The GESSEL Foundation for the National Museum in Warsaw is proud to have acquired an exceptional piece by Jarosław Kozłowski, one of Poland’s foremost conceptual artists. Beginning on 9 December 2014, the work – acclaimed as a textbook example of conceptual art – is available for viewing at a special presentation at the Main Building of the National Museum in Warsaw. “The Lesson”, executed in 1973, addresses questions of autonomy and representation, juxtaposing and confronting different ways of depicting reality – cerebral, spoken and textual, and visual reflection of the empirical. In the process, it pulls what are basically linguistic issues into the realm of art, pondering the relationship between language on the one hand and the flesh and the object on the other.

“The Lesson” brings us closer to understanding the fundamental approach to art in the 1970s and enables us to retrace art’s progression towards the conceptual. It is quite a rarity on the art market – it is seldom that objects of comparable importance from this period become available.

Acquisition of Jarosław Kozłowski’s “The Lesson” for the National Museum in Warsaw’s modern art collections was made possible by a grant from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage extended under the Regional Modern Art Collections programme and by the support of Katarzyna Opińska and Marek Opiński, Tomasz Sielicki, and the GESSEL Foundation for the National Museum in Warsaw.

From 1996 onwards, the GESSEL Foundation for the National Museum in Warsaw has been supporting the National Museum in Warsaw in building up its own modern art collection. During this time, the Foundation has purchased more than 60 works by prominent Polish artists, including Wilhelm Sasnal, Zbigniew Libera, Paweł Althamer, Tomasz Ciecierski, Jadwiga Sawicka, Ewa Partum, Katarzyna Kozyra, Julita Wójcik, and Joanna Rajkowska.

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