huta sztuki bannerThe Huta Sztuki Gallery

Nowa Huta – a city-symbol that focused the bright and dark sides of the post-war history of Poland. Built from scratch according to Tadeusz Ptaszycki's plans in the years 1949-1960, it was strictly connected with the Metallurgical Plant of the Vladimir Lenin Steelworks. Young people arrived from all parts of Poland to build Nowa Huta; among them there were sculptors, painters and actors. This was where they found their place and worked and where their life stories intertwined.

The Huta Sztuki Gallery is a story of the city and people presented mainly by visual means, but also through sound as a materialised experience of the generation of artists brought together by Nowa Huta.

The exhibition covers works from the 1950s to the 1970s of the 20th century: from Socialist Realism paintings by Erwin Czerwenko, such as „Workers on the Nowa Huta Building Site” or „Tents of Voluntary Labour Corps Members”, „Panorama of Nowa Huta” created by Witold Chomicz in the 1950s, to contemporary art.

It is worth noting an exceptional collection of works of matter painting that became popular in the 1950s, particularly in Belgium, France and Spain, and was represented in Kraków by the Grupa Nowohucka (Nowohucka Group), also known as the Grupa 5 (Group of 5). Its members were Danuta Urbanowicz, Witold Urbanowicz, Jerzy Wroński, Julian Jończyk, and Janusz Tarabuła. Their works are characterised by the use of raw materials. The artists experimented with the texture of painting, pressed reliefs, plunged sand and cement into a thick layer of paint and stuck objects made of wood, fabric and rusty metal sheets into the painting. They created dreary and bleak but beautiful pictures, believing that art should be something more than aesthetic perfection. Matter painting reflected reality and was close to what they saw around themselves. Their works expressed the state of mind of the generation that had survived the war. In spite of being regarded as one of the more important artistic groups of the “Thaw” period in Kraków, the Nowohucka Group has not had a permanent place of exhibition so far.

The exhibition will also present several works by artists from the circle of Nowa Huta visual artists, including Marian Kruczek, Eugeniusz Mucha, Walenty Gabrysiak, Janusz Trzebiatowski, Józef Szajna, Lucjan Mianowski, as well as some of the most outstanding representatives of artistic graphics of the 1960s, Jerzy Panek and Stanisław Wójtowicz.

The gallery harks back to the first “RYTM” Gallery functioning at the Community Centre in the 1960s and the 1970s. Today this place is occupied by the library of the Cyprian Kamil Norwid Culture Centre. In the years 1969-1979, the artistic environment of the “Rytm” Gallery was represented by the Artists' Association “Nowa Huta Group”. Cyclic exhibitions “Visual Artists of Nowa Huta” were held in the gallery.

The Huta Sztuki Gallery not only functions as an exhibition, but it also plays an educational role. Workshops, lectures, meetings and discussions on the topics of art and culture are held there. It is a part of the Cyprian Kamil Norwid Culture Centre – the former Plant Community Centre.

Galeria Huta Sztuki is financed by the Municipality of Krakow.

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