Art, Women and Consumerism
March 27, 2014
An exhibition room at the Zach皻a National Gallery of Art has been transformed into an elegant boutique for the duration of The Spell of Warsaw exhibition by accomplished young Polish artist Paulina O這wska. The exhibition’s title, Czar Warszawy in Polish, is borrowed from the name of a well-known and now defunct perfume store at the corner of Krucza and 真rawia streets. In the 1960s, the store stood out with a garish neon sign featuring stylized letters and a perfume flask. The sign was taken down in the 1980s and in the decades that followed, the window of the former store disappeared under a thick layer of posters.
In a reference to the perfume store, there is a flickering neon sign in the Zach皻a exhibition. As they take in an installation with a “boutique” theme, visitors can inspect, try on and even buy exclusive clothes.
The exhibition showcases O這wska as a versatile artist who explores a variety of subjects with a wide range of techniques such as painting, sculpture, set design, drawing, collage and tapestry. In her work, O這wska takes on contemporary consumerism and explores how art mixes with commerce. She looks at social relations and social change in the past and in the present. There is a feminist flavor to the items on show as O這wska investigates the concept of a woman in an age of consumerism and women as the objects of consumption, treated as both props and target groups by the advertising industry.
The exhibition has been jointly organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, where some of the items on show were included in an exhibition entitled Au Bonheur des Dames from September to January. The Spell of Warsaw is accompanied by an English-language publication entitled BOOK, the first monograph by O這wska.
Until April 27
In its basement, the Zach皻a gallery is exhibiting Installation for the Interior, an artistic project by Vienna-based Romanian artist Anemona Crisan. Crisan has mounted her project on the walls and floor of the gallery’s new entrance, using the available space as the backdrop for a mix of lines, curves and drawings. The spontaneous, colorful lines of different width and going off in different directions challenge the surrounding architecture, disturbing its order and warping its most distinctive features. The result is like a spider’s web that extends to each square inch of space.
Until Aug. 31
Zach皻a National Gallery of Art
3 Ma豉chowskiego Sq.
Open Tue.-Sun. noon-8 p.m.