Published in: The Other Transatlantic: Kinetic and Op Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Edited by Marta Dziewanska, Dieter Roelstraete and Abigail Winograd. Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, 2018, pp. 241-260.
Available for download as pdf here.
This essay illuminates the seeming contradictions that surrounded the development of Op and kinetic art in the People’s Republic of Poland in the mid- to late-1960s; it highlights and analyzes the tensions between the assertions of Polish art’s originality and the complaints about its parochialism. It does so based on a brief study of works by Adam Marczyński (Kraków), Zbigniew Gostomski (Warszawa), Jan Chwałczyk (Wrocław) and Jan Ziemski (Lublin) coupled with a critical reading of the “Study of Space” by Wojciech Fangor and Stanisław Zamecznik (1958), often considered the first presentation of Op art and enviroment in Poland.
About the book:
The Other Transatlantic is attuned to the brief but historically significant moment in the postwar period between 1950 and 1970 when the trajectories of the Eastern European art scenes on the one hand, and their Latin American counterparts on the other, converged in a shared enthusiasm for kinetic and op art. As the axis connecting the established power centers of Paris, London, and New York became increasingly dominated by monolithic trends including pop, minimalism, and conceptualism—another web of ideas was being spun linking the hubs of Warsaw, Budapest, Zagreb, Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Sao Paulo. These artistic practices were dedicated to what appeared to be an entirely different set of aesthetic concerns: philosophies of art and culture dominated by notions of progress and science, the machine and engineering, construction and perception. This book presents a highly illustrated introduction to this significant transnational phenomenon in the visual arts. The book is available here.