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    The Resilience of Polish Abstract Art: A Journey Through Triumphs and Tragedies

    In the unassuming Gallery Gong in Dolní Vítkovice, Ostrava, a remarkable exhibition unfolds under the title “Polish Abstraction and the World.” Curated by Jan Světlík and Zdeněk Sklenář, with the involvement of private collectors, the exhibit delves into the origins of Polish abstract art, born amidst adversity and collaboration with renowned international artists.

    The Birth of a Vision:
    On February 15, 1931, renowned Polish artist Władysław Strzemiński entrusted the City Office of Łódź with a collection of international art—a deposit from artists impressed by his efforts to create a unique repository of modern art. Artists from the Abstraction-Création circle in Paris contributed to this collection, igniting a movement in Polish art.

    The Influence of Abstraction-Création:
    Founded in Paris in 1931, Abstraction-Création played a pivotal role in modern art history, advocating for abstraction as a means of self-expression. Notable figures like Jean Arp and Michel Seuphor were among the first to join the “Łódź Collection,” which later became a cornerstone of avant-garde art in the Julian and Kazimierz Bartoszewicz Museum of History and Art in Łódź.

    Tragedy Amidst Triumph:
    During the occupation, the museum fell under German control. Labelled as “degenerate and Jewish art,” much of the collection was stolen or destroyed, with 225 pieces lost or damaged. Despite efforts, most of the artworks were taken out of Łódź by the end of the war.

    Renewed Perspectives:
    Through the efforts of curators, the Gallery Gong exhibition showcases not only the works of Strzemiński and Stażewski but also the impact of international artists like Hans Arp and Pablo Picasso on Polish art. Contemporary artists such as Marcin Jasik and Anna Osiecka, along with cross-border creators like Andrzej Nowacki, offer fresh perspectives on tradition and innovation.

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