Henryk Streng/Marek Włodarski and Jewish-Polish Modernism

 Henryk Streng/Marek Włodarski and Jewish-Polish Modernism

This exhibition focuses on the work of the Polish–Jewish Modernist Henryk Streng (after WWII Marek Włodarski, 1898–1960). He was active as a painter in interwar Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine) and postwar Warsaw.

However, this is not a monographic show since Streng/Włodarski is first and foremost a figure who disrupts established conceptions of twentieth-century Polish art. He is someone who contributes to the decolonization of knowledge about the culture of this part of Europe. He developed an original take on Modernism, before becoming a rather unorthodox Socialist–Realist. Streng / Włodarski drew on Polish–Jewish culture, was a Holocaust survivor and continued to maintain an identity rooted in genocide. He was a witness to history and bore the brunt of the dehumanizing experience of two totalitarian systems: Nazism and Stalinism. Tracing a path through his life and works, this exhibition offers insight into artistic phenomena that were of crucial significance to Central and Eastern Europe before, during and after the Second World War. Rather than refer to the French Avant-garde, it sheds light on local adaptations of Modernism. It peels back the surface of Socialist–Realism to reveal a broad spectrum of socially-engaged art, including 1930s Factorealism and socialist Modern art of the late 1940s and early 1950s. In place of an exclusivist and overly homogeneous vision of Polish culture, the exhibition stresses the complexity of identity in the cultural melting pot of the multi-ethnic, Polish–Jewish–Ukrainian city of Lwów (Lviv). It also focuses attention on the limit experiences of the war that left their mark on artefacts from the camps, on artistic objects and on artworks.


Piotr Słodkowski

Project management
Maria Nowakowska, Joanna Turek, Szymon Żydek

Exhibition architecture
Studio Robot

Key visual
Full Metal Jacket

Graphic design of the exhibition
Studio Robot

Piotr Słodkowski

Managing editor
Kacha Szaniawska

Paul Vickers, Piotr Szostak

Marta Bartkowska, Jozefina Bartyzel, Aleksandra Długołęcka, Iga Winczakiewicz

Conservation and restoration
Joanna Dziewanowska-Stefańczyk, Michał Kożurno

Public program coodrinator
Paweł Nowożycki

Educational program
Paweł Brylski, Dominika Jagiełło, Marta Przasnek, Marta Przybył, Jolanta Woch i zespół edukacji „Użyj Muzeum”

Jakub Antosz, Marek Franczak, Piotr Frysztak, Szymon Ignatowicz, Jan Jurkiewicz, Aleksander Kalinowski, Yank Malikov, Grzegorz Ostromecki, Paweł Ostromecki, Paweł Sobczak, Marcin Szubiak, Michał Ziętek

Exhibition guide

Huncwot, Daniel Woźniak

Maria Beburia, Meagan Down, Taras Gembik, Joanna Kasperowska, Andrzej Kowalski, Hubert Kowalski, Agnieszka Kosela, Katarzyna Król, Anna Nagadowska, Dagmara Rykalska

Photo documentation:

See also:

Events connected with the exhibition: