*1947 in Wrocław, Poland, lives in Łomianki-Dąbrowa, Poland.
Zofia Kulik is one of a number of important – if not legendary – personalities within the Polish art scene. Between 1971 and 1987, she worked closely with Przemysław Kwiek under the name KwieKulik. Their work during the 1970s and 1980s served as a bridge across the Iron Curtain to the international avant-garde. Focusing on Oskar Hansen's 'Open Form' concept, they were more interested in the artistic process than in the final product. At the same time, an archive of Polish artworks from this period was created. This became an important source when researching contemporary art history. Since the late 1980s Zofia Kulik is working on her own and her works are exhibited at important galleries and museums around the world.
'The Splendour of Myself IV' is an excellent example of how the artist works. She began working on self-portraits as a way of asserting her own identity after she stopped working with Przemysław Kwiek. For many of these works, which are made up of hundreds of photos, she used her 'Archive of Gestures' – around 700 photos showing a male model in various physical poses – which she put together between 1987 and 1991.
Zofia Kulik's degree piece at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the late 1960s, 'Instead of Sculpture: Lady Halina and Cones', was a deliberate denunciation of the stale vacuousness of this ossified academicism. It was an intelligent rebellion against the prevailing academicism. Although her professors expected to be presented with a fully formed sculpture, the young student submitted a series of photographs of the academy's life-class model festooned with paper cones and striking increasingly absurd poses.
As one of the technically most outstanding students of the class, she was awarded her degree in spite of her provocation.