A woman's work is never done

26.04.2013-11.08.2013

About exhibition

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The exhibition which remain on display at the ICC Gallery brings together 126 masterful prints dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries which are juxtaposed with the 20th and 21st century works of art. Contemporary art serve as a spatial counterpoint to the two-dimensional prints. Arranged thematically, the works featured at the exhibition offer an overview of the roles assigned to women by modern art and will be further contrasted with contemporary attempts at expressing the female element in the realm of aesthetics.

Using different modes of representation, i.e. realistic as well as symbolic and allegoric, the exhibition – whose title points to an English proverb which is particularly popular in the USA – features artistic visions and images of a variety of women’s jobs, household tasks and activities. It is indeed worth addressing the subject through the eyes of the old and current masters, since, as Professor Ina Iwasiów concludes in the exhibition catalogue, “a woman’s work is inconspicuous, unnameable, and supporting”.

Among the prints featured at the exhibition one find the masterpieces by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, William Hogarth, as well as a number of works by representatives of the Italian, French and Dutch schools. The presentation is rounded out by rare works by female printmakers.

It is the 9th exhibition of prints jointly organised by the ICC and the Scientific Library of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow.

Among contemporary works featured at the exhibition one find installations by Małgorzata Łojko (“Symbiozy” [Symbioses]) and by Tomasz Rogaliński (“Hodowla” [Breeding]), the works by Erwina Ziomkowska (shoes and a bag), two Gobelin tapestries by Anna Jesinowicz-Nguyen (“Ja” [Myself] and “Nieja” [Not-myself]), as well as a wooden sculpture by Alina Szapocznikow (“Koński ogon / Głowa Meksykanki” [ Horse’s tail / Head of a female Mexican]) juxtaposed with a clay sculpture by Xawery Dunikowski (“Kobieta brzemienna II”[A pregnant woman II]).

The basis for the exhibition script is a series of prints divided into seven thematic parts: “Mother”, “Companion and Servant”, “Object”, “The Patronage of the Muses”, “Warriors”, “Good Example, Bad Example” and “Housekeeper and Ruler of Fate”. Contemporary works of art do not only round the exhibition out, but they pose questions concerning the manner and contexts in which the before-mentioned archetypes are featured today. Some of the installations have been chosen because of their “workable”, “never-ending” structure. Instead of classicism of cold marble and bronze, we are confronted with “soft materials”, i.e. fur, glass, pins, paper sheets, wool, painstakingly moulded wood and clay.
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