Witkacy. Seismograph of the Acceleration Age
July 8 – October 9, 2022
National Museum of Warsaw
This event is recommended by the Polish Cultural Institute New York.
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz was a keen observer of the evolution of art during the civilizational acceleration of the first half of the 20th century. He associated scientific discoveries, the resulting technological progress, and profound social changes with the process of a growing mechanization of life. Despite their lack of thematic orientation, Witkacy’s works recorded the rhythm of the modern era’s transformations, subjecting actual historical experience to the requirement of the work’s constructional unity.
This exhibition offers a new perspective on Witkacy’s oeuvre by embedding it in 20th century and contemporary theoretical contexts. New interpretations are facilitated by tracing connections between the artist’s practices and selected themes of his reflection. Consequently, instead of a chronological narrative, the featured works have been grouped under thematic categories such as cosmos, movement, body, artistic vision, metaphysical sensation, history, or cultural crisis.
The exhibition presents a wide range of media and artistic strategies employed by Witkacy. It is an attempt to formulate his oeuvre analytically, beyond the entrenched division into its main and secondary currents. New meanings and previously unknown aspects of his works are also elicited by juxtaposing them with selected examples of the work of leading representatives of modern art.
curators: Zofia Machnicka, Paweł Polit