Place: Gdańsk City Gallery 2, Powroźnicza street 13/15
Opening: 16th of March 2018, Friday at 7.30 P.M.
Exhibition: 16th of March – 29th of April 2018
Artists: Marek Kijewski, Małgorzata Malinowska (Kocur)
Curator: Andrzej Zagrobelny
Graphic design of installation titled Portrait of John Cage made by an artist in 1994 in St. John's church in Gdańsk was chosen for a cover of Marek Kijewski's catalogue, published after his death, to accompany retrospective exhibition I shiver when I can cover you in gold prepared by Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle. Inside of rubbled, unused since the war space of gothic temple, Kijewski paid tribute to modern american composer, author of avant-garde piece 4:33. The work was located in central nave and consisted of two parts: white-gold object looking like reversed obelisk and suspended installation assembled from a dozen or so red and blue lit neons. Lights made a rythmic setup, reminding church's dome. Indispensable component of this work was a badge with a fragment of text of Ikonostas and other sketches by orthodox theologist Paweł Floreński.
Portrait of John Cage perfectly features artistic research Kijowski began in the early 90's. Having resigned from new expression estethics where he came from, the artist moved toward more ascetic forms, minimalized means of expression mixing them with elements of light, often existing as neons of different colour, which was most likely being influenced by Floreński, especially his texts concerning use of symbols of colours.
Making this installation in Gdańsk had an additional meaning for Kijowski. He came back to his place of birth, where he spent many years of his life, where – before moving to Warsaw – in mid 70's he briefly studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. Kijewski, also in Gdańsk, during montage in St. John's church and during international multimedia workshops organized by Wyspa Gallery, he met Małgorzata Malinowska, the artist with whom he would create a legendary duo Kijewski/Kocur.
Related to Gdańsk artistic environment, Małgorzata Malinowska painted works matching new expression current that differed in presenting human figures, mainly suggestively painted acts in vivid colours.
For both of them this meeting was exquisitely important. It had set a time pause for their previous achievements. Malinowska definitely abandoned painting then and moved to Warsaw, where she worked under her professional name “Kocur”. Kijewski, on the other hand, got close to figurative art again.
In their works, they made since 1995, they fullfilled and inspired each other. Marek Kijewski's words are the best example of that: I have ran across a girl (Kocur) who is full of unidentified warmth. Warmth, she can pass through representative sculpture. Sometimes I looked as she could sketch something during three days that I would never be able to do so esthetically and perfectly.*
*Quote: Marek Kijewsk. I shiver when I can cover you in gold, [catalogue exh.] Ujazdowski Castle 2008, p. 174.
Objects collected for exhibition come from collections of: Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Polish Sculpture Centre in Orońsk, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Propaganda Gallery and also private collections from Poland and Germany. Addition to cross section presentation of Kijewski/Kocur duo output is 2001 video produced by Paweł Sosnowski, titled “Personal lexicon of Marek Kijewski and Małgorzata Malinowska”, telling about sources of this rich and diverse body of work.
Artistic duo of Marek Kijewski and Małgorzata Malinowska (Kocur), active in Warsaw between 1996-2007. In their work they explored different fields of contemporary visual and mass culture, using original strategy SSS – surfing, scanning, sampling. They have created spatial objects, often using “non artistic” materials such as: LEGO, Haribo jelly beans, artificial fur, quills, neons, gems and 24-carat gold comparing high culture elements with popculture and consumerism world. Artworks of Kijewski/Kocur duo were presented during many important exhibitions as well as individual presentations.
Marek Kijewski (1955 – 2007)
Born in 1955 in Gdańsk. Between 1975-79 he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk under docent Janina Stefanowicz-Schmidt and then under professor Franciszek Duszeńko. In 1978 while being on dean's leave he travelled to Norway where he attended the University of Oslo as an unenrolled student. After his return, he moved to Warsaw where from 1982 to 1985 he was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw on Sculpture Faculty graduating in 1985 under professor Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. In years 1985-1987 he co-created artistic group Neue Bieriemiennost (Consciousness) alongside Mirosław Bałka and Mirosław Filonik. Initially he was creating figurative sculptures in the new expression spirit, devolving into abstract forms with the use of neon, fluorescent lights and colours. Since 1996 he worked solely with Małgorzata Malinowska (Kocur). In the 90's he more often used ready items and materials to create his art. Kijewski passed away in 2007 in Warsaw.
Małgorzata Malinowska (Kocur) (1959-2016)
Born in 1959 in Sopot, she studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, where in 1986 she received her diploma from the Faculty of Painting and Graphics under professor Jerzy Zabłocki. In 1987-1988 she studied on private artistic scholarship in Essen. She was a stipendist in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (1988-1990). From 1990 to 1992 she practiced graphics in Milan, Ravenna and Olbia (Sardinia). In 1993 she lived in Olbia on a year private artistic scholarship. She moved to Gdynia after she came back from Italy. Malinowska became connected to artistic environment in Gdańsk. In 1994 she moved to Warsaw where she created famous duo Kijewski/Kocur with Marek Kijewski. After his death she focused on individual work and maintenance of old artworks made during their activity together. Małgorzata Malinowska died in 2016 in a car crash.
Works of Marek Kijewski and Małgorzata Malinowska can be found in collections of, among others: National Museum in Warsaw, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Centre for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, Polish Sculpture Centre in Orońsk, Masovian Centre for Contemporary Art “Elektrownia” in Radom, Arsenal Gallery in Białystok, Bielska Gallery BWA in Bielsko-Biała and many prestigious private collections both in the country and abroad.