No 4 (100) 2014
October - December

About Drifting of the Young Art

Legnica - due to painting review competition that has been held there for over two decades - has been not merely the arena of young artists confrontation, but also the place of heated discussions on the condition of contemporary art and painting as such.

Justyna Teodorczyk

PhD in cultural studies, a many years curator at the Legnica Art Gallery, an author of texts, a co-author of the Art. for Łódź Foundation artistic and social initiatives.

Justyna Teodorczyk

THE ART GALLERY IN LEGNICA HAS MADE AN EFFORT to by constantly provoking, in spite of an acute lack of local critics, and a far distance from art academies. The PROMOTIONS All-Poland Young Painting Review, organized consistently by the Gallery since 1990, has been a pretext and the moment to reflect on the most recent art. It is hard to state objectively how much one can rely on Legnica as a touchstone of the latest trends in art, nevertheless, the Review statistics allow for some generalized - at least to some extent - opinions and judgments on the phenomenon, i.e., work of the youngest generation of artists. Several dozens of young artists, from all over Poland, have applied annually (this year 76 applied; they represented 14 art academies and submitted in total 228 pieces). It is much easier to assess the opinion shaping power of this place by means of critical competence of individual juries composition. It seems that, an obvious and yes answer to the question, whether the conclusion arrived at in Legnica in the course of the commission debates - on a slight victory of abstraction (further verified through attendance and verdict) - has been written into a general discourse underway in the world of art. Isn't this year leading thought of the "Legnica" justified with regard to current trends, visible outside ramifications of this particular competition?

Time will prove how lasting and universal is the diagnosis provided by Ryszard Woźniak, art practitioner and theoretician, referring to a considerable section of the young painting realities of today presented in Legnica, expressed in the PROMOTION 2014 exhibition catalogue.: "in comparison to last years, the presence of pure abstraction is quite distinctive. Further, one notes care in respecting traditional qualities of the painting medium. Today the young wish to be rather correct than hazardously original; they prefer to express themselves within the framework of the refined genre than enter interdisciplinary areas".

The latter has been also observed by the jury members of the past year Review in Legnica, last but not least, Stach Szabłowski. While the former jury was slightly irritated with a lack of rebellion by the young generation, and with their excessive conservatism, so as to feel unsatisfied, this year they simply contemplated the dignity of abstraction. Paweł Lewandowski- Palle, a juror has summed it up: „ painting does not need shouting in order to be heard".

Woźniak concludes: "An individual arrangement (...) of canvas seems to be still an attractive enough challenge for the young". Perhaps for them a non submissive attitude, the uproar - that have been an automatically projected eternal idea of rebellious young generations - have not been attractive enough. Could it be that the young prefer to drift instead of swimming against the current? This would be also a novelty to some extent.


Winners of the 24th All-Poland Young Painting Review (OPMM)


Grand Prix in the form of one-man-exhibition and catalogue:

Daniel Cybulski (Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts)

The 2nd Award by the Lower Silesia Voyvodship Marshall:

Karolina Balcer ( Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts)

The 3rd Award by the Major of the City of Legnica:

Kamil Kukla (Cracow Academy of Fine Arts)

The 4th Award by the Art Gallery in Legnica - "The Silver Spur":

Agata Piotrowska (Katowice Academy of Fine Arts)

The Honorable Mention by the Head of the Art Gallery in Legnica:"

Justyna Jędrzejowska (Katowice Academy of Fine Arts)

Awards outside regulations:

The Award by the Artistic Exhibitions Bureau in Zielona Góra in

the form of one-man-exhibition:

Katarzyna Feiglewicz ( Cracow Academy of Fine Arts)

The EXIT Award:

Anita Mikas (Poznań Art University)

The FORMAT Award:

Karolina Balcer (Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts)

The JPJ Company Distinction:

Cyryl Polaczek (Cracow Academy of Fine Arts)


24. Ogólnopolski Przegląd Malarstwa Młodych „Promocje 2014"; Jury: Łukasz Gorczyca, Anna Kania-Saj, Kamil Kuskowski, Paweł Lewandowski-Palle, Ryszard Woźniak, Monika Szpatowicz, Galeria Sztuki, Legnica, listopad-grudzień 2014.