A single-painting exhibition featuring the work of the eminent Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal.
Thanks to a grant from the “National Collection of Contemporary Art” programme, the Art Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA has been supplemented by the painting “Maus 1” (2001-2015) by Wilhelm Sasnal. The work will be exhibited at the Aquarium Clubhouse at the Bielska Galeria BWA in September and October 2022.
The Collection of Galeria Bielska BWA already contains two other paintings by Wilhelm Sasnal: “Women’s Bicycle” (1999) and “Men’s Bicycle” (1999), for which the artist was awarded the Grand Prix of the 34th National Painting Competition Bielska Jesień (1999). The painting that has just been added to the Collection was created in 2001 (with changes in 2015). It is based on the cult comic strip “Maus” by Art Spiegelman, and at the same time, it draws on Sasnal’s work from 2001. At the time, the artist created a mural on the façade of the BWA Bielska Gallery as part of the “Painting Professions” exhibition curated by Adam Szymczyk. The project depicted one of the pages of Spiegelman’s comic strip. Sasnal removed the characters from it, leaving only the captions in the bubbles. The work depicts a scene in which Art Spiegelman’s father, who was handed over to the Gestapo, is led down one of the streets of Bielsko-Biała to prison, where he passes a factory that had been his property before the war.
The building of Galeria Bielska BWA was erected on the site of a synagogue which stood there from 1881 to 1939. The facade of Galeria Bielska BWA features a plaque commemorating the temple, which was unveiled on 5 September 1991. The synagogue was designed by Ludwik Schöne and Karl Korn – a famous local architect of Jewish origin who designed of many buildings in Bielsko-Biała, including Sixt’s Villa where a part of the Art Collection of Galeria BWA Bielska Gallery is currently being presented.
There are currently 1,091 works in the collection, around 90% of which have been digitised. The majority of the gallery’s collection is posted on www.kolekcja.galeriabielska.pl. 40 of these works have been supplemented with an audio-guide and translated into English.