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2012 | 7 | 13-30

Article title

Ruch galeryjny w Polsce. Zarys historyczny. Od lat sześćdziesiątych poprzez galerie konceptualne lat siedemdziesiątych po ich konsekwencje w latach osiemdziesiątych i dziewięćdziesiątych



Title variants

The Art Gallery Movement in Poland. A Historical Outline. From the Sixties, Through the Conceptual Galleries of the Seventies, Until Their Consequences in the Eighties and the Nineties

Languages of publication



The gallery movement was in fact an art institution in Poland. The movement created its own art world based on the principles of self-organisation and self-study. People who participated in it were artists, art professionals and art lovers, altogether so called ‘conducive people’. Around each of such institutions its circles emerged – communities that co-operated with each other within the town, the country or internationally. This is how the network of personal ties as well as artistic influences appeared. A formal-artistic feature of the movement was the great number of various action art forms or, more broadly – art based on the present-ness. The history of the movement embraces half a century of contemporary Polish art. It starts just after Stalinist times. In 1956 in Krakow there emerged the Krzysztofory Gallery founded by the Grupa Krakowska [Krakow Group] Association, that directly continued the tradition of the pre-war avant-garde. The development of the movement in the seventies was especially dynamic, forming a conceptual art decade during when the conceptual galleries movement emerged. The expansion of the definition of art by the conceptual art movement allowedfor the making of a gallery to be as significant as making art. That period was ended by the imposition of martial law on December 13th, 1981. In those extremely unfavourable conditions the gallery movement and art communities showed their strength. After the total elimination of art in the public sphere, the world of art revived quickly and relocated into the private sphere – private studios and apartments. The art community in Łódź, where the tradition of selforganisation was especially strong, was able to organise the movement throughout the whole country. It was later called the “Pitch-in Culture”. After 1989 and the fall of communism, first in Poland and then in the whole of Eastern Europe, the new social and political conditions caused changes in the way the art world began to be organised.






Physical description


  • Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku, Międzywydziałowy Instytut Nauk o Sztuce


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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