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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Warsaw. Janusz Janowski, the new director of Zachęta. Industry criticizes: “man-orchestra, and above all, a painter”

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Minister of Culture and National Heritage, prof. Piotr Gliński appointed the new director of Zachęta – from the new year this function is to be performed by Janusz Janowski, a painter, art theorist, musician. Critics do not leave a thread on it. “I recommend reading his achievements on Wikipedia. A man orchestra. And above all a painter” – commented the former director of Zachęta Anda Rottenberg.

“The Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Prof. Piotr Gliński, informed trade unions and creative associations about the intention to appoint Janusz Janowski as director of Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in Warsaw,” the ministry announced on Tuesday.

Janowski is to replace the current director of Zachęta, Hanna Wróblewskawhose term of office ends on December 31, 2021.

The Ministry presents Janowski as follows: “he is a painter, theoretician and art historian, curator, jazz musician, doctor of humanities, member of the Polish Philosophical Society. Since October 2014, he has been the President of the Board of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers. In 2004, he co-founded the Pomeranian Society for the Encouragement of Arts Pieknych. He was also a co-creator and co-host of the ‘Republika Sztuki’ program. He is the editor-in-chief of the ArsForum artistic quarterly, which has been published since 2017, and the author of publications on theory, history of art and philosophy. “

He also emphasizes that in the years 2002-2014 he was the content coordinator of the artistic and exhibition projects of the ZPAP District Board in Gdańsk, in the years 2004-2006 he was the chairman of the Artistic Council of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, and in the years 2006-2014 – the President of the ZPAP District Board in Gdańsk. “He is a member of the Polish Chapter of the Kazimierz Ostrowski Prize. In 2002-2014 he was the curator of the Gdańsk ZPAP Gallery, curator of over one hundred exhibitions, as well as large retrospective exhibitions of the winners of the Kazimierz Ostrowski Prize. 2019) at the State Art Gallery in Sopot. He participates in the jury of many competitions for the implementation of monuments and sculptures in the social space, as well as various industry artistic competitions “- we read in the release.

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The ministry points out that the future director is also “the author of many individual exhibitions and participant of collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad, and in the years 1983-2005 he was also active on the music scene, including as a member of the international jazz group European Sextett”.


The new director in the heat of criticism

“The minister revealed the candidate for the director of Zachęta. This is Janusz Janowski from Gdańsk. I recommend reading his achievements on Wikipedia. A man orchestra. And above all a painter” – criticized Anda Rottenberg, Polish art historian, critic, art curator and journalist and former director of Zachęta on Facebook. in the years 1993–2001.

Piotr Sarzyński from “Polityka” says that Janowski’s painting is “rather poor”, and Aleksander Hudzik in “Newsweek” calls it “inept”. Onet.pl, in turn, points out that what the next years in Zachęta may look like, can be seen in the sentence given by Janowski in 2016: “Since the Kant revolution, relativistic philosophy has been developing, and the concept of beauty becomes subjective. The Latin paradigm is being replaced by systematically paradigms consisting in understanding art in a subjective way. All the objective criteria of art have been negated and we have reached the point where the artist, with his personal decision, determines what is the value in art. Cultural chaos is created. “

“Gazeta Wyborcza”, in turn, reminds that last year Janowski warned against “gender and LGBT ideology” on Polish Radio 24. – I would describe this ideology as anti-human. The two aforementioned trends completely occupy the space of issues that, as it turns out, people of art want to share with the society. It is worth recalling that for over two and a half thousand years we have dealt with Western culture with art that built a spiritual space and strengthened internal experience, not only sensual, but also intellectual – he said.

Janowski will replace Wróblewska

Janusz Janowski will replace Hanna Wróblewska, who has been the director of Zachęta since 2010, from the new year. Previously, she worked there as a curator. Among the exhibitions she has prepared as a curator are, among others Andrzej Wróblewski’s retrospective, “Panoptykon. Architecture and theater of the prison”, or “Revolutions 1968”.

Gliński: I am disturbed by completely irresponsible and infantile comparisons of the reception of these “Dziady” with the famous “Dziady” from 1968TVN24

Main photo source: Marcin Gadomski / PAP

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