Paulina Olowska.jpg
Pace Live

Paulina Olowska: The Revenge of the Wise Woman

Part of the Art in Mayfair Program on the Occasion of Performance Exchange

Friday, Jul 8
Performances at 4:30 PM & 6:30 PM
Duration: 20 – 30 mins
Hanover Square

Event Details:

Paulina Olowska:
The Revenge of the Wise Woman
Friday, Jun 8
Performances at 4:30 PM & 6:30 PM
Duration: 20 – 30 mins
Hanover Square

How to Attend:

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(opens in a new window) @pacegallery
(opens in a new window) @paolaorlowski

Above: Paulina Olowska, The Revenge of the Wise Woman, Performed at National Gallery of Victoria Triennial by Zoey Dawson, 2018

Pace Gallery is pleased to announce The Revenge of the Wise Woman, a tableaux vivant performance by Paulina Olowska starring artist Julie Harman Dovan. Part of the Art in Mayfair program, this piece takes place on the occasion of Performance Exchange, a platform for contemporary performance run by independent curator Rose Lejeune.

The Revenge of the Wise Woman premiered in 2018 at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia during the Triennial, where Olowska presented an installation of paintings and performance. This work is a montage of visual and aural influences, spanning experimental Soviet theatre, craftmanship, and modernist rhetoric. In this 2022 iteration, Olowska reimagines the piece to take place outdoors, inspired by the natural setting and the element of chance Hanover Square affords. The Revenge of the Wise Woman (2022) will star Julie Harman Dovan, an artist who worked closely with Olowska as a muse for her 2019 series of paintings and prints, Monologue.

Encompassing painting, sculpture, printmaking, neon, and performance, Olowska’s distinctive practice is a multisensorial world of mysterious women, rural imagery, and folkloric influences infused with Eastern European culture, politics, and poetry. Best known for her iconic performances such as Alphabet (2005) and Naughty Nymphs in the Courtyard of the Favorites (2022), Olowska has staged performances at several iconic venues including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Kitchen, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh and most recently, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Kistefos Museum, Norway.

In The Revenge of the Wise Woman, Dovan inhabits Olowska’s female protagonist, wearing an elaborate hand painted dress as she recites a monologue, typing on an old-fashioned typewriter. Resisting narrative, Olowska’s performance is deeply rooted in the traditions of experimental theatre and the legacy of avant-garde 20th century art movements such as Dada and Surrealism. Olowska has constructed the bespoke monologue from excerpts of her latest book titled Her Hauntology, which features essays by Jan Verwoert, Kate Smith, and Jason Rosenfeld. The script is a complex and layered aural collage that abstractly reflects on the role of women through history and today, while also meditating on a diverse range of themes such as ghosts, friendships, collaboration, artist muses, and fellow female artists including Zofia Stryjeńska, Pauline Boty, and Alina Szapocznikow.

At the core of Olowska’s practice is an examination of the representation of women in contemporary culture. By centering female protagonists, Olowska roots her expansive practice in feminist ideologies, interrogating the systemic narratives and conventions of womanhood, modernity, and gender identity.

“A flight into the stratosphere! The headlines are shouting. An interplanetary spacecraft! I’m reflecting on how incredibly often new inventions have recently “exploded”. How, not so long ago, our nanny lit a kerosene lamp in our room. You went with mommy to dancing lessons, learning the waltz, the quadrille, the mazurka. And then suddenly the war – Verdun – the jazz band – aero planes – sports – radio – ether anesthetics – automobiles – sound movies – television – bolshevism – poisonous gasses – the submarine – vitamins – all that within less than twenty-five years! Faster! Faster!”

- Zofia Stryjenska, 1995


Paulina Olowska

Paulina Olowska was born in 1976 in Gdansk, Poland, and lives and works in Rabka Zdroj and Krakow, Poland. She has had one-person exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. Olowska received the prestigious Aachen Art Prize in 2014, with an associated exhibition at the Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany. She has also staged performances at Tate Modern, the Carnegie International, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Olowska presented the ballet “Slavic Goddesses—A Wreath of Ceremonies” at the Kitchen, New York, in 2017 and "Slavic Goddesses and The Ushers” at the Museo del Novecento in Milan in 2018. Her work was featured in the 2017 National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne and the 2018 Liverpool Biennial, as well as in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; mumok, Vienna; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; and the New Museum, New York.

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Julie Harman Dovan

Julie Harman Dovan is an emerging artist in Manhattan’s contemporary art scene with studio space in the West Village and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She has exhibited in group shows such as Eminent Domain at Robert Miller Gallery, New York and Made in Chelsea, Group of Ten at Agora Gallery, New York. Julie has also worked with the artist Paulina Olowska in her studio in Rabka Zdroj, Poland. With a B.A. in Painting from Messiah College, she draws inspiration from painters and photographers alike, including John Singer Sargent, Lucian Freud, Sally Mann, and Julia Margaret Cameron. These artists have influenced her conceptually, specifically Mann’s work with her children in Virginia.

  • Pace Live — Paulina Olowska: The Revenge of the Wise Woman, Jul 1, 2022