Władysław Strzemiński and Katarzyna Kobro (detail), ca 1930–1931 © Archives of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź

Seminar about Kobro & Strzemiński

31.5 2018 – 31.5 2018


The extensive exhibition Kobro & Strzemiński: New Art in Turbulent Times, is presented in the Turbine Hall at Moderna Museet Malmö at the moment. In order to deepen our understanding of the artists’ couple, their contemporaries, and sources of inspiration, we invite you to an afternoon where two prominent researchers will focus on Katarzyna Kobro and Władysław Strzemiński. The lectures will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Iris Müller-Westermann, museum director and curator. 

Katarzyna Kobro (1898–1951) and Władysław Strzemiński (1893–1952) were active in an era where art was deeply affected and transformed by the avant-garde movements in Europe. Kobro and Strzemiński had close contacts with the foreground figures in the main avantgarde and their art was consequently influenced by the radical circles, especially the Russian avant-garde.

Christina Lodder is an honorary professor of History of Art at University of Kent and has contributed enormously to western understanding of the development of Russian modernism. Particular areas of interest include Russian Constructivism. During her talk, “Abstraction: from Moscow, Vitebsk and Smolensk” she will elaborate on how Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin helped to shape the theory and practice of Kobro and Strzemiński. In 1914, Tatlin produced his first abstract constructions using everyday materials, and the following year Malevich painted his first Suprematist canvases, comprising simple geometric forms in unmodulated colours on white grounds. As leaders of the avant-garde and teachers in the new Russian art schools, these figures exerted an enormous influence on younger artists.

Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk, an independent curator and PhD candidate at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, will continue the afternoon by focusing on Kobro and Strzemiński’s idea of unist sculpture. They had a profound interest in the problem of space and established a concept of a sculptural work of art as a system breaking away from a solid mass and being made up of material and immaterial elements such as time and space. In her talk, “Stepping in to space. Katarzyna Kobro’s and Władysław Strzemiński’s concept of unist sculpture”, Małgorzata Jędrzejczyk will focus on Kobro’s and Strzeminski’s fascinating ideas regarding sculpture.

The seminar is held in collaboration with the Polish Institute Stockholm.