The UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee presents the lecture Katarzyna Kobro Composing Space by Marek Wieczorek. Dr. Wieczorek is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Washington in Seattle, specializing in early 20th- century avant-garde art with focus on abstraction.
Katarzyna Kobro (1898-1951) was an abstract sculptor who studied with and was influenced by Kazimir Malevich and was active in Poland in the 1920s and 1930s. Known for her radical space compositions, she was ahead of her time and earned recognition as a sculptor only in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2018-2019, the Centre Goerge Pompidou in Paris, France, had a
The lecture focuses Kobro’s a series of groundbreaking abstract Spatial Compositions that she made between 1925 and 1933. ‘As it becomes united with space,’ she wrote about these works, ‘the new sculpture should be its most condensed and essential part.’ In this lecture we will trace the artist’s discovery that the ‘simplest and most appropriate’ solution to the question of the essence of sculpture was the ‘shaping of space’ itself.
Prof. Wieczorek is a specialist on Mondrian and De Stijl and early 20th-century avant-garde art. His publications include texts on Mondrian, De Stijl, Georges Vantongerloo, Gerhard Richter, the Situationist International, and “bioart.” He has curated exhibitions in Europe and the US and worked on the exhibition of De Stijl at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Mondrian’s studios at Tate Liverpool. He wrote the entry on Katarzyna Kobro’s abstract sculptures for the Centre George Pompidou catalog exhibition.