Opening: 15 December (Friday), 19.00
Curator’s tour: 16.12. (Saturday), 12.00 (meeting place at reception desk).
Curated by Mateusz Kozieradzki
Coordinated by Renata Sargalska
Artists: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Józef Robakowski, Teresa Murak, Jadwiga Sawicka, Zdzisław Jurkiewicz, Tomek Kawszyn, Grzegorz Kozera, Marian Stępak, Teresa Tyszkiewicz, Andrzej Lachowicz, Natalia LL, Piotr Mariusz Urbaniak, Agata Zbylut, Piotr Grabowski, Katarzyna Tretyn-Zecević, Jerzy Brzuskiewicz, Andrzej Banachowicz, Władysław Hasior, Zofia Kulik
Fabric has been known to men for a long time. Its multiple functions ranged from utilitarian to sacral and ornamental. It possibly originated in plaitings made of grasses or other plants. The pattern developed into perpendicularly arranged and interwoven weft and warp – thus transforming into fabric as we know it today. Researchers believe that linen fabric was first produced in ancient Egypt, already in the Old Kingdom. It has also been used in the arts for centuries. It is enough to mention linen canvas to which paint is applied. Wooden surfaces were also often covered with fabric before they were painted.
The Multithreadness of Fabric exhibition offers an overview of the use of this medium in the work of Polish artists. It is also another exhibition in the programme of shows staged at CoCA Toruń devoted to the general phenomenon of fabric in contemporary art – from garments to artistic practices.
Given the wide use of fabric in art, the exposition necessarily contains a curatorial selection providing an outline of the basic points of the subject. Works on display come from collections of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, the National Museum in Wrocław, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, the Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu in Toruń, Krzysztof Musiał’s collection as well as from artists’ private collections. The show also includes works by Marian Stępak and Katarzyna Tretyn- Zecević created especially for the CoCA exhibition.
The show begins with classic artistic fabrics in terms of form – pieces by Magdalena Abakanowicz, possibly the most recognizable Poland artist in the world, whose works rely on textiles. The first section also features pieces by Andrzej Banachowicz. Formally classic tapestries serve as examples of fabric in its ‟pure form.” Together with a Balinese textile – strongly connected with artistic and cultural tradition of its creators – and Zdzisław Jurkiewicz’s conceptual work, they offer a foundation for the remaining parts of the exhibition, focusing on various modifications of the medium which lead to its specific roles.
Fabric can be used to create an installation, to fill in space or to construct a narrative, which can be observed in installations and documentation of works by Natalia LL, Katarzyna Tretyn-Zecević or Marian Stępak. It serves as subject matter or material in sculpture, e.g. in the work of Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Jerzy Brzuskiewicz, Mariusz Piotr Urbaniak or Władysław Hasior. Teresa Tyszkiewicz’s pieces often include sewing pins, while Teresa Murak cultivates cress on textiles – in this way both artists modify fabric, turning it into something “unordinary.” Clothing has become an independent painting or photographic subject as Andrzej Lachowicz’s conceptual activities (involving recording of objects) as well as works by Jadwiga Sawicka or Grzegorz Kozera show. The exhibition is completed by “engaged fabric,” which – by becoming part of an artwork, obtains critical features and testifies to artistic attitudes towards various themes, uncomfortable and usually omitted, but still most important (Tomek Kawszyn, Agata Zbylut).
The exhibition is not meant to comprehensively illustrate the use of fabric in the arts, but it provides a point of departure for reflections on subjects addressed by artists by means of this very basic medium – the interwoven weft and warp.