Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Serious and with Poetic Powers: Polish Art Exhibited in Sweden from the Cold War Period up until Today

Ämne: Art History
Projektledare: Camilla Larsson
Startår: 2023
Projekttyp: Postdokprojekt
Beviljade medel: 2 220 000 kr

This project’s overall ambition is to explore Polish art in Sweden between 1968 – 2018. The timeframe is chosen because it includes the recent past, up until the present marked by different political systems. Regardless of the amount of exchanges and events that have taken place, these activities have been insufficiently investigated, since previous research has been oriented towards the Western art world. This study will explore artistic transfers that were vital, in spite of the national borders being marked by political tension. Polish artists exhibited at Swedish art museums, kunsthalles and galleries, artists and curators had close contacts, and polish art was commissioned for public spaces. For instance, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Władysław Hasior experimented with site-specific sculpture, that the Swedish public experienced first-hand. And art critics payed attention, defining Hasior´s work as ”serious and with poetic powers”. The specific aim is to investigate the role(s) of Polish art in the Swedish art context. Theoretically, a critical historiography will be adopted, using ”horizontal art history” (Piotrowski 2009a). This perspective undercut the prevalent understanding that art during the post war period developed from a North American idiom (Dossin 2008). Exhibition analysis and reception analysis will be used as methods. By placing exhibitions with Polish art in Sweden at the centre, new perspectives on the understanding of artistic exchange will be highlighted.