A Difficult Age. Szapocznikow – Wajda – Wróblewski

2021 03 20 - 2021 07 18

We hope that in March we will definitely be able to invite you to the new main exhibition “A Difficult Age. Szapocznikow – Wajda – Wróblewski“.
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MO Museum | exhibition | A Difficult Age

About the exhibition


The opening date of the exhibition can be further adjusted, taking into account the COVID-19 situation in Lithuania and when the museums are allowed to operate.

Having had to postpone the exhibition last fall, we very much hope that this spring we will finally be able to invite you all to the main exhibition of MO Museum “A Difficult Age. Szapocznikow – Wajda – Wróblewski“. It is the largest and most ambitious MO Museum project to date, involving 24 international museums, galleries and private collections. About 130 works travel to this exhibition from 5 different countries.

The exhibition will present the artworks of three world-famous artists. The most significant Polish post-war creator – film director Andrzej Wajda (1926–2016), sculptor Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973) and painter Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–1957). They share not only close birth dates, but they all lost their parents early and became witnesses of war crimes. These events and traumatic experiences have left a special mark in their lives and their work. The curator of the exhibition, the legendary Polish art critic Anda Rottenberg, reveals in the exhibition how the same symbols and metaphors are repeated in the artworks of these three artists: painting, cinema and sculpture.

The exhibition also marks a historic moment by bringing back painter Andrzej Wróblewski who was born and raised in Vilnius. The connection of this artist with Vilnius and his significance to the Polish art of the 20th Century second half became the main reason for holding this exhibition at MO Museum.

The title of the exhibition “A Difficult Age” is borrowed from Alina Szapocznikow sculpture depicting a teenage figure in 1956. The “A Difficult Age” becomes a reference to both the difficult and tragic historical time and one of the most important and difficult periods of human maturation – adolescence.

The exhibition is implemented as a variation of the exhibition “Perspective of Adolescence. Szapocznikow – Wróblewski – Wajda”, which took place in the summer of 2018 at the Silesian Museum in Katowice.

The artists presented in the exhibition

Alina Szapocznikow is a Polish sculptor who survived the Holocaust. She radically rethought the sculpture – using polyurethane, polyester and various hybrid materials in her work. She reflected on the themes of death, illness, temporality and female identity. A. Szapocznikow  conveyed these themes as castings of her body parts, turning into various household objects (lamps, ashtrays, pillows, etc.). The artist admired the ideas of surrealism, new realism and pop art. Szapocznikow’s works have been presented at the MoMA Museum (New York), WIELS Center for Contemporary Art (Brussels), Pompidou Center (Paris) and others.

Andrzej Wróblewski was born and raised in Vilnius, in the family of the famous artist Krystyna Wróblewska and Stephen Bathory University Professor Bronisław Wróblewski. Andrzej Wróblewski is considered one of the most prominent post-war artists in Poland. The artist presented an exceptional approach to the themes of war, death, and historical memory. His work was greatly influenced by surrealism, abstract art.

Andrzej Wajda is one of the most prominent film directors in the world, known as the author of “Canal” (1957), “Ashes and Diamonds” (1958) and “Katyn” (2007). The complex historical themes of Poland, the horrors of war, ideological oppression and human moral self-determination are the main themes of his films. Wajda’s films have won the Golden Palm Branch, the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and many other awards, the director has received the European Film Academy Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award for all his work.

Exhibition team

Curator – Anda Rottenberg
Assistants to the Curator: Julian Klonowski, Magdalena Komornicka
Coordinators: Gabrielė Radzevičiūtė, Ieva Stasevičiūtė
Architects – jojko + nawrocki architekci
Graphic design – Klimaitė Klimaitė
Exhibition technician – Dominykas Šavelis

The artworks to the exhibition were lent by:

Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation; Annette Messager; Gallery and Auction house LIBRA, Warsaw; Grażyna Kulczyk and Susch Museum, Switzerland; Hanna and Jarosław Przyborowski / Signum Foundation; Hauser & Wirth Gallery; Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Andrzej Wajda Archive, Krakow; Krakow National Museum; Lubusz Voivodeship Museum, Gorzów Wielkopolski; Lublin National Museum; Lodz Art Museum; Loevenbruck Gallery, Paris; Michał Januszaniec; Museum of Independence, Warsaw; Poznań National Museum; Silesian Museum, Katowice; Starmach Gallery, Krakow; Tadeusz Rolke / Agencja Gazeta; Torun City Museum; Warsaw Museum of Modern Art; Warsaw National Art Gallery Zachęta; Warsaw National Museum; Wroclaw National Museum; Wojtek Fibak and private collectors who wanted to remain anonymous.

Exhibition organizational partners

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The exhibition is partly funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the multi-annual 2017-2022 program Niepodległa. Read more: https://culture.pl/en

Exhibition Sposors

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Exhibition partners

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Intitutional Sponsor