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Wacław Szpakowski (1883–1973). Rhythmical Lines

The exhibition will re-discover the early 20th century art by an artist from Wrocław - Waclaw Szpakowski, who deserves a permanent place in the history of contemporary art. The drawings by this pioneer of abstract art, made of a single, unbroken line create the beautiful, rhythmical and quasi-labyrinth forms with a visual and temporal character.

8 June31 July 2016
Opening: 8 June, 5:00 p.m.,
City Museum of Wrocław - Royal Palace

Kazimierza Wielkiego 35

Open: Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Admission to the exhibition is free.

Wacław Szpakowski was born in Warsaw in 1883, and died in 1973 in Wrocław, where he lived since 1945. He was an artist deserving of a permanent place in the history of contemporary art. Author of the “Rhythmical Lines”, a series of drawings created between 1900 and 1951 and a pioneer of geometrical abstraction in art. After the artist died, in 1978 the Museum of Art in Łódź organised the first public exhibition of his works,, and the first monographic exhibition took place in Brussels (Atelier 340) in 1992. Szpakowski’s works were featured in many international exhibitions of Polish art (Presences Polonaises, Pompidou Centre, Paris, 1983; Europa, Europa, Bonn, 1994). They were also shown during the Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925 exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2012/2013) summing up the beginnings of the abstract art movement in the world.

The event will be a monographic exhibition of works by an author, who remains unknown to a wider audience and is widely appreciated by the experts on the 20th century art as one of the pioneers of abstract movement in art. The presentation of works and a monograph published by the Centre for Culture and Art in Wrocław at the end of 2015 aim at presenting a wider image of the creations by Wacław Szpakowski, often stepping on the borderline between art and science, visual arts and music. Wacław Szpakowski introduced an original concept of a painting - his works can be defined as “temporal paintings”. For a viewer, who sees the drawings for the first time, the most attractive aspect of the works will be noticing and exploring their visual and temporal structure and the emerging beautiful, rhythmical and quasi-labyrinth forms.

Apart from drawings, photographs and sketches by Wacław Szpakowski, the exhibition will also present archive materials on the artist’s life and creations, animations of his “Rhythmical Lines” and an interactive installation, which will enable visitors to create drawings based on mathematical algorithms used by Szpakowski himself. The visually impaired persons will also have an opportunity to experience the unbroken lines, making up each picture using special enlarged replicas of several works. A musical aspects of Szpakowski’s works - compositions based on the drawings, interpreted as music scores - will be also presented.

The pieces presented at the exhibition belong to the family collection, Museum of Art in Łódź, Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, Berlinson Gallery in Berlin, Starmach Gallery in Krakow, R Gallery in Poznań, as well private collections of Dariusz Bieńkowski and Krzysztof Bieńkowski from Łódź.

Curator: Elżbieta Łubowicz
Exhibition arrangement: Łukasz Kujawski, Elżbieta Łubowicz
Musical compositions: Barbara Konopka
Animations: Łukasz Grynda
Algorithmic Linesinteractive installation: Paweł Janicki
Coordinators: Agnieszka Chodysz-Foryś, Bronisław Kowalewski, Marta Przetakiewicz

Premiere concert during the opening
The concert of pieces composed by Adam Bałdych about the main musical issues in the “Rhythmic Lines”, such as dynamics, form, geometry, tempo and repetition, performed by Adam Bałdych on violin and Per Oddvar Johansen on drums.

Adam Bałdych
Born in 1986, a violinist and a composer, one of the most talented Polish jazz musicians. In 2009 he participated in the recording session for the Tribute to Seifert album among the world’s most famous jazz violinists, including Didier Lockwood, Pierre Blanchard, Jerry Goodman, Krzesimir Dębski, Christian Howes and Jarosław Śmietana. He released 6 albums, the last one - recorded with Helge Lien Trio - was titled Bridges (2015). Since 2012, the artist has been affiliated with the prestigious German ACT Music label.

Per Oddvar Johansen
Born in 1968, one of the leading drummers in Norway. He received his musical education in the Trøndelag Music Conservatory from 1989 to 1992. His career started in 1990, since then he appeared during numerous concerts all over the world and recorded over 80 music albums. He also received the Spellemannsprisen award - the Norwegian Grammy - six times. Currently he plays with Helge Lien Trio, a Norwegian band. On 25 March 2016 he released another album, recorded for Edition Records label.

Venue: City Museum of Wrocław - Old Town Hall, Great Hall, 7:00 p.m.
The number of seats is limited. Free tickets will be available in the Lower Silesian Cultural Information Centre (Main Square - Town Hall - Rynek-Ratusz 24) on: 2, 3, 6 and 7 June from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Curator's guided tour: 11.06 (Saturday) and 16.07 (Saturday), 12:00 p.m.
Exhibition closing: 30.07.2016, 12:00 p.m.

Find out more about the exhibition:, 

The event is organised as part of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 visual arts programme and is financed from Ministry of Culture and National Heritage funds.

European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, Centre for Culture and Art in Wrocław - a Cultural Institution of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Co-organisers: National Forum of Music, Impart Festival Office, Lower Silesia Artistic Festival OKiS, City Museum of Wrocław
Strategic partner: KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
Media patrons: TVP Kultura, TVP3 Wrocław, Radio Wrocław Kultura, „Szum”, „Format”, „Odra”, „Dyskurs”, Rynek i Sztuka,,,

The Wacław Szpakowski (18831973). Rhythmical Linesexhibition will be accompanied by an exhibition of works by Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska, daughter of Wacław, corresponding to her Fathers works, titled The Pulse of Life. The exhibition is organised by the OKiS.
City Museum of Wrocław - Old Town Hall, Patio Gallery
8 June– 31 July 2016 Opening: 8 June, 6:30 p.m.


Click to enlarge a photo

Wystawa prac Wacława Szpakowskiego


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