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MTG – Krakow 2015

Publication date: 2015-09-04

MTG – Krakow 2015The International Print Triennial – Krakow 2015 has received over a thousand applications from artists from around the globe. We will see 168 works by 104 authors qualified to the Main Exhibition at Bunkier Sztuki.

The numbers are evocative of the significance of the Kraków competition – one of the longest-running events of its kind, celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. The approaching anniversary has inspired the organisers to change the festival’s formula by becoming more open to new trends and initiating discussion on the future of events dedicated to graphic arts in Europe and around the world. Participants in the symposium Transform or Perish? Is There Still a Need for Specific Biennials and Triennials Related to Printmaking and Graphic Art? at the auditorium of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (19 September, 10am-2pm) include Richard Noyce from the UK, Marina Majič from Croatia, Jill Parisi and Endi Poskovic from the US, Anne Seppänen from Sweden, Dorota Folga-Januszewska, Sebastian Dudzik and Grzegorz Banaszkiewicz from Poland, and Alicia Candiani from Argentina. The latter chaired the proceedings of the international jury during the 1st stage of the competition earlier this year.

All prints qualified for the Main Exhibition MTG – Krakow 2015, including the winning works, will be shown at the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art (opening 18 September, 6pm). Held since 1966 as a three-year cycle, the post competition exhibition also provides an opportunity for a meeting of cultural and artistic diversity in graphic arts from around the world, and a chance to see the current trends in this medium. This time, the organisers are anticipating changes occurring in contemporary art and have relaxed the restrictions on the format of submitted works, as well as permitting objects combining printmaking with other creative media and tools of artistic expression.


Piia Lehti, Confidence, serigraphy, 2014, Main Exhibition MTG – Krakow 2015

As a result, as well as large-scale works captivating with their expression and sheer impetus, we will see artworks encouraging quiet reflection and an intimate viewing. Surfaces seducing with the illusion of being three-dimensional sit next to spatial installations turning the gallery into a unique design environment. Sublime geometry and masterly skills are juxtaposed with exuberant spontaneity of figurative forms and expression based on breaking some of the most sacred design rules. Artists include adherents to the classical printmaking triad of black, white and shades of grey, as well as artists who boldly use colour and are not shy of clashing the most unexpected shades. We will discover which works have been most appreciated by the international awards jury, led by Stephen Hoskins – artist and professor at the University of the West of England in Bristol, specialising in contemporary polygraphy and digital technologies – during the Awards Ceremony at the Debating Chamber of the City Council of Kraków (18 September, 8pm).

The individual preferences of artists forming the juries during subsequent stages of the competition, the International Expert Council MTG – Krakow 2015, and members of the current Board of the International Print Triennial Society are revealed during the Behind the Curtain exhibition at the International Centre for Graphic Arts (opening 17 September, 4pm). From classics to experiments, it is precisely this diversity of artistic personalities and aesthetic attitudes behind the scenes of Kraków’s celebration of printmaking that gives it its unique atmosphere.

Alicia Candiani, As Hibiscus, archiwalny druk cyfrowy (prawa strona dyptyku), exhibition Behind the Curtain

Since 2003, the MTG has included the Grand Prix of Young Polish Print for artists under 35 years of age. It provides a forum for presenting bold and frequently uncompromising works. The organisers promise that this year we will see works which may become an important or even radical commentary on the ubiquitous iconosphere. Will the exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts galleries (opening 18 September, 4pm) turn our ideas of artistic boundaries upside down?

Iwona Gabryś, Danger, 2015, Grand Prix of Young Polish Print exhibition 2015

During the communist period, the triennial provided a kind of a “window on the West”. Today it is increasingly becoming a “window on the East”. International Print Triennial Society collections feature works by artists from the Far East created between 1969 and 2011. Authors include winners of previous triennials, such as the Japanese artists Kumi Sugai – winner of the Grand Prix in 1966 – and Toshihiro Hamano – awarded the Grand Prix in 1994 and the Grand Prix d’Honneur in 2003. Prints from the Land of the Cherry Blossom, as well as from Korea, Thailand and China, will form the core of the exhibition Spheres of Tao at the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology (opening 16 September, 7pm). The rich tradition of printmaking in the Far East is juxtaposed with a bold search for new solutions.

Masataka Kuroyanagi, Form, mezzotint, 1996, exhibition Spheres of Tao at the Manggha Museum

One of the ways of honouring the winner of the event’s main prize is to hold an individual presentation of their work during the next triennial. Joanna Janowska-Augustyn, winner of the Grand Prix in 2012, presents a wide selection of her works from between 2006 and 2015 during the exhibition Tabula rasa. Prints, Drawings at the International Cultural Centre (opening 17 September, 7pm). The artist combines a finesse of traditional drawings with digital printmaking. Her works frequently feature the human body and touch on difficult subjects such as passing, the inevitability of death and the loneliness that accompanies it. We will see her latest series of prints Contemplations on the Soul and the Body, the cycle Course of Events (including the award-winning artwork in 2012), and triptychs of drawings Closed – Freed from the cycle Body and Stone.

Joanna Janowska-Augustyn, Course of Events I, digital print, 2011, exhibition Tabula rasa at the ICC

What is so magical about etching, drypoint, lithography or serigraphy which made outstanding artists of the second half of the 20th century reach for them so often, despite not generally working in printmaking? The exhibition Love Affair with Graphics. From Albers to Vostell at the Main Building of the National Museum in Krakow (opening 15 September, 6pm) presents 92 works from the collections of Le Centre de la Gravure et de l'Image imprimée de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles in La Louvière. They are made by over 30 artists, including Arman, Josef Albers, Joseph Beuys, Antoni Tàpies, Roland Topor, Victor Vasarely and Wolf Vostell.


Arman, L’intérieur des choses I – Le téléphone, lithography, 1971, from the collections of the CGII, exhibition Love Affair with Graphics at the National Museum in Krakow

As usual, the main programme is supplemented by accompanying events held throughout September and October at institutions including the Gallery of the Nowa Huta Cultural Centre, the Pryzmat Gallery, the Academy of Fine Arts, and private galleries across Kraków.

Kraków has been having a love affair with printmaking for almost half a century! (Dorota Dziunikowska, "Karnet" monthly)

International Print Triennial – Krakow 2015
19 September – 25 October 2015
Organisers: International Print Triennial Society in Kraków
www.triennial.cracow.pl

Source: en.karnet.krakow.pl

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