From Adler to Żuławski: A Century of Polish Artists in Britain (2021)

ISBN: 978-0900157660
Artist(s): Various
Author(s): Rachel Dickson
Format: hardback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 2021
Publisher: Ben Uri Research Unit
Total Pages: 148
Illustrations: Profusely illustrated


1 available

  • First survey of a century-long contribution of Polish artists in Britain
  • Tells parallel narratives of Polish Jewish and non-Jewish artists and their respective cultural contributions
  • Includes contemporary Polish artists currently working in Britain who came for wholly positive reasons
  • Poles are the second largest migrant group in the UK today and Polish is the second most widely spoken language
  • Contributes to current debates around migration and identity
  • Includes material from private archives and collections
  • English with essays also in Polish

A new survey of the contribution of Polish-born artists to British visual culture based on Ben Uri’s 2017 exhibition of the same title. The publication celebrates Poland as the homeland of the second largest migrant group in Britain, with over one million citizens (and with Polish as the most widely spoken second language), and its recent centenary in 2018 as an independent nation state. It narrates the story of the Polish community in Britain and Poland’s recent turbulent history through the lens of art, tracing the complex stories of Polish-born artists – both Jews and non-Jews – who fled successive occupations, were variously persecuted, imprisoned and interned, crossed continents – or, today, have made positive choices to come to Britain to study or develop professionally.

It brings together a century of artworks and archival material by both celebrated and lesser-known Polish-born artists from the Ben Uri Collection and from Polish institutions and private collectors in Britian. Paintings, posters, prints, drawings, cartoons, book illustrations, film and sculpture explore issues of identity and migration, whilst intersecting with formal art historical developments across the 20th century, ranging from expressionism to Pop Art.


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