Take a Look at Me Now is a major new exhibition featuring 14 artists who are making some of the most exciting work in Poland today. The exhibition opened at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, on Tuesday 2 June and runs until Sunday 30 August. Take a Look at Me Now runs concurrently with An Impossible Journey: The Art and Theatre of Tadeusz Kantor. The exhibitions have been developed by the Sainsbury Centre and are part of two UK cultural celebrations this summer; POLSKA! YEAR and Contemporary Art Norwich 09 (CAN09).
Take a Look at Me Now reveals the vitality of the arts in Poland, which thrived despite their confinement behind the Iron Curtain in the post-WWII period, only to expand with astonishing energy after 1989, drawing widely from the experience of the past.
The exhibition looks at a number of ideas evident in the work of Polish artists including the built environment as a record of change, the inheritance of the 20th century avant-garde and the development of more private partnerships and practices Amanda Geitner, Head of Exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre.
The artists selected for Take a Look at Me Now have studios in Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław, Kraków and Torun. A number of them, including Artur Żmijewski and Paweł Althamer, have a long track record of exhibiting internationally whilst others are showing in the UK for the first time. The exhibition has developed from a series of research visits to Poland inspired by early meetings with Raster Gallery, Warsaw (selectors for EASTinternational 2009).
On display at the Sainsbury Centre will be paintings, ceramic and sculptural work, photography and video. The works are thoughtful, provocative, humorous and very beautiful.
Olaf Brzeski creates sculptural work using resin, ceramics, bronze and latex. His dark imagination is reflected in his work, a series of sculptures, bizarre and monstrous in their original form, which he has broken and pieced back together.
Rafal Bujnowski is one of the most radical and intelligent contemporary painters in Poland. Bujnowski has been commissioned to make a new series of works for Take a Look at Me Now based on views through a Venetian blind.
Nicolas Grospierre works both as a documentary and a conceptual photographer. His work in the exhibition features communist era buildings and explores collective memories and the hopes associated with modernist architecture.
Anna Molskas video work is distinguished by a particular visual relationship to the history of Russian Constructivism and the 20th century Polish avant-garde combined with mesmerising and disruptive soundtracks.
Artur Żmijewski is recognised for making challenging semi-documentary films. The work on show documents the last exhibition at the Foksal Foundation of senior Polish artist Oscar Hansen.