Art in the city
Not all works of contemporary art in Poznań have been confined to galleries. Poznań's public spaces abound with extraordinary works by remarkable artists. They contribute to the city's overall image, making it distinctive and unique.
One of the most outstanding of modern artists associated with Poznań was Magdalena Abakanowicz, who for over three decades lectured at the local University of Fine Arts. This is why the capital of Wielkopolska is now home to her biggest outdoor piece, The Unrecognised, dating back to 2002. The installation comprises 112 headless anthropomorphic cast-iron figures, each standing over two metres tall, located in the Citadel park. In the heart of Poznań, the Rose Courtyard in the Zamek (Castle) Cultural Centre holds The 5 Figures, a 2005 series of sculptures that largely resembles the famous Unrecognised.
Since Poznań is the birth town of Jehuda Löw ben Becalel, who is said to have created the Golem in Prague, Poznań's authorities chose to erect a statute to commemorate his man-made creature of clay. An eccentric piece by the Czech artist David Černý has been set on Aleje Marcinkowskiego in front of the University of Fine Arts. Its elements form a figure that is captured in motion, whose blurred look makes it all the more expressive.
On the main axis of Aleje Marcinkowskiego, right in front of the old National Museum, is The Stella by the German artist Heinz Mack. The sculpture is a steel column capped with an asymmetrical revolving motor-powered head. Polished metal-sheet elements which adorn the shaft and the head reflect light onto the surrounding buildings. The sculpture was funded by the Wielkopolska Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts.
At Rondo Kaponiera, travellers heading from the central rail station towards the city centre will notice an Ephemeral Image Zone, which the locals call "the mirrors". Inspired by ephemeral photography, this 2009 piece by Jan Berdyszak comprises seven mirrors/glass panes, which vary in terms of transparency and reflectiveness. They are supported on metal pillars at various angles relative to the ground.
A bit farther from the city, on StrzeszyńskieLake, next to the ABC Gallery, is the Visual Park, a space dedicated to sculptures and other spatial artistic objects. On the occasion of the opening of the Enter Enea Festival in 2018, a three-meter-high item shaped like a button, by Zbigniew Sałaj, was added, along with one of the most distinctive installations in recent Polish contemporary art, The Graduation Tower of Art. This monumental piece by Robert Kuźmierowski, measuring 6 meters in height and 22 meters in length, is a wooden frame filled with miscellaneous utility items and long disused, broken, damaged and puzzling mechanisms, which the artist has collected over a dozen plus years.
Marek S. Bochniarz
© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2018