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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 27, 2011
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Mirosław Bałka Video Retrospective
January 27, 2011   
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Poland’s Mirosław Bałka is one of the world’s foremost modern sculptors. The misleadingly titled exhibition Fragment now showing at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw is the first comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s video works to be staged anywhere. Video occupies a special place in Bałka’s work. It has enabled him to introduce new artistic forms, pictures and themes into his work. These, in turn, have led to an unforeseen expansion of his creativity and even allowed him to transcend it and look at it from a whole new standpoint in a way that is positively riveting.

Fragment shows video works from the last 12 years of Bałka’s career, from 1998 onwards.

Many of these works are well known and have already entered the canon of contemporary art classics. These include Winterreise (2003), which comprises the films Bambi and The Pond, Carrousel (2004), purchased by the Tate Modern in London in 2010, and Blue Gas Eyes (2004). But there are also new and unknown works on display, such as Bottom (1999/2003), Narayama (2002), Michelangelo Buonarotti Reading (2004), Flagellare A,B,C (2009) and Apple T (2009/2010).

Bałka was born in Warsaw in 1958 and divides his time between that city and nearby Otwock. He studied at the Sculpture Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1980-1985 and received his diploma at Prof. Jan Kucz’s studio in 1985. In 1986, Bałka founded the artistic group Neue Bieriemiennost with Mirosław Filonik and Marek Kijewski.

The human body, memory, passing away, and the creation of a personal mythology are the most telling themes that run through Bałka’s oeuvre and are already evident in his earliest works.

Bałka’s works can be found in the world’s greatest collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington), the Tate Gallery (London), the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Oslo), the Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven, the Netherlands), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum (Krefeld, Germany), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and the Museum of Art (ŁódĽ, Poland).

Open until April 3
Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art, 2 Jazdów St., Warsaw
Tel: +48 22 628 12 71-3, email: csw@csw.art.pl
Tue.-Sun. noon to 7 p.m., Fri. noon to 9 p.m.
Free admission on Thursdays
Fragment will also be shown at the Berlin Academy of Arts from October to December.
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