WHAT REMAINS AFTER THE JUBILEE YEAR OF POLISH AVANT-GARDE?
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The year 2017 – a centenary of the “1st Exhibition of Polish Expressionists” – was proclaimed as the Jubilee Year of Polish Avant-garde. To mark the occasion over 200 events were organised by nearly 100 institutions. What is the outcome of it all? Has it changed the way the avant-garde movement and its role in Polish culture and tradition were perceived? Among accomplishments the jubilee year brought about is undoubtedly a number of exhibitions, their catalogues as well as other publications devoted to the avant-garde. Unfortunately, not all the initiatives turned out to be successful. Some of them though will be well remembered, inter alia: the cycle of exhibitions prepared by the Art Museum in Łódź which were accompanied by comprehensive and well edited catalogues; exhibitions: “Urban Revolt” at the National Museum in Warsaw, and “Avant-gardes of Szczecin” at the National Museum in Szczecin. One of the achievements is bigger amount of visual and textual resources available in Poland to explore the subject of the avant-garde. The jubilee publications also contained numerous documental materials that were not well known before. Significant theoretical texts have been published as well: the extended edition of Władysław Strzemiński’s Theory of Vision, and the Athens Charter by Le Corbusier, the importance of which can not be emphasised enough. The publication of relevant source materials must also be brought to attention; they came out as a series of catalogues by the Art Museum in Łódź, inter alia an ample selection of articles written by Debora Vogel in the book that accompanied the exhibition “Montages. Debora Vogel and the New Legend of the City”. During the jubilee year a question whether the avant-garde tradition resonates today was raised on many occasions. Two exhibitions presented various attitudes towards the heritage of the avant-garde: mentioned above “Montages” exhibition in Łódź, and one in the International Cultural Centre in Kraków “Lviv, 24 June 1937. City, Architecture, Modernism”.
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