Art Values. From the PKO Bank Polski Collection
5 April – 30 June 2019
The exhibition Art Values. From the PKO Bank Polski Collection is the outcome of many years of cooperation between The National Museum in Warsaw and PKO Bank Polski, which has been a generous partner and sponsor in many of the museum’s initiatives. Now, to mark the bank’s 100th anniversary, we wish to present its art collection – the first corporate collection of Polish contemporary art. This will be the first-ever public display of many of the works selected for the exhibition, which are ordinarily reserved only for the eyes of the bank’s staff and visitors.
The collection started in 1998, conceived to adorn the interiors of the newly-built Puławska Financial Centre. It consists of 70 paintings, photographs, drawings, prints and sculptures specially selected to complement the architecture of the site’s elegant atriums, halls and office spaces. The collection’s composition was entrusted to Anda Rottenberg, who put together a phenomenal assortment of works from the mid-1990s produced by three generations of outstanding Polish artists. In it we find a number of highly-acclaimed names, like Stefan Gierowski, Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Zofia Kulik, Teresa Murak, Jan Tarasin and Olga Wolniak.
The exhibition’s narrative arc proceeds chronologically, though not according to the pieces’ dates but rather the dates of the artists’ graduation and diplomas. This formula creates a division into three sections. The first spotlights some elder statesmen of Polish contemporary art (Jacek Sempolińska, Zbigniew Makowski), many of them respected professors who shaped the subsequent generations. The second section features artists who were awarded their diplomas in the relatively-stable 70s (Krzysztof Bednarski, Marek Chlanda), and the third – those graduating during or immediately after the martial law period (Tomasz Tatarczyk, Mariusz Kruk).