Other Currencies

Polish Neo-Avant-Garde

Complete set of eleven posters advertising Partum’s performances or containing his manifestos.

Various sizes; overall very good.

Andrzej Partum (1938–2002) was a seminal figure of Polish Neo-Avant-Garde, a “non-official” artistic movement in Poland in the 70s and 80s. A self-taught artist, Partum’s heterogeneous work includes musical compositions, concrete poetry, mail art, installations and performances, putting him in the Conceptualist tradition even as he disapproved of Conceptualism in his critical writings and manifestos. Due to the closely censored artistic environment of Communist Poland, Partum began to self-publish his poetry in the early 1960s. He took inspiration from Futurist poetry, deconstructing grammar, spelling and the meaning of words, and focusing on the graphic layout of a poem in the concretist manner. In 1971 Partum established the Biuro Poezji [Bureau of Poetry] in Warsaw (later changing the name to Pro/La), considered by some to be the first private art gallery in Poland, with the original name being an ironic reference to bureaucracy and red tape of Communist countries. Located in the artist’s attic studio, Bureau of Poetry housed a meticulously organized collection of contemporary Polish, European and American art including artists such as Daniel Buren, Jozef Robakowsky, Andy Warhol, KweiKulik duo, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Ewa Partum among many others. The gallery also held exhibitions, performances and served as the center of Partum’s mail art, of which he was one of the primary practitioners in Poland. Throughout the 1970s Partum was also associated with the Film Form Workshop, an important center of creative rebellion of the time, and Gallery Repassage, the center of Polish Neo-Avant-Garde. In 1984 he moved to Copenhagen, where he established Szkoła Pozytywnego Nihilizmu Sztuki [School of Positive Nihilism of Art] to which one of the posters in the collection refers. 
Included in this collection, A Manifesto of Insolent Art (1977) promotes mail art by making “an angry call for a revolution in art via the non-art” (see Correspondence Art: Source Book for the Network of International Postal Art Activity, 1984). In another work from this collection The Animal Manifesto “he mocked the arguments that rational thought makes humans superior to animals” and that “progress can be achieved only through the technology humans can create” (see Why are We Artists? 100 World Art Manifestos, 2017). One of Partum’s most famous actions is “Avant-Garde Silence” (1974), for which he stretched a banner with this phrase across the Krakowskie Przedmieście street in Warsaw. The banner was strategically positioned between the Warsaw University and the Academy of Fine Arts, a comment on the historical avant-garde and its circulation in the academy and society at large. A manifesto with the same slogan heading from 1978 is also included among the collected posters. An artist of truly anarchic sensibility, with much of his work made up of situational acts, performances and improvised interactions, Partum did not leave behind many artistic works. Several of the posters assembled in this collection announce Partum’s performances, becoming artifacts of the actions themselves. The manifestos, printed in multiple languages, signal Partum’s desire to be a part of the larger contemporary art conversation. Today Partum continues to influence artists such as Zbigniew Libera, whose Mistrzowie (Masters) series from 2004 includes a tribute to the artist. Partum’s works are part of Museum of Modern art collection in Warsaw, as well as the Marinko Sudac Collection (Museum of Avant-Garde) based in Zagreb a collection devoted to the “promotion of Avant-Garde practices that have been marginalized, forbidden, and at times completely rejected, due to historical, social and political circumstances.” Provenance: from the personal archive of Partum's widow.

1. Manifest Zwierzẹcy, Galeria LDK Labirynt, Lublin /Animal Manifesto, Labyrinth Gallery, Lublin (two-sided print in Polish and English; 1980), 49 × 36 cm
2. milczenie awangardowe / avantgarde silence / das avangardistische schweigen (1978), 42 × 60 cm
3. Manifest Pozytywnego Nihilizmu Sztuki [Positive art of Nihilism, a Manifesto], Spodio Galeria, Warsaw (1982), 41 × 59 cm
4. Oferta 77, manifest sztuki bezczelnej/manifesto of insolent art, Galeria LDK Labirynt, Lublin (1977), 41 × 59 cm
5. Spotkania w Osiekach Wystawa [Meetings in Osieki exhibition], Galeria BWA (1982), 41 × 59 cm
6. Das Sinnkomplex, Bureau de la Poesie, Związek Polskich Artystów Plastyków (1981), 41 × 59 cm
7. “Andrzej Partum”, Galeria Biała, Lublin (1980), 41 × 59 cm
8. “Osieki 80” Manifest Zwierzẹcy / Animal Manifesto, Osieki k/Koszalina (1980), 41 × 59 cm
9. LINIA Manifest Zwierzẹcy / Animal Manifesto, Osieki k/Koszalina (1980), 41 × 59 cm
10. Sztuka poztywnego nowego nihilizmu (Aspekty wizualne) / Positive art of new nihilism (Visual aspects), Galeria BWA (1982), 41 × 59 cm
11. “Ksiạżka Poezji Andrzej Partum”, Galeria LDK Labirynt, Lublin (1980), 41 × 59 cm.

Book ID: 50431

Price: $3,950.00