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Applied Fantastic Exhibition, 2010 by Paulina Olowska
The New Museum
and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York



Thursday, July 14, 2011 - Sunday, October 2, 2011

235 Bowery, New York, NY

Admission: $12 General/$10 Seniors/$8 Students/FREE 18 and under and Members Tel: 212.219.1222

Seen in their New York debut, the collage paintings of the young Polish artist Paulina Olowska hit all the right notes, mainly that of a low-tech, post-Warholian harshness that mingles large-scale appropriated-image collage and paint while disdaining finish and technique.

- Roberta Smith, The New York Times (2007)

OSTALGIA will bring together pieces from more than fifty artists from twenty countries who have made work in or about the former Eastern Bloc including Vladimir Arkhipov, Helga Paris, Dmitri Prigov, Erik Bulatov, Miroslaw Balka, Boris Mikhailov; as well as Jozef Robakowski's Workshop of the Film Form. Contesting the format of a traditional geographical survey, the exhibition also includes works produced by artists from Western Europe and the United States in order to explore how art and artists have depicted the reality and the myth of the East. The exhibition takes its title from the German word Ostalgie, a term that emerged in the 1990s to describe a sense of longing and nostalgia for the times before the collapse of the Communist Bloc.

The works describe the height and the collapse of the Communist myth, while offering a series of personal reportages on aspects of life under Communism and in the new post-Soviet countries. The exhibition reveals the peculiar place that artists came to occupy in Socialist countries, acting simultaneously as outcasts, visionaries,and witnesses. This show does not make a case for a unified history of art in the former Eastern Bloc, but rather illuminates similar atmospheres and sensibilities across nations and histories: Ostalgia is an exhibition about a state of mind, rather than about a place in time. Rediscovering local avant-garde practices and exposing international affinities, composing an imaginary landscape, tracing the cartography of a dream that haunted the East, for ultimately this is an exhibition about myths and their demise.

PAULINA OLOWSKA (b. 1976, Gdansk), is an artist living and working in Raba Nizna, a small town near Krakow, Poland. Her paintings, collages, murals and performances often reference Modern Movement, Pop art, graffiti and forgotten esthetics. Her project for New Museum will relate to the history of the Puppet Theater "Rabcio" in Rabka Zdroj - a small, Polish rural town, which since the early 20th century acquired a reputation of the 'children spa' with a specific microclimate and mineral waters. In 2010 Paulina Olowska made a colorful mural on the walls of the theatre's building representing characters from fairy tales and inspired by the posters from the 60's and 70's, designed by Jerzy Kolecki (Rabcio's art director for many years) for the theatre's plays. During Ostalgia exhibition, New Museum's lobby will become a foyer of Rabcio Puppet Theatre, and on the front window one of the Mr Kolecki's posters (for "Alice in Wonderland" play) will be reproduced.

Other Polish artists participating in OSTALGIA:

Miroslaw Balka

Aneta Grzeszykowska

Edward Krasinski

Marysia Lewandowska

The Workshop of the Film Form (Wojciech Bruszewski, Jozef Robakowski, Ryszard Wasko)

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