Krakow Art Salon 2019

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  • Friday, November 15, 2019 - Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Krakow Art Salon, organised for the second time by the Krakow Festival Office [KBF] and the F.A.I.T. [Foundation Artists Innovation Theory], is, first and foremost, an opportunity for an encounter, created for everyone who feels a part of the Krakow art milieu. Our aim is presenting to the widest possible circle of art viewers the current artistic production of our city. Our survey exhibition, once again staged at the Palace of Art, will be an opportunity not only to view works by your favourite artists, but also to discuss them.

The Krakow Art Salon will provide proof of the strength and variety of the local art milieu, and the great number of outstanding artists who feel a connection to our city. We organise the Salon with a view to the public: our neighbours, strangers brushed by on trams, office and corporation workers, shopkeepers and craftsmen, female doctors and male nurses, teachers and students, businesspeople and bankers.  Even if you do not, on a regular basis, follow contemporary art, the Salon will provide you with an opportunity to witness with your own eyes the pieces currently produced in your immediate surroundings. We hope that, just as last year, you will have a chance to see works by professional and amateur artists, by representatives of various groups and generations.

The Krakow Art Salon is created by artists: without their trust in the novel initiative, we would have not been able to produce the exhibition at the Palace of Art. We do not impose any themes on artists, but rather take a curious look at interiors of their studios, ask what their recent interest have been. Precisely for those reasons, the Salon in unpredictable, composed of works in various styles, alluding to differing aesthetics and issues; although we conduct a selection of applications, our aim is not to create a coherent exhibition, but to present a heterogeneity of the Krakow art milieu. No less important than the exhibition is the meeting of everyone with everyone, and a creation of a platform for an exchange of opinion (and hearsay).

The Salon opens on the 30th of May with an invitation extended to Krakow-related artists to send in their works via an on-line form, mail or by personal delivery (if you are considering an application, you are heartily welcome: more information on the formalities is available here:łoszenia). We are receiving your applications until the 16th of July, after which date the Salon selectors will make their choice of pieces to be presented at our November exhibition at the Palace of Art. In 2019, Magdalena Kownacka and Gaweł Kownacki, the Salon’s originators and chief organisers, will be supported in the challenging task by the director and screen-writer, Anka Sasnal, and the curator and art critic, Arkadiusz Półtorak.

Last year’s interest in the Salon – 1032 pieces submitted by 444 artist, from which an exhibition presenting works by 116 art-makers was composed – has convinced us that the open, survey formula is capable of winning the approval of the people of Krakow. Throughout 10 days of the exhibition, it was visited by more than 5500 people. Precisely for the reason, basic principles of the Krakow Art Salon have remained unchanged; this year, however, we would like to evoke slightly different historical phenomena and create another arrangement of the exhibition space. Our reference points will be private salons held in a number of wealthy Krakow houses in the late 19th century. Those are related to two concepts which will be of particular interest to us this year: companionability, understood as a culture-making force, and representativeness, a visibility in public space. An atmosphere of an intimate encounter, at which a company of friends and acquaintances discusses cultural and current issues, will be reflected by our programme of accompanying events.

The exhibition will be open from the 15th until the 24th of November. In this period, tours will be offered, during which the role of the Salon temporary hosts will be assumed by art critics, journalists and artists: we want to invite them to give their personal perspectives on the exhibition. Debates, discussion panels and lectures will take the form of a two-day symposium held during the first weekend of the exhibition (16th–17th November): providing an occasion to converse on currently available forms of supporting artists, the significance and function of companionability in contemporary art, on duties of public institutions and initiatives launched by private collectors.

The Salon, however, is not merely a presentation of pieces by artists of Krakow to the public in the form of the exhibition. During the November event, a jury, composed of creators active in various areas of art and personages of the world of culture, will choose the most arresting works exhibited at the Salon. The jury will award a Grand Prix and select winners in the following four categories: Painting of the Year, Object of the Year, Media Work of the Year and Action of the Year, while visitors to the Salon will cast their votes for the Audience Award. The main prize winner will receive 20000 PLN, while winners in respective categories – 6000 PLN. In addition, a recipient of the Wojtek Fałęcki Creative Scholarship, awarded by the Wife and the Daughter of the art critic, sadly deceased in 2017, will be announced during the prize award ceremony. A gala prize award ceremony will be held on Saturday, the 23rd of November, at the Palace of Art.

The final day of the Salon will be a date when you will have an opportunity to take your favourite works encountered at the exhibition home. Once more, an art auction will take place, during which you will be able to purchase pieces by Krakow-related artists. It will be a wonderful chance to make your first (or, next) direct impact on the advance of the Krakow art milieu: without the art market, doomed to work exclusively with public institutions, the artists cannot advance. One hundred years ago, the effect was well understood by the bourgeois of Krakow, who bought works from the artists, commissioned furniture or family portraits for their salons. The advance of art is our common responsibility!

Admission free



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