The Kunsthalle München is presenting the largest exhibition to date in Germany about the flourishing of Polish art between 1890 and 1918. It comprises some 130 masterpieces from the National Museums of Warsaw, Krakow and Poznan´ , as well as from other public and private collections. Polish painting at the dawn of the 20th century transports the beholder to a world of myths and legends, dreamlike landscapes, ancient traditions and customs, to the depths of the human soul.
In a nation without sovereignty – until its independence in 1918, Poland was partitioned between Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary – a you ng generation of artists began breathing new life into the art of painting. With their works, they created what was lacking in the political arena: a common identity. They drew inspiration from their own Polish history , culture and natural environment, as well as from the art circles of Munich, Paris, St. Petersburg and Vienna.
The turn of the 20th century was the golden age of Polish culture. The “Young Poland” movement (1890–1918), associated with literature, visual arts and music, initially originated in Krakow. Thanks to the more liberal politics of Austria-Hungary , Poland‘s former capital city was more conducive to the flourishing of Polish cultural life than the Prussian and Russian occupied areas, where greater restrictions were imposed. Nonetheless, despite all the constraints, Warsaw was the most important centre of art besides Kraków . The term “Young Poland” was coined by writer and literature critic Artur Górski.
Divided into ten thematic sections, the exhibition showcases the remarkable versatility and multifaceted finesse of Polish art of this period, which has been largely overlooked – quite unjustly – in Germany until now. The show traces its development, contextualising it in the cultural, social and political background of both Poland and Europe.
The exhibition is organized by Kunsthalle München in cooperatio n with Adam Mickiewicz Institute, National Museum in Warsaw, National Museum in Kraków, National Museum in Poznan´ .
With around 350,000 visitors every year, the Kunsthalle München is one of Germany’s most prestigious exhibition houses. Located at the heart of Munich, the Kunsthalle stages three large exhibitions a year on a variety of themes. The Kunsthalle München’s diverse programme alternates monographic exhibitions with thematic projects, yet also includes interdisciplinary concepts.