Silkscreen print on concrete
29.8 x 22.2 x 1.3 cm
Edition of 18, accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate
About the work
Miroslaw Balka has created The Wall / Always Fragment, 2022 especially for Whitechapel Gallery to accompany the exhibition ‘A Century of The Artist’s Studio: 1920 – 2020’, 24 February – 5 June 2022.
The starting point for Balka’s edition, is a photograph, taken by the artist in his first studio space, where he worked from 1985 until 1993. For Balka this was an important transformative period, which shaped his work. The wall and hooks used for hanging the works took on a presence of their own - many of the artist’s key works touched the wall and Balka describes it as a kind of observer to his practice. After the renovation of the space, the wall was also changed, so this photograph exists as the last portrait of the wall.
Printed onto concrete, Balka’s wall-based sculpture recreates a fragment of the original studio wall. Used in many of his works, concrete holds a particular significance for the artist, as a material used by his grandfather, a monumental mason who made many tombstones in Otwock cemetery.
With thanks to Sam Meredith Studio.
About the artist
Miroslaw Balka (b. 1958, Warsaw, Poland; lives and works in Otwock, Poland) is one of Poland’s most prominent contemporary sculptors and inter-disciplinary artists. Much of his own lived experience, as well as the impact and collective memory of social and political events in Poland’s history are symbolically represented and examined in his works, informed by the melancholy of the post-Cold War landscape and the Holocaust. His materials are simple, unadorned and everyday objects such as soap, hair, bones and wood. His studio in Otwock, next to the house he grew up in, acts as a point of reference, a repository and even a material source for the objects he works with which are often found in the environs of the house. Balka, in his words ‘warmed up the space’ in order for it to become a place of art making and also display.
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