exhibitions & events:
Old Polish paintings
Paintings allow to explore various directions, currents and trends dominating in Polish art since the late 18th century until 1939, including Romanticism, “Munich School,” “Nazarene Movement,” Academic art, Historicism, Realism, paintings taking advantage of accomplishments of such styles as Impressionism, Symbolism, and a trend presenting Young Poland style in a form similar to Secession. Some of the artists include Teodor Axentowicz, Olga Boznańska, Józef Chełmoński, Daniel Chodowiecki, Julian Fałat, Wojciech Gerson, Maurycy Gottlieb, Wlastimil Hofman, Władysław Jarocki, Juliusz Kossak, Franciszek Ksawery Lampi, Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko, Piotr Michałowski, Józef Pankiewicz, Władysław Podkowiński, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, Kazimierz Sichulski, Henryk Siemiradzki, Jan Stanisławski, Józef Szermentowski, Wojciech Weiss, and Stanisław Wyspiański.
There is also a big collection comprising artworks made by Academic painter Maksymilian Antoni Piotrowski who was born in Bydgoszcz.
Contemporary Polish paintings
This collection documents activity of artists representing avant-garde art trends of the twenty-year interwar period, including members of groups and associations such as “Rhythm” (Wacław Borowski, Eugeniusz Zak, Tymon Niesiołowski, Wacław Wąsowicz, Zofia Stryjeńska and Ludomir Sleńdziński), “Brotherhood of St. Luke” (Bolesław Cybis), “Polish Formists” (Leon Chwistek, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz), “Paris Committee” (Jan Cybis), “Jednoróg” (Marian Szczyrbuła) and “Zwornik” (Zbigniew Pronaszko), as well as “independent” artists (Tadeusz Makowski, Mela Muter).
The most extensive collection features contemporary Polish paintings, an example of the most significant and representative art collections in Poland. The gallery offers an opportunity to learn about various currents and trends in Polish paintings after 1945. Postwar paintings are primarily art successors of works of art made in the 1920s and 1930s. Another trend that developed in addition to Colourism represented by Jan Cybis, Józef Czapski, Tadeusz Dominik, Artur Nacht-Samborski and Piotr Potworowski was the avant-garde, referring to the models developed by, among others, Henryk Stażewski. His attitude is echoed in the abstractive works of Ryszard Winiarski, Jacek Bigoszewski, Jan Berdyszak and Kajetan Sosnowski, referring to Constructivism and Visualism. The concomitant style of expressive abstraction can be seen in the images created by Tadeusz Brzozowski and Jerzy Tchórzewski as well as works of Jan Dobkowski and Jan Tarasin, permeated by an element of Symbolism. Figurative art is represented by, among others, Surrealistic & Metaphorical paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński, Kiejstut Bereźnicki, Anna Güntner, Jerzy Krawczyk, Jan Lebenstein, and Zbigniew Makowski. Emotional perception of the world and current social events is reflected in the works of Edward Dwurnik, Bronisław Wojciech Linke and Marian Bogusz. Great commentators of reality are members of the Gruppa (Ryszard Grzyb, Paweł Kowalewski, Jarosław Modzelewski, Włodzimierz Pawlak, Marek Sobczyk, and Ryszard Woźniak), combining the sense of seriousness with grotesque, and realistic scenes with imagined situations. The real world is also the starting point for Tomasz Tatarczyk and Leon Tarasewicz, who through simplification of form turn to pure painting solutions. A different outlook is presented by Andrzej Dłużniewski, Edward Krasiński and Jerzy Rosołowicz, whose works feature conceptual reflection. Works of creative artists reflect primarily their experiences intertwined with emotional perception of the world and current social events. The Museum documents activity of artists participating in prominent exhibitions (Modern Art Exhibition, Krakow 1948; Arsenal, Warsaw 1955), undertakings and groups (Krakow Group – e.g. Maria Jarema, Tadeusz Kantor, Adam Marczyński, Jadwiga Maziarska, Erna Rosenstein, Jonasz Stern, Danuta Urbanowicz, Witold Urbanowicz; Wprost Group - Maciej Bieniasz, Zbylut Grzywacz, Leszek Sobocki, Jacek Waltoś; Gruppa), and those who developed their individual artistic formula (Stanisław Fijałkowski, Władysław Hasior, Janusz Kaczmarski, Jerzy Nowosielski, Jacek Sempoliński, Jacek Sienicki, Grzegorz Stachańczyk, Józef Szajna). An important part is several artistic sets of works, such as works made by Stefan Gierowski, allowing to analyze artistic path of individual artists.
The collection of contemporary Polish paintings features works made by artists coming from the region of Kuyavia and Pomerania, dating back to a period between the 1920s and 1930s (e.g. Bronisław Bartel, Piotr Chmura, Franciszek Gajewski, Jerzy Rupniewski), and made after 1945 (e.g. Stefan Kościelecki, Zygmunt Kolarczyk, Bogdan Kraśniewski, Tadeusz Małachowski, Tymon Niesiołowski, Mieczysław Wiśniewski, Mieczysław Ziomek), focusing on a group of works documenting the Bydgoszcz artistic life (e.g. Krzysztof Cander, Bogdan Chmielewski, Kazimierz Drejas, Piotr Kiepuszewski, Andrzej Nowacki, Dorota Podlaska, Jerzy Puciata, Leon Romanow, Aleksandra Simińska, Stanisław Stasiulewicz, Jan Szkaradek, Marian Turwid, and Lech Wolski).
Old and contemporary foreign art
The collection comprises paintings made by German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and French artists, working in a period between the 17th century and the mid-20th century, including a small group of miniatures.
There is also a significant collection of works made by Walter Rudolf Leistikow, a Bydgoszcz native and co-founder of “The Berlin Secession”; his art collection was established during the 1940s and is the biggest collection of this artist in the country.
There are also a dozen or so works of indigenous residents of Australia (contemporary Aboriginal paintings on canvas and bark).
The collection consists of works and photographic objects of Polish artists, which were made in the past century. Among the authors we can find such names as Tadeusz Wański, Sławomir Brzoski, Tomasz Dobiszewski, Lynn Huntley-Wyczółkowski, Zofia Kulik, Józef Robakowski, Andrzej Różycki, Jerzy Truszkowski, and Joanna Rajkowska, whereas the Bydgoszcz community is represented by Bogdan Dąbrowski, Daniel Dąbrowski, Zbigniew Kluszczyński, Andrzej Maziec, Marek Noniewicz, Jerzy Riegel, Stanisław Wasilewski, Wojciech Woźniak, Jerzy Zegarliński, and Viola Kuś.
Sculpture, object and installation
The collection includes single examples of stone and wood sculpture, showing features that are typical of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque art. However, the essential core of the collection are sculpting works created by Polish and foreign artists in the past one hundred years; some of the sculptors include Ksawery Dunikowski, Edward Haupt, Stanisław Horno-Popławski, Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz, Antoni Kurzawa, Konstanty Laszczka, Ferdynand Lepcke, Władysław Marcinkowski, Adam Myjak, Olga Niewska, Wanda Czełkowska, Edward Wittig, Aleksander Dętkoś, Teodor Gajewski, Michał Kubiak, and Piotr Triebler, who works in Bydgoszcz.
There are about fifty objects and installations presenting new media, used by artists creating the latest trends in Polish art; they include Krzysztof M. Bednarski, Marcin Berdyszak, Wojciech Bruszewski, Izabella Gustowska, Jerzy Kalina, Grzegorz Klaman, Grzegorz Kowalski, Jarosław Kozłowski, Zbigniew Libera, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Krzysztof Zarębski, and Andrzej Wasilewski.
The year 2009 marks the beginning of the collection with design objects, supplementing the collection of contemporary Polish art. Three pieces of furniture were purchased, including armchairs of Marcel Breuer (models from the Knoll Factory) and Roman Modzelewski, and a wall-shelf made by Thonet, serving as an example of the most important changes taking place in both international and Polish design. In the same time, this collection is a form of continuation of the collection of old furniture and artistic crafts started many years ago. One of the latest acquisitions of the Museum is the Table with Memory made by Agnieszka Lasota, which became an important element of integration of the collection, combining accomplishments of contemporary design and the art of new media through its interdisciplinary character. In addition, the design collection features objects designed for public spaces; Sowing Furniture made by Paweł Grunert were planted in front of the Contemporary Art Gallery building.
A collection of small sculpting forms, plaques and medals includes works made by outstanding, contemporary Polish sculptors and medal makers, including Bronisław Chromy, Piotr Gawron, Edward Gorol, Franciszek Habdas, Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz, Józef Markiewicz, Ewa Olszewska-Borys, Stanisław Sikora and Józef Stasiński, as well as native Bydgoszcz artists, Michał Kubiak and Rudolf Rogatty.
Written by Inga Kopciewicz and Monika Kosteczko-Grajek