Zdzisław Kwiatkowski (b. 1956 in Chełm)

artist working in the field of conceptual art; active as a performer and author of installations and drawings since 1983. Studied in 1977–1983 at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (diploma from the studio of Prof. Rajmund Ziemski and from the studio of Prof. Ryszard Winiarski). His actions, installations and performances from the 1980s posed questions about the extent to which manipulation of symbols, signs and imposed power configurations may disturb rational thinking, distort and hide the truth (Change of Power Configuration, action 1983, 1984; Bad Sign, photo-installation, 1984; In the Face, 1985; Aggression, 1985) as well as determine choices resulting from one’s will and decision (Roulette, performance, 1985). In the installation titled 1980–1987, press texts from selected newspapers from that period were made illegible as a reference to the opaque political propaganda of the era. Polish Motif (1988) features a pyramid whose base consists of a mirror turned into the depths of the Earth. In 1990, the artist made use of a symbol of victory (To the Left – To the Right, performance, installation), he situated freedom in various relations (Between Left and Right, 1990) that functioned as an ongoing test, especially in the Polish context, and required maintaining the balance (Humiliation – Elevation, 1990). The 1990s became a period of intensive concentration on the essence of art, role of the artist, ethics of art, short-lived value of success (My Fifteen Minutes, 1993) as well as loneliness in art. In the performance series Pouring Wine (1992), Half-Full – Half-Empty (1994, 1998), the artist observed a physically visible substance and the trace of its presence in the ongoing process of change. The performances Obverse, Reverse (2000–2007) depict the duality of nature, bringing to mind symbolic “branding” with coins that leave their imprint on human time and fate. The nature of spirituality and creative work was addressed in the performances The Wind Blows Where It Wants... (Nasutów, 2002; Lublin, 2003; Dessau, 2004). Reflection on the meanings attached to the Kunstmuseum in Magdeburg (12th century monastery, which currently functions as a museum) and the genetic reconstruction of a rose species that grew there centuries ago provided the basis for the performance Stroll (I Come Closer, I Move Away – I Move Away, I Come Closer, Magdeburg, 2005). The artist’s performances are characterised by a minimalist form and a maximal charge of content, symbols and reflection.


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  Marika Kuźmicz tel. +48 502 055 130