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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » June 29, 2012
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Art Everywhere You Look
June 29, 2012   
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The Art Everywhere exhibition at the Zachęta National Art Gallery poses questions about the process of making products intended for mass consumption. Exploring the history of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw from the school’s foundation in 1904 to the outbreak of World War II, the exhibition delivers an insight into the interplay between art and everyday life before the war.

Applied arts held a special place in the founding documents and first syllabuses of the Academy of Fine Arts. Design produced by students were intended for subsequent use in real life.

In 1925, the academy showed off its designs at the International Exhibition of Modern Industrial Decorative Arts in Paris. The designs were a success and won several awards, as a result of which the academy was able to establish the Ład Artists’ Cooperative, which over the several decades that followed were regarded as models of taste and of the high quality of Polish industrial design.

The academy’s two visual arts studios established the Ryt Association of Visual Artists and the Advertising Artists Club, the precursors of the “Polish schools” of print making, illustration and poster design. Similarly, the studios of painting and sculpture explored purely artistic projects while at the same time submitting work for art competitions and taking on jobs commissioned by the government and private customers.

The exhibition comprises a selection of examples to show that, just as the title says, art is indeed everywhere, from homes to theaters to stores, revealing itself in set designs, shop windows, monuments, matchboxes, fonts, posters, flyers and advertisements. A special section of the exhibition features designs and works of art which, like the Airmen’s Monument, can still be seen in Warsaw, while the latest designs on display include those for the Church of Divine Providence, currently under construction.

One of the most eye-catching items in the exhibition is the reconstructed atrium of the Polish Pavilion at the 1925 exhibition in Paris. Visitors to the exhibition can also see selected fragments of the interior decor aboard Polish Transatlantic cruise ships.


until Aug. 26
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
3 Małachowskiego St., tel. 22 827-58-54
Open Tue.-Sun. noon-8 p.m.
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