MONIKA SOSNOWSKA

מוניקה סוסנובסקה

MONIKA SOSNOWSKA 2

source: hauserwirth
Born in Ryki, Poland, 1972. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Poznań, Poland, 1993 – 1998
Studied at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, 1999 – 2000. S-air, Sapporo, Japan, 2002. Stipendium at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, 2004. Lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.
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source: girlsclubcollection
Monika Sosnowska is one of the most celebrated Eastern European artists of her generation. Her work explores the politics and poetics of the built environment, engaging and transforming the architecture of the exhibition space, often in implausible ways. She is best known for large, site-specific sculptures made of industrial materials such as steel and concrete, as well as surreal, tableau-like installations.
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source: aspenartmuseumorg
Monika Sosnowska’s sculptural and architectural works take up specific forms and spaces and manipulate them into disorienting, often only barely recognizable new configurations. In 1:1, her widely acclaimed project for the 2007 Venice Biennale, Sosnowska compressed the steel skeleton of a Communist-era housing block and crammed its twisted, contorted form into the much smaller interior of the Polish Pavilion. Other works have borrowed certain aspects of a particular site, altering and recontextualizing them in ways that both heighten the viewer’s awareness of form and structure, calling into question what is rational or even possible within the languages of sculpture and architecture. Freed from their original functionality, Sosnowska’s architectonic works and environments evoke a moment when, as she puts it, “architectural space begins to take on the characteristics of mental space.”
Sosnowska’s exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum will include a new series of works that continue her investigations into the relationship between form and function, ornament and structure, recognition and confusion. On the occasion of this exhibition, the AAM will publish a definitive, career-spanning look at the Polish sculptor—a beautifully illustrated book that documents a decade’s worth of Sosnowska’s exhibitions and features new essays by the exhibition’s curator, Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson; Adam Szymczyk, Director and Curator of Kunsthalle Basel; and Maria Gough, Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Professor of Modern Art at Harvard University.
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source: polish-artcontemporain
Née en 1972 à Ryki, vit et travaille à Varsovie. Révélation de la dernière Biennale de Venise, l’artiste polonaise Monika Sosnowska travaille sur l’architecture et l’espace de vie comme symbole psychique de notre quotidien. À Venise, dans le Pavillon polonais, elle avait installé une structure de poutres métalliques tordues en tout sens. En obligeant le visiteur à s’interroger sur la nature de cette installation, qui ressemblait à un antique pylône électrique dénaturé par une explosion, elle posait aussi la question de la nature d’un espace institutionnel dédié à l’art. On retrouve des problématiques finalement assez proches dans l’ensemble des propositions aujourd’hui rassemblées au Schaulager. Pour elle, née en 1972, l’art est d’abord une expérience, un moment où le visiteur est confronté à des espaces et des sensations qui non seulement le désorientent, mais doivent aussi l’inciter à s’interroger sur les espaces dans lesquels il évolue quotidiennement, notamment les espaces privés. Pour cela, l’artiste joue volontiers sur des figures comme le labyrinthe, les ruptures d’échelle, l’antagonisme entre le vide et la saturation.
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source: moma
Monika Sosnowska’s work consists mainly of installations that are conceived for a specific occasion, and that disappear when that occasion is over. Usually forming or filling a room, they could be mistaken for the work of an architect or a set designer. But unlike architecture, her spaces serve no function, and unlike set design, there is no scenario for which they set the stage. Instead, Sosnowska’s spaces furnish both a physical opportunity—and a metaphor for the play of the imagination. Her interventions may be quite complex or, as in the case of The Hole, strikingly quiet. Either way, Sosnowska manages to conjure, from space, a multi-dimensional image that will be completed only by a viewer’s experience of it.
Though Sosnowska trained primarily as a painter at the Art Academy in Poznan, she gradually moved away from that medium during post-graduate study at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 1999–2000. At the Rijksakademie, she began to focus on arrangements of her paintings in spaces she would design for them. Finally she did away with the paintings and just kept the spaces. A fellow artist had provided a helpful prod: Why do you need a brush to paint? Indeed, the manner in which Sosnowska now works with planes and surfaces often generates the feeling that you have walked into, or been swallowed up by, an off-kilter Constructivist painting. Transporting a viewer into a new place is consistently important in her work. Now more metaphorical, this experience was made literal in her first show in Poland, at the Contemporary Art Center in Warsaw in 2001. Called Little Alice, the work conjured an imaginary occupant of the former castle now occupied by the art center. The installation consisted of a succession of four increasingly smaller rooms, the smallest of which could accommodate nobody larger than a hamster, evoking Alice’s plunge from the reality of this world into Wonderland.
Sosnowka’s decision to move to Warsaw after her studies in Amsterdam came about unexpectedly, during a trip to Mali with two fellow students from the Rijksakademie. As she put it, “I don’t know why, but in Africa I started to think about Poland.” She was supposed to do an exhibition in Bamako, and had brought work from Amsterdam. But when she arrived she realized, “I cannot do this work here. It’s a completely different reality, and it’s completely senseless…. I learned the lesson of relation to a place, the relativism that says ‘do not ever think it’s the same everywhere.’”
Today, Sosnowska is one of the leading artists in Warsaw. The artistic energy in the city is at an extraordinary level, and several of its artists in their twenties and thirties have attained international renown over the last few years (also including, for example, Pawel Althamer, Wilhelm Sasnal, and Paulina Olowska). While these artists’ works are not linked by any one approach or style, they tend to share an interest in the importance of history and place. This particular moment in Warsaw is one of difficult transition. Almost twenty years after the breakthrough of the Solidarity movement and the end of Communist rule in 1989, the country is still finding its political and economic footing, and all the social problems that accompany rapid change now trouble the city of Warsaw.
Nor do the tragedies of the past century seem far away. Sosnowska is currently building a living space and studio just outside the city center. Across the street is a Jewish cemetery that was wrecked by the Nazis; its hundreds of smashed and upended tombstones still lie untended in silent ruin. All of this is important background for Sosnowska’s outlook and process. However, historical ghosts and contemporary problems do not find a direct voice in her highly impersonal and reticent work. Sosnowska’s engagement with history is direct only in the sense of art history, and her appreciation for predecessors such as Katarzyna Kobro (1898–1951) and Edward Krasinski (1925–2004). Actively seeking a way to carry the history of the avant-garde into the twenty-first century, she cannot aspire to a vision of utopia, but can at least instill a doubt in reality.