Kobro and Strzemiński Avant-Garde Prototypes

25 April – 18 September 2017

Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid


Katarzyna Kobro (Moscow, 1898 - Lodz, 1951) and Władysław Strzemiński (Minsk, 1893 - Lodz, 1952) are two key figures from the Central European avant-garde, the creators of original artistic concepts in the fields of sculpture and painting, respectively, which at once radicalised and breached the premises of modernity. Taking Suprematism as their point of departure, both actively participated in the international art scene, taking an interest predominantly in Neo-plasticism, the Bauhaus and Constructivism, a movement in which they are considered forerunners in Poland.

In regular contact with the prominent members of the European avant-garde - Piet Mondrian, Theo Van Doesburg, Georges Vantongerloo, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Hans Arp, Kazimir Malevich – both developed extensive work as theorists. For instance, the Theory of Unism, formulated by Strzemiński, which defines art as a “mere visual phenomenon”, or Kobro’s concept that sculpture is understood as a functional model for social life.

Jointly organised between the Museo Reina Sofia and Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, the exhibition spans different stages and areas of both artists’ working activity, at the same time as it questions certain established notions of modern art.


Katarzyna Kobro. Kompozycja przestrzenna (4) [Spatial Composition (4)], 1929. Oil and metal 40 x 64 x 40 cm. Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź


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