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Piotr Uklański (b. 1968, Warsaw), Untitled (Take It In Blood), 2012

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Lot description Show orginal version
Estimations: 34 710 - 57 850 EUR
Additional fees: +5% / 3% Droit de suite
gesso, ink/linen
Dimensions: 140 x 140 cm
signed, dated and described on the reverse: ''UNTITLED (TAKE IT IN BLOOD)', P.U. 2012'
on the reverse: installation instructions

institutional collection, Poland

Piotr Uklański is one of those painters whose artistic debut fell on the time of the turbulent transformation of the late 1980s and mid-1990s. Once considered an artistic rebel, today he is without a shadow of a doubt in the pantheon of Polish artists with a strong position in the environment. He consistently and boldly continues to use subjects that are forbidden or uncomfortable for many. With his art, he tries to interact with current socio-political issues, reaching for various artistic media, including photography, installation, performance or painting.
In 1991, after graduating from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, he moved to New York, where he worked as a photographer. He lives and works in New York. Uklański uses a variety of media - from photography, installation, video and performance. He plays an ironic, critical game with the seductive charm of popular culture stereotypes and visual clichés. The artist makes degraded areas of pop culture the material of his works, showing their unquestionable magic. His works speak just as much about the spontaneous joy of beauty as they do about the guilt that comes with experiencing it. Uklański finds beauty in banal and familiar things, in forgotten places or where it appears completely unexpectedly, involving the audience in situations created to create a "good" mood, which evokes feelings of nostalgia and sentiment. "A specialty" of Uklański's is the transfer of various aesthetic phenomena in time and space. A 1996 work entitled DANCE FLOOR is a floor "quoted" from a nightclub, pulsating with lights to the rhythm of dance music. Installed inside the gallery, it becomes an element not to be missed by visitors. They are confronted with a space whose atmosphere is reminiscent of a disco, but their frustration may be caused by the fact that they are unable to fully indulge in this mood. The work is also a dialogue with traditional minimalist sculpture. In 1999 Uklański, invited by the Foksal Gallery, made a mosaic on a pillar at the entrance to the "Smyk" Department Store in the center of Warsaw from porcelain plates, production waste from factories in Ćmielów and Pruszków. The work was inspired by the artist's trip through Poland, during which he noticed houses decorated with mirrors and pieces of table ceramics. The artist picked up the kitsch way of decorating provincial architecture and used this method in a different social and aesthetic context, changing the scale of the realization to monumental and low culture to high. Uklański's exhibition NAZIIŚCI shown in November 2000 at Warsaw's "Zachęta" ended in scandal, with the destruction of several works and the closure of the exhibition. It presented a series of 164 color photographs depicting well-known foreign and Polish actors playing Nazi characters in films. Using a tool typical of mass culture, the artist juxtaposed film images of the "evil German" that inhabit the viewer's collective imagination. The images depict handsome, elegant men, movie tough guys seducing the viewer with their attractive image, thus blurring the truth about Nazism. As the artist himself comments on this work: "The portrait of the Nazi in mass culture is the most prominent specimen of the distortion of the truth about history, about people. It is all the more important to me because it is the main source of information about those times, for many the only one." During the exhibition, well-known actor Daniel Olbrychski entered the gallery with a saber and, in the presence of a pre-arranged television crew, cut up several of the stills, protesting the artist's use of his film image. The Minister of Culture refused to reopen the exhibition.

New York State of Mind. Polish Art Across the Ocean
09 April 2024 CEST/Warsaw
Start price
34 710 - 57 850 EUR
Hammer price
72 197 EUR
Hammer price without Byuer's Premium
60 164 EUR
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DESA Unicum

New York State of Mind. Polish Art Across the Ocean
09 April 2024 CEST/Warsaw
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DESA Unicum
DESA Unicum (projekty specjalne)
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