Pace Gallery is pleased to announce its worldwide representation of Paulina Olowska in collaboration with Simon Lee Gallery and Foksal Gallery Foundation. The artist, whose practice spans painting, collage, sculpture, video, installation, and performance, was also represented by Metro Pictures until the gallery’s closure in December 2021.
Olowska’s figurative paintings often feature women in a wide range of environments, from offices and shops to farms and jungles. Deeply engaged with the political and social histories of Eastern Europe, American consumerism and pop culture, feminism, and the aesthetics of fashion advertisements, the artist’s paintings of women challenge and upend art historical conventions as well as traditional notions of femininity in Eastern and Western cultures. To these ends, Olowska imbues her canvases with surreal, dreamlike effects through her distinct use of color and perspective. For a new series of paintings, which was presented in one of the last exhibitions at Metro Pictures in New York in 2021, the artist drew on research into art spaces and educational institutions helmed by women in the US and Poland.
The artist is also widely known for her collaborative and layered performances, for which she frequently draws inspiration from writing and poetry. Incorporating various combinations of puppetry, costume, acting, and dance, Olowska’s vibrant performance work brings together fantastical and historical subjects. One of her best-known performances is Alphabet (2005), which debuted at Galerie Meerrettich in Berlin and has since been staged at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Alphabet was informed by Czech modernist Karel Teige’s 1926 typography book ABECEDA.
Paulina Olowska says:
“Thinking about the future is determined by bringing forces of unknown spiritual beauty and chaos in one. Pace feels like the right partner for me as I continue to work across mediums and forge new and mysterious terrain. I look forward to working with the gallery and know that it will support me in my quest for experimentation and discovery.”
In 2021, the artist presented Grotesque Alphabet (after Roland Topor) at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and in 2022 she will stage her new commission Naughty Nymphs in the Courtyard of the Favorites at the Art Institute of Chicago. Olowska has previously presented performances at The Kitchen in New York; Tate Modern in London; the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh; and other international venues.
At Whitechapel Gallery in London, Olowska has curated a presentation of works from the Christen Sveaas Art Foundation. The exhibition, which continues through May 8, explores art’s ability to transport viewers to other realms, drawing inspiration from the storied Polish travel agency Orbis. The show includes works by Olowska, Marina Abramovi?, Laura Owens, Ed Ruscha, Charline Von Heyl, and others. This year Olowska will also present a solo exhibition titled Her Hauntology at the Kistefos Museum in Jevnaker, Norway.
Olowska has presented solo exhibitions at the Zach?ta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany; Kunsthalle Basel; and other international institutions. Her work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate, London; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and elsewhere.
Paulina Olowska (b. 1976, Gdansk, Poland) has cultivated a multidisciplinary practice encompassing painting, sculpture, installation, performance, costume design, and other mediums. Much of the artist’s work examines social and political histories from Eastern Europe and the United States through the lens of feminism. Olowska earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and she graduated with an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, Poland in 1999. She is the recipient of various awards, including the Aachen Art Prize in 2014 and the Fine Art Award from the Cultural Foundation of Warsaw in 2001. Her work figured in the Liverpool Biennial in 2018; the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne in 2017; the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh in 2013; the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art in 2008; and other major international exhibitions. The artist lives and works in Rabka-Zdroj, Poland.
Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century, holding decades-long relationships with Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Hepworth, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Mark Rothko. Pace enjoys a unique U.S. heritage spanning East and West coasts through its early support of artists central to the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements.
Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished legacy as an artist-first gallery that mounts seminal historical and contemporary exhibitions. Under the current leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace continues to support its artists and share their visionary work with audiences worldwide by remaining at the forefront of innovation. Now in its seventh decade, the gallery advances its mission through a robust global program—comprising exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances, and interdisciplinary projects. Pace has a legacy in art bookmaking and has published over five hundred titles in close collaboration with artists, with a focus on original scholarship and on introducing new voices to the art historical canon.
The gallery has also spearheaded explorations into the intersection of art and technology through its new business models, exhibition interpretation tools, and representation of artists cultivating advanced studio practices. Pace’s presence in Silicon Valley since 2016 has bolstered its longstanding support of experimental practices and digital artmaking. As part of its commitment to innovative, technologically engaged artists within and beyond its program, Pace launched its own dedicated NFT platform, Pace Verso, in November 2021. The gallery’s past NFT projects have spotlighted digital works by Glenn Kaino, DRIFT, Lucas Samaras, Simon Denny, Urs Fischer, John Gerrard, and other artists.
Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide including London, Geneva, a strong foothold in Palo Alto, and two galleries in New York—its headquarters at 540 West 25th Street, which welcomed almost 120,000 visitors and programmed 20 shows in its first six months, and an adjacent 8,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street. Pace was one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia, where it operates permanent gallery spaces in Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as an office and viewing room in Beijing. In 2020, Pace opened temporary exhibition spaces in East Hampton and Palm Beach, with continued programming on a seasonal basis.