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Portrait of Paulina Olowska, photography by Jacqueline Sobiszewski


Pace Welcomes Paulina Olowska

Published Tuesday, Feb 1, 2022

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.


Paulina Olowska, Artist's Flea Market, 2021 © Paulina Olowska

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.

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Paulina Olowska, Alphabet, 2005/12 © Paulina Olowska

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 Abramović, 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 Zachęta 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.

Learn more about Paulina Olowska.
  • News — Paulina Olowska Joins Pace Gallery, Feb 1, 2022