Ofelia z Białego Dunajca

Exhibition: “Hasior. Persistence of Experience” in Warsaw

The exhibition can be seen from 14 June at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. ‘Hasior. The Persistence of Experience’ is a review journey through all the years of the work of Władysław Hasior – a classic of modernity, whose art is an eloquent testimony to the existential experiences and creative explorations of the 20th century. All the artist’s characteristic forms of expression – assemblages, banners and concrete sculptures cast in the ground – are represented in the exhibition.

The nearly 90 works by Władysław Hasior presented at the exhibition have been borrowed from Polish museums and private collections. The exhibits, in terms of both form and content, show the broadest possible spectrum of the artist’s creative explorations. Generational traumas (wartime and otherwise), mechanisms of social oppression, relations between man and nature, the individual and the collective, sacrum and profanum, the universal and permanent and the local and transient – all these themes are reflected in the selection of works, creating a fascinating and profound discourse on the human condition, full of references to the most important texts of culture.

By presenting contemporary art, we want to widen the circle of people interested in the Castle. We ourselves are also curious to see how contemporary art presents itself in historic interiors. Opened at the end of the 50th anniversary, the exhibition of Hasior’s works refers to the artist’s first exhibition – still within the austere walls of the newly rebuilt castle in 1974 – full of drama and rapacity in defiance of all previous aesthetic assumptions in art,” says Prof. Wojciech Fałkowski, director of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Hasior’s areas of creative interest often overlap with themes that are today in the mainstream of philosophical, social and political discourse, such as ecology (an attempt to transcend the anthropocentric perspective) or the folk roots of the Polish community.

Władysław Hasior is an artist who uses his own language in art. By making unobvious but well-thought-out juxtapositions of material objects, either ready-made or slightly processed, he gives them secondary meanings and weaves them into overarching semantic constellations. What is significant is not only the object itself, but also its shape, colour and all the characteristics of the matter from which it is made.

Hasior did not attach any special importance to the durability of his works; he considered it natural that they would slowly deteriorate. Instead, he strongly emphasised that the most important thing in his art and in its reception is precisely the permanence of experience. We decided that this would be a good title, aptly describing the artist’s artistic attitude,’ says Katarzyna Rogalska, curator of the exhibition, the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

When Hasior creates a sculptural form from scratch, he allows the element of chance to play an important role, and the resulting effect is sometimes a surprise and discovery for him. Despite the momentum of his endeavours, the artist does not pretend to be a demiurge with full control over the creative process. He seeks dialogue with his audience and allows the natural element to make itself present, for example in the form of an element. The ethical dimension of such an attitude resonates with contemporary sensitivity, which is why Władysław Hasior undoubtedly belongs to the group of artists worth rediscovering.

The exhibition Hasior. Persistence of Experience is made up of assemblages, or image-like montages, of banners. They form the core of Hasior’s work. These works are intuitively and universally recognised and associated with him. They are an outstanding and by no means local or parochial outburst of talent, expression and a deeply humanist message, ‘ emphasises Jacek Chromy, author of the scenario and curator of the exhibition.

Ophelia from Biały Dunajec

The exhibition included objects on loan from: Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane (exhibition partner), the Municipal Art Centre in Gorzów Wielkopolski, the National Museum in Poznań, the collection of Teresa and Andrzej Starmach, the Jacek Malczewski Museum in Radom, the Art Museum in Łódź, the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, the National Museum in Wrocław, as well as from private collections (including the sculpture Chapel of All the Faithful from the collection of Professor Andrzej Szarek).

The exhibition, organised as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the Royal Castle, is accompanied by an online lecture programme devoted to selected issues from the work of Władysław Hasior. A diverse educational offer has also been prepared. Adults can take part, among others, in meetings with curators and educators, including a joint visit to the exhibition Hasior. Persistence of Experience, and a meeting in the Hour with Art series devoted to the artist’s work. Families with children will be addressed with creative activities with elements of an art workshop entitled Mr Hasior’s Magical Chest and animations in the space of creative activities, where educators will tell the youngest about selected issues related to the making of assemblages. On the other hand, an art workshop entitled Collages and assemblages, i.e. something made of nothing, has been prepared for summer and winter camp groups, during which the children will be transported to the magical world of Władysław Hasior’s art.

To ensure the comfort of all visitors, especially those highly sensitive to environmental stimuli, the exhibition Hasior. The duration of the experience will be limited to so-called quiet hours on designated dates, as indicated on the Castle’s website. This is a facility increasingly being introduced by museums all over the world.

HASIOR. Persistence of Experience

14 June – 8 September 2024.

Royal Library

The Royal Castle in Warsaw

source: press materials

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