From the 1st to the 14th of July, 2022 the Polish artistic tandem Paweł Althamer and Artur Żmijewski were exclusive guests of the Museum of Contemporary Art – Skopje, where they created new works of art in one of the galleries of the museum.
It was exciting to witness their collaborative working process, titled “Open Studio” in which the artists created their works.
The exhibition consists of about 30 paintings on cardboard and collages from old historical books, maps, atlases, posters, and educational charts. Both artists will donate some of their works to the Museum making a valuable contribution to the museum’s international and Polish collections.
The role of Poland in the foundation of the Museum of Contemporary Art is invaluable. The architectural project for the building of the museum – which is a work of renowned Polish architectural studio Tigri and is one of the most important architectural achievements in the post-earthquake (1963) modernism in Skopje – was a donation from the Polish government, as well as it is the donation of over 200 works of art from 135 Polish artists mainly throughout the late 1960s and until the 1980s’. The precious donation from Żmijewski and Althamer is an important continuation of contributions and representation of Polish art in the Skopje Museum of Contemporary Art.
Prior to this project, Artur Żmijewski had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, which has followed his participation in the international group exhibition “Everything That We Have In Common” in 2019.
Artur Żmijewski (1966) is a visual artist based in Warsaw, with a rich artistic career, who is focused on creating installations, composed of photography, film, and video. In his works, he exposes the world of “others”, who often go unnoticed, insisting on the conscious participation of art in social life. He records their everyday life, showing how physical and mental limitations condemn these people to be marginalized in society. Through experiments with the participation of selected groups, he tries to understand difficult experiences and taboo topics. He has exhibited at some of the most important art events, such as the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel, and he was the curator of the Berlin Biennale in 2012. His works are included in the collections of some of the most renowned art institutions in the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, and the Neue Pinakothek in Munich.
Paweł Althamer (1967) is a visual artist based in Warsaw. He works in different media such as sculpture, performance, installation, and video, and apart from the media, his works are also diverse in terms of form. He creates sculptural self-portraits, and appears in performances and videos, seeking to experience the body’s materiality and define his mental boundaries. Through actions involving entire communities, he wants to create social communities, confronting people through art. He questions the meaning of monumental monuments according to the scale of his works and the randomness of his materials. In his works, he also references Beuys social sculpture and the legacy of Oskar Hansen’s‘Open Form. He can also be described as an artist with an affinity for ‘relational aesthetics. He participated in the most important art exhibitions, including Documenta 10 (1997), the Venice Biennale (2003, 2013), the Berlin Biennale (2012), and Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017). He has also won numerous awards, such as the biennial Vincent van Gogh Prize for Contemporary Art in Europe
Curated by: Vladimir Janchevski, Iva Dimovski and Blagoja Varoshanec
The project was realized within the Interdisciplinary Programme of the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje and was financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia and EVN Macedonia.