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Paulina Ołowska

*1976 in Gdańsk, Poland, lives in Raba Niżna, Poland.

Screen (Paravan)

A group of women is standing together. You can only perceive them in a very schematic way. Partly we can reflect ourselves in them. They convey information that is not depictable at the first sight. It is not advertising for the products and brands they carry. They carry information on the Slovakian State Puppet Theatre in Banská Bystrica or the famous Teatra Groteska in Krakow, which became a very important place of artistic avant-garde in Poland since 1945.

Shadows Madly Alive I–V

In her collages 'Shadows Madly Alive I-V' Paulina Olowska explores puppet theatre. The artist travelled to the Museo Internazionale delle Marionette in Palermo, Sicily, as well as the Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières in France to immerse herself in the topic more deeply. She also conducted research in Polish puppet theatre archives such as Teatr Groteska in Krakow, Teatr BAJ in Warsaw, Teatr Lalek Banialuka in Bielsko-Biała, as well as Cricoteka, the best-known of these archives. This archive catalogues work by the Polish artist Tadeusz Kantor, who was one of the great theatre pioneers of the last century.

In these small collages, you can discover a wide range of great puppeteers from the history of this magnificent narrative art. Spanish marionettist Herta Frankel is one such example. Along with Emmy Hennings, Margo Rose, Lotte Pritzel, and Maria Signorelli, Frankel is one of the most important female artists of the genre. In the 1960s, Frankel and her marionettes pioneered children's programmes on Spanish television. Paulina Olowska often refers to forgotten female artists in her work.

Crossword Puzzle with Lady in Black Coat

The Edition 46 of the weekly 'Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin' is designed each year by a renowned contemporary international artist. The issue published on Friday 13 November 2009 has been in the hands of Paulina Ołowska. Parallel to the publication, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich opened an exhibition with works from the artist, 13 November 2009 – 14 Februar 2010.

Both group of works for the edition and the exhibition are concentrated on re-arranging and re-constructing of historical facts and art historical references. Paulina Ołowska displayed in her installation for the museum works from classical modernism from the permanent collection and quoted details from such works in her paintings and collages.

For the large painting 'Crossworld Puzzle with Lady in Black Coat' she referred to the 'Lady in Black Coat' from 1927 by German painter George Grosz (1893–1956). It is one of the very few paintings of the artist showing a person from normal course of life. Most of his paintings are depicting drastically and provocatively the decadence of the Bourgeoisie of the Weimarer Republic. The 'unknown passerby' is placed by Paulina Ołowska in a grid structure of a cross word puzzle. Such a structure of vertical and horizontal lines has been identified by Rosalind Krauss in her essay 'Grids' as fundamental for modern art and architecture. In such a way the painting by Paulina Ołowska indicates the role of women as readily to overlock passersby in the construction of history. Furthermore it might show, that the development of Modernism has simply forgotten the average person, such a person, who might find some relief by unravel a cross word puzzle.

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