FIGHTS PUNCHES - an exhibition covering literary forms and textual works in art brut and outsider art

Event date: 20.05.2023 - 19:00

Participating artists:
Mateusz Blaczek, Joanna Golachowska, Piotr Jeruzel, Agnieszka Kołodziejczyk, Jacek Kröle, Kamil Łyjak, Marta Nawojczyk, Andrzej Niedźwiecki, Jakub Plączkowski, Piotr Rymko, Wanda Sidorowicz, Daniel Stachowski, Krzysztof Tarnowski, Elwira Zacharska

Opening: Saturday, May 20, 2023, 7 p.m.
The opening will take place during the Night of Museums in Wrocław.
Open until: Friday, July 28, 2023

ArtBrut Gallery
& Studio for Socio-Cultural Inclusion
46A Ruska Street, Wrocław

Exibition Artistic Mentor: Emilia Konwerska
Producer: Miriam Pawlęga


In art brut and outsider art, works related to the broadly understood textual record have a unique character and meaning, and constitute a significant element of these art genres. The exhibition is an attempt to discuss the diversity of forms, contexts and artistic messages of literary and textual works by artists of art brut and outsider art. The exhibition is built, on the one hand, around specific textual works such as poems, manifestos, epic texts or cartoons. Also, visual-textual messages, where the writing is treated by an artist as a graphic supplement or a complement to the content in visual works - drawings and paintings. A very interesting area is also the unique titles of the works given by authors, which are sometimes a strong complement to the artistic work. On the other hand, an important part of the exhibition comprises the works of artists who do not create actual texts, but interesting forms on the borderline of writing, graphics and drawing using ideograms, intuitive, asemic or quite symbolic writing.

Works by artists for whom words become only a graphic form, an energetic message, an individual, secret sign.

The ultimate vision of the exhibition is the result of several months of collaboration between the artists of ArtBrut Gallery and the originator and artistic mentor of the exhibition, Emilia Konwerska - a literary scholar, poet, curator and employee of the Wrocław House of Literature. As part of their cooperation with the Wrocław House of Literature, the artists associated with ArtBrut Gallery were invited to participate in this year's 8th Silesius International Poetry Festival. The Silesius Festival is one of the most important literary events in Poland, during which meetings with the most important Polish poets, translators and literary critics are held.

Texts by artists associated with the ArtBrut Gallery & Studio have been included in publications and books such as I'M A PINK TORTE - an anthology of poems by Wanda Sidorowicz 2022; I DON'T FIT IN MY SKIN - an art book published by the ArtBrut Gallery & Studio in cooperation with the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016; UNDER A COMMON UMBRELLA - a publication designed by Krystyna Paraszkiewicz-Pater; published by the Wrocław Centre for Social Development; BIURO - Press Organ of BWA Wrocław - an art magazine; RITA BAUM - an artistic and literary magazine. They have also inspired performances and concerts, such as CONCEIVABLE LOVE - a theatrical performance prepared by students of the Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow, Wrocław Branch, as part of the research project of Bogusława Sztencel and Jolanta Solarz-Szwed; WORDS - a multimedia performance prepared by musicians Igor Gawlikowski and Krzysztof Konieczny with artist Jacek Zachodny.



This exhibition presents the diverse textual works of ArtBrut Gallery artists that transcend genres. Its very title and the word 'text' demand an explanation and force us to ask several questions. Where is the borderline between literature and communication? Isn't text too banal and utilitarian a word to name works full of unique metaphors and narratives and records that refer to and often transcend living language?

FIGHTS PUNCHES is a phrase from a poem by Wanda Sidorowicz that captures the power and force of the language of the artists whose works can be seen at the exhibition. All of them, regardless of the form and genre of the 'word art' practised, address important, often painful issues. Here we find motifs familiar from the canon of literature but reworked through the artists' sensitivity and individual insight. The classic motif of crime and revenge appears in the comic strips of Krzysztof Tarnowski and Jacek Kröle. Elwira Zacharska's manifestos are literature akin to the American 'new sincerity' trend, Agnieszka Kołodziejczyk's collages are narratives built from seemingly random clashes of themes and moods, and Daniel Stachowski's drawings in their textual layer are topical (and often incorrect) political commentaries. At the exhibition, the minimalist poetry of Andrzej Niedźwiecki meets the authorial notation of sheet music and doodle borders of Mata Nawojczyk, Mateusz Blaczek's computer game scripts, Piotr Jeruzel's intuitive writing, Piotr Rymko's objects, the passionate dialogues of lovers from the graphic stories of Jakub Plączkowski and Kamil Łyjak's installations, where writing appears as a symbol of emotions, occasionally bursting or disappearing, giving way to maps of reality - objects, people and interiors.

The exhibition also features Joanna Golachowska's storytelling about great love and her works that treat letters as colourful ornaments. A separate theme and point of the exhibition are the titles of the works, which, detached from the work, constitute a mysterious literary form, becoming names without designators, descriptions of invisible entities, and new works.

The exhibition presents stories expressed through words, experimental alphabets, individual codes, or images of things, sequences of objects, which, through artistic language, create a narrative and become literature.

FIGHTS PUNCHES is a story of anxiety, love, ambitions and politics. A story about the position of the author, his or her attitude towards their works and the complex relationship between the text and its creator. The exhibition encourages reflection on literature, its boundaries and definitions. We juxtapose language, communication (also telepathic), dialogue, sign and code. The texts presented in the exhibition address fundamental themes through original, bold expression They are the punches of literature. And the beatings of reality.


The exhibition has been organized within a public task entitled: RUNNING ARTBRUT GALLERY AND STUDIO FOR SOCIO-CULTURAL INCLUSION FOR PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES AND MENTAL DISORDERS IN 2023 co-financed by the Municipality of Wroclaw

Promotional materials

FIGHTS PUNCHES - an exhibition covering literary forms and textual works in art brut and outsider art