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Michal Martychowiec (born in 1987) creates conceptual series of photographs, films, drawings, neons, objects, mixed media installations and environments. He is a visiting lecturer at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and visiting scholar at the Russian Institute of Art History in Saint Petersburg. He lives and works in Berlin. In 2021, Martychowiec was selected as one of the ten finalists for the Berlin Masters Award.

Martychowiec has a mixed-media practice, with which he produces bodies of work that tease out the political relevance of the Romantic tradition. He often contemplates the contemporary human condition through an ongoing reconstruction and reconsideration of historical narratives, which he presents by relating meaningful locations, historical events, persons or works of art, with a system of symbols that he has developed. Martychowiec’s inventions are based primarily on thoughts from fields including philosophy, anthropology, art and cultural history and, of course, the analysis of our contemporary culture and communication.

In terms of specific methods, Martychowiec unites artistic and curatorial practices through a twofold arrangement of his work. Initially, he develops projects as individual narratives, each within a field of inquiry. These projects inform one another—their symbolic elements are then reenacted and incorporated, through his own and others’ curatorial activities, into later works, where they can acquire new meanings and qualities. Recurrent symbols include the panda, the rabbit named Josephine, and the broken glass or glass crystals.

 

Education

2011

MA Fine Art (Distinction) | Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design | London

2010

Postgraduate Certificate in Photography | Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design | London

2007

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design | London College of Communication

Selected exhibitions

2022

MITbesSTIMMEn | Kunstverein Tiergarten – Galerie Nord | Berlin

Wild Culture | Rodríguez Gallery | Madrid

2021

Tears of Iblis. All that is solid melts into air. | Rodríguez Gallery | Poznan (solo)

Marcel Duchamp smoking cigar in the museum | Rodríguez Gallery | Poznan (solo)

Suffer nothing to remain outsider | Nadan | Berlin (solo)

Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going? | MMS2 | Berlin (solo)

Berlin Masters 2021 | Berlin Masters Foundation | Berlin

BLAST | Urbs Picta – Palazzo Poste | Verona

2020

Nachricht vom letzten Menschen: The Mythology of Michal Martychowiec  | Bublitz. Thesaurós. Uhlandstraße. | Berlin (solo)

Josephine, entering the maze | Bublitz. Thesaurós. Uhlandstraße. | Berlin (solo)

Body. Gaze. Power. A Cultural History of the Bath | Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Escrituras Ácratas | Centro Párraga | Murcia

Persistence | Rodríguez Gallery | Warsaw

μυθοποίηση Tempel auf Zeit | Bublitz. Thesaurós. Uhlandstraße. | Berlin

2019

Empty room | Spazio Cordis | Verona (solo)

Winter kept us warm | Migrant Bird Space | Berlin (solo)

A Time for Farewells | Shrine Empire Gallery | New Delhi

To be played | Giardino Giusti | Verona

A Time for Farewells | Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery | Haverford (PA)

UNselect | Kleine Humboldt Galerie | Berlin

Do not break the Heavenly Seal | Signum Foundation Gallery | Lodz

Greetings | Videoinsight Foundation | Turin

2018

Everything about the contemporary is panda | Rodríguez Gallery | Warsaw (solo)

Between the two worlds, the respite, in which we are not | Lianzhou Foto | Lianzhou (solo)

Journey to the West | Signum Foundation Gallery | Lodz (solo)

Tears of Iblis | Signum Foundation Gallery | Lodz (solo)

What remains the poets provide | Signum Foundation Gallery | Lodz (solo)

Reading history | Signum Foundation Gallery | Lodz (solo)

Tears of Iblis | Migrant Bird Space | Beijing (solo)

The Nor’easter Blows | lithium gallery | Chicago (solo)

Do you believe in art? | MMS2 | Berlin (solo)

What do you desire? | Linde Contemporary Art | Qingdao (solo)

Where does your heart belong? | Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst | Bremen

Flowing Books – Temporality | OCAT | Nanjing

On longing and consolation | Kunstenfestival Watou | Watou

Big Workout: AMNUA International Project III | Art Museum of NUA | Nanjing

Cabinet of True Horizons (How far can you see?) | Rodríguez Gallery | Poznan

What we talk about when we talk about Residence | Taifun | Neuss

3 | MMS3 | Chengdu

2017

What remains the poets provide | Art Museum of NUA | Nanjing (solo)

Sous les pavés, la plage! | De Sarthe Gallery | Beijing (solo)

The urge to create visions 1929-2017 | Centre of Polish Sculpture | Oronsko

Neon revolution | Videoinsight Center | Turin

Image Dream Awakening | MMS2 | Berlin

2016

Engel mit Sphinx Gesichten | MMS2 | Berlin (solo)

Line | gif_lab Garage | Tokyo (solo)

Everything about the contemporary is panda | TAGSTA Gallery | Fukuoka (solo)

Magic of the square | National Gallery of Art | Sopot

Illegibility. The contexts of script | Art Stations Foundation | Poznan

the beginning the end | MMS2 | Berlin

Illegibility. Palimpsests | Pan Tadeusz Museum | Wroclaw

Pure white | Galerie Tore Suessbier | Berlin

2015

All is history | Dzialdov | Berlin (solo)

Spacetime | 9th Biennial of Photography | Zamek Culture Centre | Poznan

Utopia – Preterites of Contemporaneity  | Memorial Getúlio Vargas | Trio Biennial | Rio de Janeiro

Pré-Pénétrables | Signum Foundation Gallery | Lodz

Le gallerie veneziane e la fotografia  | Casa dei Tre Oci | Venice

2014

I want to be a futurist | Videoinsight Center | Turin

When Empty Self Becomes Form | ts art projects | Berlin

Art for care: 11 video steps for your wellness – Format A/B | Videoinsight Center | Turin

2013

Vanito Vanitas | Genshagen Stiftung | Genshagen (solo)

La Chambre de Labastrie | galleria upp | Venice (solo)

In memory | Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle | Warsaw (solo)

In memory | site-specific installation at KO-SO-YU | Yamashiro Onsen, Kaga, Japan (solo)

Pavilion 0 | Palazzo Doná | Venice

2012

FUTURE, LANDSCAPE. A changing exhibition. II Fase | Forte Marghera – Parco del Contemporaneo | Venice

2011

Blue Red Green | gift_lab | Tokyo (solo)

Nel mezzo del cammin | galleria upp | Venice (solo)

Stone in water | site-specific installation at Palazzo Rizzo Patarol | Boscolo Hotel | Venice (solo)

Destination | galleria upp | Venice (solo)

2010

Awake and Dream. Documentation /photographs and films/ | Patio Art Centre Lodz | 2nd Art & Documentation Festival (solo)

A theory of vision: A review | Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle | Warsaw

2009

Awake and Dream. Documentation /photographs and films/ | Palazzo Doná Signum Foundation | Venice (solo)

Awake and Dream | Palazzo Doná Signum Foundation | Venice

 

Works in collections

OCAT | Nanjing

British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection | London

Centre of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle | Warsaw

C/O | Milan

Marval Collection | Milan

Coleccion Lazaro | Madrid

Signum Foundation | Venice/Poznan

Videoinsight Foundation | Turin

MMAT Collection | London

Valencia Polytechnic University | Valencia

Cruz-Diez Foundation | Houston

Siena Art Institute | Siena

 

Awards

(2022) Blueproject Foundation Prize | Barcelona

(2021) Berlin Masters Prize finalist | Berlin