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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » August 29, 2013
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Controversial Art from Poland and Britain
August 29, 2013   
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More than 20 famous and controversial contemporary artists from Britain and Poland are featured in a new exhibition that opens in September at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art.

Entitled British British Polish Polish. Art from Europe’s Edges in the Long 90s and Today, the exhibition promises to be one of the biggest artistic events of the year. It explores major trends which emerged in British and Polish art over the past two decades, focusing on artists such as Britain’s Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili and Tracey Emin, and Poland’s Zbigniew Libera, Katarzyna Kozyra and Artur ¯mijewski.

The organizers highlight the similarities between work by the Young British Artists group and the output of Poland’s so-called critical art movement. Hailed by the artistic community, artists from the two groups have also gained celebrity status among the general public. For example, Damien Hirst is internationally famous as the man who produced possibly the most expensive work of art ever made, after his For the Love of God, a human skull made of diamonds, was sold for $100 million. Tracey Emin and Katarzyna Kozyra are, in turn, considered contemporary art provocateurs and have attracted much attention in the media, including the tabloid press. Hirst, Chris Ofili, Rachel Whiteread and Gillian Wearing are all winners of the important Turner Prize, one of the most famous prizes given to artists. Meanwhile, Poland’s Artur ¯mijewski and Pawe³ Althamer have won prizes in Poland and abroad.

Artists featured in the exhibition have stirred up controversy in their home countries by tackling weighty social and political issues. Their work has prompted debates, making art a hot topic in the media.

Items on show include such legendary work and installations as Pyramid of Animals by Kozyra, Lego System by Libera, Let’s Eat Outdoors Today by Hirst, and Why I Never Became a Dancer, a performance project by Emin. The Center for Contemporary Art will also show work by artists who made their mark on the art scene after 2000.

The exhibition comes with a catalogue in Polish and English and will be accompanied by a series of workshops, meetings and lectures.

Sept. 7-Nov. 15
Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw
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