Space of Freedom

23 July 2018

The International Print Triennial in Kraków, one of the oldest competitions of its kind in the world, brings together over half a century of beautiful traditions and a veritable testing ground for the latest trends. Opened in early July, the Main Exhibition MTG 2018. Immersed in Images at Bunkier Sztuki (to 26 August) intertwines a deep respect for traditional printing techniques with an openness to brand-new ways of artistic expression. This has been reflected in the jury’s verdict, with this year’s Grand Prix MTG 2018 being awarded to Karol Pomykała for his installation One Direction. The author prepared the print using the classic linocut technique, then transferred it into a computer-generated 3D world. Viewers don virtual reality headsets and lose themselves in the boundless space created by the artist, becoming a part of the work themselves.

The exhibition Immersed in Images is far more than just a presentation of artworks qualified for the competition. The 242 works by 117 artists from 29 countries have been centred around mottos reflecting certain aspects of how humans operate in a world dominated by images.

The second competition exhibition, transgrafia. Art Is a Space of Freedom (to 15 September), is a response by Polish artists to an invitation to present artworks pushing the boundaries of printmaking. The former tobacco factory presents the unusual exhibition-installation comprising works by 35 artists. The jury selected the animation by Marcin Patera and invited him to present an individual exhibition next year; however, there are no winners and losers in the traditional sense. Together, the artists have created an extraordinary “transgraphic” reality which escapes conventional frameworks and disciplines, and draws in viewers with their unusual power.

The next instalment of the triennial will be presented after the summer holidays. (Dorota Dziunikowska, “Karnet” monthly)

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