolors, oil paints, glass painting and graphic art.

Artists working in this tradition have an original interpretation of Christmas, showing many different takes on such biblical events as the Annunciation, Christmas and the flight to Egypt. One section of the exhibition comprises illustrations of folk Christmas customs and traditions, most of them showing caroling and religious practices. The images frequently tell a lot about the artists themselves and about the places where they grew up and worked.

Mirela Hein
Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola, 1 Sandomierska St., www.muzeum.stalowawola.pl
Open through Feb. 6
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