Portraits of Masters by Krzysztof Gierałtowski
12 photographs by Krzysztof Gierałtowski from the “Polish Individualities” portfolio will be presented at Cricoteka from 14 October 2017 until 14 January 2018. A series of 44 photographs taken in the years 1972-1995 are a collection of Polish cultural figures selected personally by Krzysztof Gierałtowski.
Ryszard Kapuściński referred to Gierałtowski as an “outstanding portraitist of outstanding Poles”. The series he created is his personal pantheon but also a universal one. The unconventional way of immortalising images on negatives is what is particularly interesting about these black and white portraits. By arranging situations or provoking his models Gierałtowski exposed unexpected their traits of character in his photographs.
The most important work presented at the exhibition is a portrait of Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990). It was taken at the artist’s apartment just before the Cricot 2 Theatre ensemble left for Florence to begin working on the second masterpiece of the Theatre of Death – the production of “Wielopole, Wielopole” (premiere in 1980). The photograph reflects the tension and nervous atmosphere of that time.
The work has been donated to the collection Cricoteka by the Bytom S.A. company.
Presented alongside the portrait of Tadeusz Kantor are portraits of two artists strongly associated with him, not only friends of the artist but also collaborators who co-created Kantor’s theatre and, through their own artistic achievements, were a source of inspiration. They are Jonasz Stern (1904-1988) and Tadeusz Brzozowski (1918-1987).
The exhibition also features photographs presenting eminent theatre artists and film directors: Jerzy Grotowski (1933-1999), Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016), Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941-1996), Roman Polański (1933), Jerzy Grzegorzewski (1939-2005) as well as writers: Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004), Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1919-2000), Jerzy Kosiński (1933-1991)
and musician: Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994).
Krzysztof Gierałtowski: Member of the ZPAF Association of Polish Art Photographers and the ZAiKS Society of Authors. He is a corresponding member of the DGPh German Photography Society. He received fellowships from the Polish and Dutch Ministries of Culture, the Government of the French Republic, the United Stated Information Agency, Fondation pour une Entraide Intellectuelle Européenne and the ZAiKS Society of Authors.
In 2007 Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland awarded Krzysztof Gierałtowski with Gloria Artis silver medal for Merit to Culture. Winner of the Cyprian Kamil Norwid Award in 2011. He received the 2013 Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in Visual Arts. In 2014, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland and «Bene Merito» honorary distinction granted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland in recognition of promoting Poland internationally.
The artist’s works have been presented at numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad.
See more: www.gieraltowski.pl
The “Polish Individualities“ portfolio in exhibitions and collections
A selection of 44 black and white portraits, signed and numbered by the artist, taken in the period 1972-1995 was created in 2009 under the auspices of the National Library in Warsaw, with the photographer’s comments in Polish, English, German and French.
It constitutes a portrait portfolio “Polish Individualities“.
Professor Andrzej Rottermund, director of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, is the author of the foreword.
President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski donated the Portfolio to the Museum of Europe in Brussels, Orange Polska S.A. provided one copy to the Polish Library in Paris and the Museum of History of Photography in Kraków, Poznań International Fair purchased one Portfolio for the National Museum in Poznań, PKO Bank Polski – to the National Library, Kulczyk Investments – for the Jagiellonian University Library and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Horst Köhler, the Society of Authors ZAiKS – for the Royal Castle in Warsaw and Warsaw University Library.
The Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship presented it to the Moritzburg Museum in Halle.
The Marshal of the Dolnośląskie Voivodeship purchased one Portfolio for PLN 30,000 for the National Museum of Ukraine in Lviv.
The Portfolio is a cardboard box in A3+ format including the 33cmx47cm photos inserted into folded sheets of paper and commentaries and it meets all the criteria of an archival museum object and – as an artistic book – has its ISBN code.
Promotional exhibitions of the Portfolio have been shown in, among others, the Media Museum in Aachen, The Polish Library in Paris, the Polish Institute in Prague and the Art House in Opava, the Vrublevskiai Library in Vilnius, the Moritzburg Museum in Halle, as well as in libraries such as the National Library in Warsaw, the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków and University of Warsaw library. It was exhibited by the Śleńdziński Gallery in Białystok and the Amfilada Gallery of the Municipal Cultural Centre in Olsztyn. An open-air exhibition of the portfolio was shown by Galeria na Płocie of the Saski Garden in Lublin.
The National Museum in Gdańsk published a catalogue for the Portfolio exhibition, and another one in Spanish accompanied the exhibition in San Sebastian organised by the Festival Office Impart 2016.
In autumn 2016 the Spanish version of the “Polish Individualities” Portfolio was presented at a promotional exhibition at arteko gallery in the European Capital of Culture San Sebastian.
In late 2016 early 2017 the exhibition was presented at the Sala de Exposiciones del Auditorio y Centro de Congresos de Murcja by the Polish Institute in Madrid.
At the moment The “Polish Individualities” portfolio is exhibited at the Polnisches Institut in Vienna.
The project can be seen on www.gieraltowski.pl in the “Portfolio” tab.