As one of the most notable Eastern European artists of the 20th century and also an avant-garde icon of 1960s and 1970s Poland, Edward Krasiński (1925-2004) had quite the career! Here’s what to expect from the exhibition running June 24 to October 15, 2017 at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
This retrospective on Krasiński’s work serves to highlight the man’s wry sense of humor and his Dadaist fascination with chance. His work was inspired by pre-war avant-garde movements of all kinds and you’ll see over fifty pieces at the Stedelijk, including suspended objects and jaw-dropping wire sculptures made in the early 1960s. His trademark blue Scotch tape is everywhere!
More on Edward Krasiński
A sculptor, a painter, an author of spatial forms and the creator of artistic installations, Edward Krasiński was one of the most influential protagonists of the Polish neo-avant-garde from the 1960s and ’70s. He was born in Luck, Warsaw on March 3, 1925 and died in 2004 in Warsaw. Krasiński challenged the traditional forms and meanings of art in the 50s with erotic drawings and surrealist paintings, and went on to experiment with installations made from wires, plastic cables, rods and discs.
Spacial and relief paintings were Krasiński’s specialty in the 60s, and in 1964 he hung his work, Spear of the Atomic Age in an open space between trees. Hanging on wires they created the impression of movement and got tongues wagging. In 1968, Krasiński started marking the space around him with blue scotch tape, a move that became his trademark.
In 1970, he took part in the Biennial in Tokyo and sent an 80-metre long telex ahead of time, which complete with blue tape, got exhibited instead of his sculptures. In 1970, Krasiński stamped his place on the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris with… you guessed it… a blue strip.
Edward Krasiński, avant garde extraordinaire
Umarła klasa by Tadeusz Kantor, one of Krasiński’s biggest influences
Krasiński had a strange brain (as if you hadn’t guessed yet) and used his sense of humor a lot in his work. He was also inspired by pre-war avant-garde movements, such as the Polish Constructivism. Combining a dry sense of humour and a Dadaist fascination with chance he was also inspired by the artists of the later Second Kraków Group during the occupation, (Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Nowosielski and Tadeusz Brzozowski).
As well as some incredible pieces, Krasiński will long be remembered for his use of blue Scotch tape! He used it to connect spaces and objects in a very unsubtle way, and the habit became his trademark and legacy.
Explaining its role in his work, he once said, “I place it horizontally at a height of 130 centimeters everywhere and on everything. I encompass everything with it and go everywhere.”
When Polish students and intelligentsia protested for greater freedom in 1969 the government banned gatherings of over three people.
Krasiński challenged the regime by organizing a ball for prominent Polish avant-garde artists and a sign that his focus was centred on transforming his environment. His fusion of installations and a fun party for everyone was a turning point in the art world.
Edward Krasiński, L (Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi)
Want your avant garde fill? Book tickets for the Stedelijk Museum and discover even more modern art in the heart of Amsterdam!
Edward Krasiński is curated by Leontine Coelewij, Curator Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Kasia Redzisz, Curator Tate Liverpool. The exhibition is organized by Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Tate Liverpool. Edward Krasiński is supported in part by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, operating under the Culture.pl brand.