The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first exhibition of work by Polish artist Monika Sosnowka in Canada. Best known for her ambitious architectural and sculptural installations which simultaneously embrace and resist the spaces they occupy, Sosnowska’s exhibition obliquely references her hometown of Warsaw and the economic shift that has occurred since the collapse of communism in 1989 to the present day. Characteristically the artist’s sculptures recall familiar objects transformed in some way – dysfunctional stairways that join one floor to the other but to no purpose or large-scale metal cubes and girder structures twisted and wedged into existing gallery spaces.
At the Contemporary Art Gallery we present a series of new painted steel sculptures, redolent of broken market vendor stands, referencing actual forms salvaged from Jarmark Europa Stadium, originally the site of a large market that sold everything from imitation Nike training shoes to pirated CDs and DVDs. The market opened with the onset of capitalism and ended last year when the stadium was destroyed to make way for a new national stadium that was built in time to host Euro 2012. Collectively these series of objects evoke a sense of architecture, yet through absence they poignantly suggest that as with all structures we inhabit or that give form to our daily routines, social space is subject to change over time.
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, which will exhibit the works from September 28 – November 24, 2013.
Sosnowska is represented by Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; Hauser and Wirth, Zurich, London and New York; Kurimanzutto, Mexico City and The Modern Institute, Glasgow.
Karol Sienkiewicz is a Polish art critic and art historian, currently based in Vancouver. He has contributed essays and reviews to numerous publications, including dwutygodnik, Spike, Camera
Austria, Art Agenda and more recently Decoy and Canadian Art. Together with Kasia Redzisz, he has just published Świadomość (Neue Bieriemiennost), the group involving artists such as Miroslaw Balka active in Warsaw during the 1980s. He is currently working on a new publication focusing on the ‘critical artists’ in Warsaw in 1990s, placing their work in the context of recent Polish transformation. Sienkiewicz’s talk considered Warsaw’s 10th-Anniversary Stadium as seen through the lens of contemporary art, the site serving as a transient symbol of historic changes, economic transformation and social relations and a specific reference for Sosnowska’s sculptures exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery.