30 Years of the Geppert Competition: Exhibition and Seminar
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Geppert Competition, one of the most important events for outstanding young Polish painters.
The Geppert Competition is an all-Polish undertaking devoted to young painting. It was originated in the circles connected with Wrocław’s Academy of Fine Arts and then gradually expanded to include the entire Polish art scene. Its main purpose is presenting as complete a picture of current phenomena observed in various centres in Poland as possible, as well as promoting debuting artists.
The competition, organized continually since 1989 – so for thirty years now – is currently one of the most important reviews of young art in Poland. Entries are submitted for the competition by a group of experts from art centres all over the country (representing art colleges, prominent public exhibition institutions and private galleries) during a seminar to take place in October 2019. The selection is then assessed by the Jury during the competition exhibition planned for March 2020. The jubilee contest qualifications will be held in the form of an open seminar during which we will see this year’s competition exhibition entries and witness the selection of next year’s competitors.
The 30th Geppert Competition will also host the jubilee exhibition Geppert – I Call / Untitled, presenting current works of the winners of all previous twelve editions of the Competition. The title, or rather its lack, refers to the ambiguous status of art competitions. Are they reviews of best art? Are they really career springboards for young artists? What does participating in something defined as a “painting competition” actually mean? Can it be unequivocally stated that after years its participants are in fact successful? What is the point of putting them into a group?
The thirteen male and female artists participating in the Geppert – I Call / Untitled exhibition are not necessarily painters. Some of them have long abandoned this medium, others have never even defined themselves within its framework. However, the fact that they once took part in the Geppert Competition remains in their artistic CV. The exhibition is also an attempt at institutional self-criticism. The twelve editions of the Geppert Competition, says Alicja Klimczak-Dobrzaniecka, curator of the exhibition, have gone a long way from a local academic event to one of the most important competitions in Poland. The presentation of its winners’ latest work gives us an opportunity to critically look at the role of the competition, and as a result gives an occasion to reflect on possible changes that might improve its format.
Luka Rayski, Nyarlathotep – Snakes in the Hand, foto: Adam Gut, dzięki uprzejmości Galerii Szydłowski i artysty
A certain new chapter in the institution’s history may also be seen as a symbolic look into the past – the thirty-year summary of the Geppert Competition and the seminar’s 13th edition are taking place in its new Railway Station venue. The competition, up till now a flagship feature of the Awangarda Gallery, will now undergo a sort of rebranding process. Its relocation marks a transition between the new programme of the gallery and is at the same time a reference to the programme tradition of the Hatzfeld Palace.
The opening of the Geppert – I Call / Untitled exhibition will be accompanied by the opening of another exhibition – Best ASP Diplomas 2019, presenting top works of graduates of the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław.
jubilee exhibition artists: Zbiok Czajkowski, Jacek Dłużewski, Kle Mens, Kasia Kmita, Barbara Kuciapska, Olga Lewicka, Marzena Nowak, Agnieszka Polska, Cezary Poniatowski, Luka Rayski, Zbigniew Rogalski, Urszula Wilk, Zorka Wollny.
exhibition curator: Alicja Klimczak-Dobrzaniecka
seminar experts: Barbara Bańda, Anna Bąk, Michał Bieniek, Marta Borgosz, Jerzy Hejnowicz, Delfina Jałowik, Dominika Kowynia, Wojciech Leder, Karolina Leśnik, Ewa Łączyńska-Widz, Jan Mioduszewski, Zbigniew Rogalski, Joanna Rzepka-Dziedzic, Jadwiga Sawicka, Waldemar Tatarczuk, Sławomir Toman, Gabriela Warzycka, Aleksy Wójtowicz, Marcin Zawicki.
competition curators: Alicja Klimczak-Dobrzaniecka, Anna Kołodziejczyk
co-organizer: Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław
media patrons: Przegląd Weekly, SZUM Magazine, RynekiSztuka.pl, Artinfo.pl
visual identification: Mateusz Zieleniewski, Sébastien Millot