For more than 20 years, the ING Polish Art Foundation has been collecting works by Polish women andcontemporary artists, creating one of the most interesting corporate collections in Poland. From now on, it can be viewed in a new space at Plac Unii Lubelskiej. The exhibition, located on the first floor of the shopping centre, is the first permanent presentation in the capital of the most interesting phenomena in Polish art after 1990, open to the public
The ING Polish Art Foundation has been setting high standards in corporate collecting for years. For years, the institution has been consistently building up the collection, but it also carries out publishing and educational projects aimed at the artistic community and the public. Annual exhibitions of the collection, non-obvious presentations of works in urban space, books-guides on collecting, the Artist-Professional programme, or the award given as part of Warsaw Gallery Weekend have made a lasting impression on participants and observers of the Polish art scene
From the outset, we want to be as close as possible to ouraudience –ING employees andanyonewhomight beinterested in contemporary art. That is why we are keen to make thecollectionaccessible, promote collecting and try to make it easier to navigate the art world. The new exhibition space is a natural way to fulfil this mission. Until now, we have presented works in the office, showingvisitors around‘after hours’, but our aim has always been a public exhibitionthat is closer to theaudience,” says Kamila Bondar, President of the Foundation
‘We consciously moved away from the convention of white museumwalls, andreached for the modelsproposed by hotels andways of presenting art in homes. Such a formula is much moreconsistent with usand we find it refreshing and encouraging to have contact with art,” adds Iwona Synowiec, responsible for the project on the part of ING Bank Śląski
the 1,500 square metres were designed by the MIXD studio, with paintings, photographs or sculptures from the collection as the starting point
Our studio has a lot of experience working with art, we often include it in our realisations, but usually at the final stage. Here it was different – art became the starting point for creating a visualstory,the main leitmotif,” says the studio’s CEO, Piotr Kalinowski
MIXD looked for ideas for the arrangement of the works in historical, traditional exhibition architecture, pulling out, for example, the characteristic palace arches. As a result, Zofia Kulik’s photograph The Splendour of Myself III, in which the artist recalls the image of Queen Elizabeth II, received a setting evoking associations with the Zachęta building. In addition to the characteristic niches, the boards covered with canvas connected by a metal structure made of tubes, modelled on the exhibition systems of Stanisław Zamecznik from the 1960s, also became an interesting treatment
The design of the ING space is the antithesis of treating art as sophisticated decoration. We designed under its dictates. This is most evident in the case of the site-specific installation by Mikołaj Moskal, forwhich we inventedthe entire environment,” adds the architect
In total, the exhibition features as many as 120 objects – including classics such as Jarosław Modzelewski and Zbigniew Libera. Mainly presented are works by artists of the young and youngest generation – Karolina Jabłońska, Cezary Poniatowski or Agata Ingarden. On the ground floor of the building, in the shop window facing Waryńskiego Street, there is a “Preview”, or single-picture gallery, which is intended to intrigue passers-by and encourage them to visit. In turn, a sculpture by Zuza Golińska and a several-metre-high screen, on which video works from the collection are displayed, have been erected on the footbridges connecting the space with the shopping centre building
‘We are turning the proverbial tables when it comes to conservative modes of presentation and entering into acreative dialogue with the shopping mall, treating theneighbourhood as an opportunity to expand the collection’s field of activity ,’ adds the Foundation’s president
The space has a hybrid character. There are conference rooms, an auditorium and a LAB accessibleonly to ING employees, but also a large area open to everyone with corners for small meetings, a communal table for work or group meetings with the PrzeLew café located in the centre of the zone. Entering the first floor by escalator from the ground floor, we find ourselves in a space vibrant with colours and textures, arranged with furniture and lighting by Polish and foreign brands, such as Pani Jurek, Salak and global brands such as Noo.ma Design, HAY, Thonet, Flos, Miniforms or &Tradition, as well as furniture designed specifically for ING interiors, such as tables whose tops were made by the Migaloo brand from recycled banners advertising the bank’s services. Visitors can visit the new headquarters from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and no prior registration is required. Soon – still as part of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend – the premiere of a new publication by the Foundation will take place there
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