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Polish Pop Art goes global

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 12.03.2014 13:17
  • Jurry: A Rebel with a Cause
Cold War era hellraiser Jurry is finding the fame he always sought some thirty years after his premature death.

Jurry in Warsaw, 1969. Photo: Courtesy of Galeria Zderzak

Recent shows in London and New York lifted the lid on one of the Polish art world's best-kept secrets, and the painter is now poised to be included in a major Pop Art exhibition at the Tate Modern.

The watershed for Jurry (Jerzy Zielinski) came in the autumn of 2010, when Marta Tarabula, founder of former underground gallery Zderzak, curated a retrospective at the National Museum in Krakow.

Since then, on the back of growing global interest, she has been working with the artist's estate to further promote his work.

“His message was the message of freedom,” she told Polish Radio correspondent Nick Hodge for this audio report.

'One Direction' (1977). Courtesy of Galeria Zderzak

“He was using typical Pop Art imagery, and motifs drawn straight from Communist propaganda, and he was smart enough to turn them into weapons against the regime, and against the lack of freedom.”

Owing to the recent shows in London and New York, a number of Jurry's works have now been snapped up for major international collections, including Francois Pinault's at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.

With the 25th anniversary of Poland's first post-war democratic elections approaching, Tarabula also ponders how Jurry's death denied him the chance of cooperating with the Solidarity movement, with the painter dying just months before the trade union was founded.

Jam (I am)
'Jam (I am)', by Jerzy 'Jurry' Zielinski, 1969. Courtesy of Galeria Zderzak.
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