Gdansk City Gallery
Gdańsk City Gallery (GGM) is a self-governmental cultural institution founded in 2009. The GGM comprises three branches: GGM1 in Piwna St., GGM2 in Powroźnicza St., and Günter Grass Gallery in Gdańsk – 4G, situated on the corner of Szeroka St. and Grobla I St. Located in the proximity of each other, in central Główne Miasto, the three spaces function as city salons, where progressive, often experimental contemporary art combines with reflection on broadly understood culture and society. The name, Gdańsk City Gallery, reveals the perspectives of our activity. Firstly it locates our operations at the level of the city, and therefore the GGM is dedicated particularly to artists, activists, theorists, scholars, youth, students, elderly people, or, to put it in more general terms – to the users of the city of Gdańsk. The scope of our activity is not strictly limited to the local context; a broad range of contacts established in Poland and abroad allow the GGM to enter into creative dialogue with the latest intellectual trends in art and the humanities. The current interests of our team focus on the crossroads of literature and visual arts, the latest hitherto unwritten art history of Gdańsk within the last 30-40 years, as well as promotion and support of debuting artists from the city, among other fields of activity. The GGM strives to actively respond to changes that occur in the social and artistic tissue of the creative circles in Poland and abroad.
The activity of the GGM embraces many cyclical events:
Narrations – several days of an artistic event organised each autumn alongside The City Culture Institute, each time in a different district of Gdańsk. Narrations feature numerous Polish and international artists, whose works, often commissioned specifically for the festival venues, attract several thousand visitors! The author of the idea of the festival is Iwona Bigos - former director of the GGM.
Gdańsk Biennial of Art – an artistic review in the form of an open competition for artists with a connection to the city. The jury of the biennial competition gathers outstanding curators, art critics and directors of leading institutional exhibition centres. Curator Grażyna Tomaszewska-Sobko.
Grass-mania – a yearly event devoted to the artistic legacy of Günter Grass, both in the field of literature and visual arts. Every year, Grass-mania adopts a different form, such as a special Internet game, a film review, a city game, specialised workshops or exhibitions of artworks inspired by the activity of the Noble Prize winner. The festival is not confined to the walls of the 4G but aims to propagate knowledge concerning the broad scope of creative activities pursued by Günter Grass. It was initiated by Iwona Bigos and first editions were created with Maria Sasin. Curator Maria Sasin.
GDANSK CITY GALLERY 1
Gdansk City Gallery 1 focuses on exhibitions of young artists and solo acts of recognized creators. The cosy space that requires concentration next to the busy Piwna Street is an alternative to mass tourist attractions. Among its other actions, the gallery conducts the programme Głęboka woda [Deep Water] aimed at preparing students to function in the art environment. This place allows a very individual contact with the art it presents. Gdansk City Gallery 1 is curated by Gabriela Warzycka-Tutak.
GDANSK CITY GALLERY 2
Gdansk City Galery 2, which functions between Powroźnicza Street and the boulevard by the River Motława is a place of presentation of many collective and solo exhibitions with different dynamics of staging. The special programme called Project space enables many ephemeral artistic pop-up projects, which do not fit the annual exhibition schedule, to find their place in the gallery. Owing to its contact with many renowned galleries in Poland and abroad, GCG2 presents the latest international exhibition trends. Gdansk City Gallery 2 is curated by Andrzej Zagrobelny.
4G is above all Günter Grass – the intellectual and artistic patron of Gdansk. The gallery keeps a collection of more than 140 works by the Nobel prize winner, which are displayed in a variety of compositions during temporary exhibitions. The gallery does not limit itself to the presentation of Grass’s works, but tries to make the figure of Grass a starting point for an analysis of social and cultural phenomena, in particular ones at the junction of visual arts and literature, making it unique on the Polish scale. In future, this place will be enriched with a reading room and a special programme of debates and lectures carried out under the joint title of Beaufort Scale. 4G is curated by Maria Sasin.
CHODOWIECKI AND GRASS HOUSE / NEW BRANCH OF THE GDANSK CITY GALLERY
Currently under construction, the Chodowiecki and Grass House is planned to be located in the 18th c. former orphanage complex at 6-8 Sieroca Street built in the historic Gdańsk Osiek district. It is going to be a multidisciplinary centre exploring the touchpoints between literature and visual arts dedicated to Günter Grass and Daniel Mikołaj Chodowiecki, the House namesakes. Planned to replace the 4G gallery, the House will hold permanent and temporary exhibitions, meetings and discussions, and implement literary and artistic residency projects as well as cultural and education activities.
The renovation project will be carried out in two stages. The first stage, which is going to be commenced in Autumn 2021, will focus on securing the buildings against further corrosion. The next stage will include adaptation of the interior to its cultural functions under strict supervision of the Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments. The design and architectural work have been commissioned to two renowned local studios: Restudio Jacaszek Architekci (https://restudio.com.pl/projekty-architektoniczne/) and Gzowski Architekci (https://www.architekci-gzowski.pl).
The Chodowiecki and Grass House is planned as a multidisciplinary meeting place for Tri-City writers and artists, which will also invite Polish and international creators for artist-in-residence programmes. The House will focus on education and cultural activities related to its two namesakes: Nobel-winning writer and artist Günter Grass and 18th century illustrator Daniel Chodowiecki. The works of these two famous Gdańsk residents will be shown on a permanent exhibition which will occasionally feature works of contemporary artists.