Anka Ptaszkowska: Case by case
Starting February 17, we invite you to the Museum on the Vistula for an exhibition about Anka Ptaszkowska entitled "Anka Ptaszkowska: Case by Case." The exhibition is accompanied by a screening of Anna Molska's film "Imagine There is Truth in Art" (2023).
“I’m not an artist. That’s the last thing I’d want to be.”
Anka Ptaszkowska has worked as a critic, gallerist, organizer of exhibitions. In 1966 she cofounded the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw along with a group of critics and artists, and contributed to its programmes until 1970. She drafted manifestos, and cooperated with and befriended artists. This group of friends also pursued an intense social and artistic life in the studio of Henryk Stażewski and Mewa Łunkiewicz-Rogoyska, who served as links between the younger generation and the art of the pre-war avant-garde, and in the home of Anka Ptaszkowska and Edward Krasiński in Zalesie Górne.
In the early 1970s Ptaszkowska and photographer Eustachy Kossakowski moved to Paris, where they befriended artist Daniel Buren and critic Michel Claura. Together they founded two experimental institutions: the conceptual Galerie 1–36 and the alternative site Vitrine pour l'Art Actuel, comprising a bar and a bookstore specializing in artists’ books. Ptaszkowska also launched the wide-ranging project Exchange Between Artists 1931–1982, Poland/USA: Museographical Experience, which resulted in the donation of works by American artists to Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and works of Polish artists to the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. To this day, Ptaszkowska organizes artistic encounters and exhibitions at her homes in Paris and Warsaw.
She prizes experimentation and adventure above practical aims. Her rejection of rigid social roles and conventions accounts for the ephemeral character of the initiatives she pursues. This discontinuity in her professional life contrasts with her longstanding and total commitment to the work of artists close to her. Her engagement extends equally to art and the people who create it. She can persuade others to participate in the most surprising ventures. The artists she has supported include those prominent in art history, and figures whose connections with art have been short-lived or “free”—including artists functioning in the social and artistic margins, such as Krzysztof Niemczyk and André du Colombier. Their unconditional pursuit of freedom is close to Ptaszkowska’s anarchist attitude.
The axis of the exhibition "Anka Ptaszkowska: Case by Case" is the scenario for an autobiographical film in 32 chapters, written by Ptaszkowska in 2016, which is now published in the catalogue. The film by Anna Molska produced on the basis of this text, "Imagine There Is Truth in Art", will be shown at the Museum on the Vistula during the exhibition. The selection of works and archival documents for each chapter of the scenario discloses both the official and the private dimension of this history. The overall exhibition is supplemented by a sound installation by Michał Libera using passages from archival recordings and discussions with the protagonist of the exhibition. Executed with fidelity to Anka’s principles, the show doesn’t close off the narrative, but leaves room for its inherent contradictions. The surplus of stories, characters, works, documents and sounds encountered in the exhibition convey the intensity of her activity.
Carl Andre, Jérôme Benarroch, Włodzimierz Borowski, Daniel Buren, Michel Claura, André du Colombier, Vincent D’Arista, Florian Fouché, Dan Graham, François Guinochet, Raymond Hains, Takahiko Iimura, Izabella Jagiełło, Koji Kamoji, Tadeusz Kantor, Eustachy Kossakowski, Edward Krasiński, Maria Ewa Łunkiewicz-Rogoyska, Babette Mangolte, Krzysztof Niemczyk, Rachel Poignant, Henryk Stażewski, Violett e a, Bertrand Wicquart, Hiroshi Yokoyama
Agnieszka Tarasiuk, Violett e a
Visual identity, graphic design of exhibition and catalogue:
Studio Full Metal Jacket
Collaboration: Maja Łagocka, Anka Kobierska, Dominika Szatkowska
Marta Bartkowska, Józefina Bartyzel, Ola Długołecka, Anna Szałas, Aleksandra Urbańska, Iga Winczakiewicz
Maciej Kropiwnicki, Aleksandra Urbańska
Christopher Smith, Marcin Wawrzyńczak
Aleksandra Górecka, Maria Pawlak, Marta Przybył, Natalia Skipirzepa, Katarzyna Witt, Hanna Zwierzchowska, Gabriela Żylińska
Conservation and documentation:
Joanna Dziewanowska-Stefańczyk, Maciej Janicki, Michał Kożurno
Magdalena Drągowska-Romaszkan, Robert Jarosz, Maciej Harland-Parzydło
Graphic preparation of archive:
Exhibition execution team
Coordination of public programme:
CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux
Cooperation from Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw:
Agata Górska-Campagno, Olga Szeluga, Agnieszka Jędrzejczyk, Andrzej Kowalski, Anna Nagadowska, Jarosław Paruch, Sylwia Radzikowska, Anna Ragan, Dagmara Rykalska, Eliza Sasak-Maciejczyk, Jagna Lewandowska, Cezary Wierzbicki.
Thanks to the following for their assistance in putting on the exhibition:
Paweł Althamer, Emma Blanchard, Daniel Buren, Benoît Casas, Adam Chmielowski, Michel Claura, Cédric Fauq, Florian Fouché, Barbara Gołębiowska, François Guinochet, Izabella Jagiełło, Koji Kamoji, Paulina Krasińska, Babette Mangolte, Colombe Marcasiano, Anna Molska, Luiza Nader, Piotr Nowicki, Rachel Poignant, Paweł Polit, Andrzej Przywara, Maria Rubersz, Antonina Sawicka, Aleksandra Ściegienna, Violett e a, Iwona Wojciechowska, Waldemar Wojciechowski, Piotr Woźniakiewicz.
Thanks to the following institutions:
CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Foksal Gallery, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Signum Foundation, French Institute in Warsaw, Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, National Museum in Poznań, National Museum in Warsaw, National Museum in Wrocław, Zachęta National Gallery of Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a screening of Anna Molska’s film "Imagine There Is Truth in Art" (2023).
The first edition of the exhibition, entitled Anka au cas par cas, was held at CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux on 23 June – 31 December 2022. The curators were Sara Martinetti and Maria Matuszkiewicz, architectural design by Olivier Goethals, sound installation by Cengiz Hartlap, and the graphic design of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition was by Lucile Billot.