Praga Lab Praga Lab

9 February 2022

Maria Kiesner

painting and photographic installation

  • where

The installation was presented in the space of the painting studio at ul. 11 Listopada 22, on the first floor of the former Factory of Rubber Products “Brage”. Here, since November 2001, in a 160-meter studio, Maria Kiesner, Anna Wójcik, Julia Burek-Wolska, Agnieszka Sandomierz and Stefan Paruch paint. Over the years, the group has remained unchanged, at the same address, in an austere, unrenovated interior. The artists the poorly heated studio with paintings, art works and installations. The neighbors, Heart of the City Foundation supports the homeless, which, according to Maria Kiesner, is a sign of the times we live in, times of excess and poverty at the same time.

  • what could we see? 

The exhibition featured paintings and photographs by Maria Kiesner. There were, among others, images showing the buildings of the demolished Cora, the Warszawa Wschodnia railway station, the Stadion PKS bus station and the demolished cinema in Saska Kępa. The main theme of the exhibition was the iconic buildings of Praga, supplemented with source materials with which the artist worked while painting these representations.

  • context?  

WORKING CONDITIONS AND ENERGY. During the exhibition, audience was able to see and better understand the painstaking work of artists, work invisible from the street, created in difficult conditions characteristic of the district. The energy required for such an activity allowed the studio to function, to enter into relations with the neighborhood, to undertake a discourse about the place of artists, including the literal, spatial one, in the space of the city. Guests were invited to a space that had been used as warehouses a long time ago, and since 2001 it has been a painting studio. It was an opportunity to show a different face of the courtyard, which is known to most Varsovians as a place of nightlife, and its daytime activities are virtually unknown.

Maria Kiesner – graduated from the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (diploma under the supervision of Prof. J. Modzelewski in 2002). In 2009, she defended her doctorate titled “City before the storm” at the Faculty of Art of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. In 2005 and 2007 she was a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. She works at the College of Artistic Education of the Academy of Special Education Maria Grzegorzewska in Warsaw. In 2015/2016 she worked as an assistant in the studio of Painting and Drawing of Prof. Andrzej Bieńkowski and Prof. Łukasz Korolkiewicz at the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and ran an independent painting studio at the Fashion Department of the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 2017, by the decision of the Faculty Council of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, she obtained the degree of doctor habilitated.

The description uses extensive fragments of Maria Kiesner’s text.

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