“Photographic still life is a double death of a thing.” However, Paweł Żak’s exhibition will be salvation. We will see the perfectly presented reality, shown surprisingly abstractively. A glass of vodka, flowers and a skull just make a seemingly weird set. Yet, in Paweł Żak’s photographic work they make a story. It is also easy to find some reference to Dutch masters of painting there.
Still life is a classic when it comes to visual arts. Sets of static elements put together for compositional purposes, and sometimes for symbolic ones too. Not large, still items are willingly used by painters, but there are definitely fewer photographers interested in this kind of artistic expression. There are very few such masters, who create whole series of still life. No doubt, Paweł Żak is one of them. The artist has been working in this trend for 25 years, constantly amazing the viewer with successive series.
His next exhibition will consist of the latest works of the cycle that started in 2008. The works put under one title Core Curriculum and Other Still Lifes unveil Paweł Żak as the mature, minimalistic and (this time) extremely reserved artist. Digitally made images attract attention with their severity and sharpness. Simultaneously, they captivate with minimalism and abstraction.
These photographs are elaborated in every detail. They take the beginning on paper in the form of precise sketches that are then recorded with apothecary accuracy by millions of photodiodes that are selected in the way to make the viewer see what the artist wanted to show on a 1:1 scale. There is no space for mistakes, all the photos are one frame, in which Żak interferes only to the extent that photographic film allows him to.
As far as technically there is no room for inaccuracy, visually the images captivate with their ambiguity. One-colour background, spotlessly white and perfectly ironed tablecloth, common to all of the pictures, make the viewer concentrated on the presented items. The items, taken out of time and space, are here and now, in one and unchangeable situation, which, in spite of that, gives you a field for interpretation. And this is the sense of still life.
The exhibition opening will also be the release of the And Other Still Lifes album that consists of photographs taken by Paweł Żak since 2008.
Paweł Żak (b. 1965) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | studied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw | graduate from the Academy of Fine Art in Poznan (Multimedia Communication Faculty) | lectures in Photography at the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Photojournalism and ZPAF School of Photography | member of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers | presented his works at dozens of group and individual exhibitions in Poland and abroad | his works are in collections of National Library of France in Paris, National Museum in Warsaw, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Museum of Art in Łódź, and in private collections in Poland, France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, and the USA | his photographs have been published by many magazines, including contra doc! (cd! #1 & #6).
Paweł Żak – CORE CURRICULUM AND OTHER STILL LIFES
@ Leica Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: March 31 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between April 1 and May 28, 2017
The Paweł Żak exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Collector’s Photography – the Poland’s only regular auctioning event dedicated exclusively to photography – invites for its 15th edition that will take place this November.
This time, the highlights include a heliograph by Karol Hiller dating back to the 1930s, the well-known Man Before His Work by Jerzy Kosiński, and an early portrait of Natalia LL made by Jerzy Pierściński in Bulgaria in 1967. Edward Hartwig’s photographs will be shown next to A Portrait with a Rose taken by his wife Helena Hartwig and showing their daughter Ewa. Ryszard Horowitz will be represented by his famous Jackie Smith, while Beata Tyszkiewicz – a symbol of beauty and elegance of Polish cinema – will appear in Bogdan Łopieński’s picture shot during a peculiar fashion session for the Polska monthly. Zofia Rydet and her much-appreciated works will be present, too. One of them will be a photo coming from her renowned series Sociological Record. In his Wrocław, 1982, Chris Niedenthal (doc! #6) will take us back to the Polish People’s Republic, where we will meet a beauty on a balcony of one of the iconic tower blocks in Wrocław’s Manhattan. Each of the artists has a special position in the history of Polish photography. Their works are an expression of their individual artistic search driven by a desire to record reality, preserve memory, comment on crucial social or existential issues, or the need to experiment with form and create new worlds. Often the works are a peculiar reflection of the artists’ times, the people they met or meet or their personal experiences. Hence the diversity of the styles and themes of the works.
The uniqueness of the works presented by Collector’s Photography is proven by their growing popularity. A rising trend of auctioned prices is seen both for the classics and younger generation artists. The items purchased by the clients go to existing collections as well as to new ones.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a course for beginner collectors and a Collector’s Evening.
Photographers of the 15th edition of Collector’s Photography: Stefan Arczyński, Jan Bułhak, Michał Cała, Benedykt Jerzy Dorys, Zbigniew Dłubak, Bogdan Dziworski, Marek Gardulski, Teresa Gierzyńska, Edward Hartwig, Helena Hartwig, Henryk Hermanowicz, Karol Hiller, Ryszard Horowitz, Magda Hueckel, Marcin Jastrzębski, Krzysztof Kamiński, Maria Kietlińska, Jerzy Kosiński, Andrzej Kramarz (cd! #4), Paweł Kwiek, Andrzej Lachowicz, Jerzy Lewczyński, Natalia LL, Bogdan Łopieński, Rafał Milach (doc! #19), Chris Niedenthal, Marek Piasecki, Paweł Pierściński, Tadeusz Przypkowski, Józef Robakowski, Sławomir Rumiak, Tadeusz Rydet, Zofia Rydet, Zygmunt Rytka, Bronisław Schlabs, Mikołaj Smoczyński, Ilona Szwarc (doc! #7), Tadeusz Wański, Ryszard Waśko, Antoni Wieczorek, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Stanisław J. Woś, Ireneusz Zjeżdżałka, Paweł Żak (cd! #1 & #6).
Collector’s Photography No. 15
Mysia3 (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland). Grand opening: November 7 at 6:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public between November 8 and 17, 2015. Auction: November 17 at 7:00 PM.
The 15th edition of Collector’s Photography is organised under contra doc! patronage.
Read more about the Collector’s Photography @ www.fotografiakolekcjonerska.pl (website in Polish language version only).
Next meeting of the WE ARE ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS vol. 3 series is closer and closer. This time, we will meet with Paweł Żak, who will tell about an impact of selected tool and way of recording the image on generated visual effects. Another area to be covered by the meeting are: how form of picture presentation affects its meaning and power, and why some modern creators choose archaic photographic techniques.
Paweł Żak > From metal plate to screen and back or all about the form in the photography
Paweł Żak (b. 1965) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | studied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw | graduate from the Academy of Fine Art in Poznan (Multimedia Communication Faculty) | lectures in Photography at the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Journalism and ZPAF Photography College | member of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers | has presented his works at dozens of group and individual exhibitions in Poland and abroad | most known for such works like A Close Acquaintance (cd! #1), Stories, No Title, Sweet Monday and Other Still Lives, and Three Words and Other Still Lives (cd! #6) | his works are in collections of National Library of France in Paris, National Museum in Warsaw, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Museum of Art in Lodz, and in private collections in Poland, France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, and the USA.
barStudio (Studio Theatre @ Palace of Culture and Science, 1 Defilad Square, Warsaw, Poland)
April 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM
WE ARE ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS vol. 3’s meetings are organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Fotofestiwal Lodz announced all finalists of its Grand Prix contest. Some familiar names among them!
The finalists who will have their exhibition during the festival includes Sarker Protick (Bangladesh; doc! #25, pp. 181-205) and Mateusz Sarello (Poland; doc! #2, pp. 107-127 & doc! #18, pp. 187-199).
The list of finalists who will take part in special slideshow during the festival opening night, includes: Ciril Jazbec (Slovenia; doc! #20, pp. 41-87), Wojtek Moskwa (Poland; doc! #8, pp. 183-203), Borut Peterlin (Slovenia; doc! #21, pp. 149-169), and Pawel Zak (Poland; cd! #1, pp. 131-149 & cd! #6, pp. 43-65).
And among finalists who will take part in portfolio review are: already mentioned Borut Peterlin (Slovenia) and Werner Mansholt (Germany; doc! #23, pp. 189-209).
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL FINALISTS!
All lists of finalists @ Fotofestiwal’s website.