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Polish art today

The annual turnover of art works in Poland is primarily created by classic and contemporary art made by artists who are already dead. However, given the number of transactions per year, contemporary art dominates.

The prices depend on many factors: besides the author’s name and his artistry, important factors are, for example, from which period the work is, what technique was used and what is the size. For example, a work by Roman Opalka, ‘’1965/1-infinity, 1965., Detail 2890944-2910059″ (acrylic/canvas, 196×135 cm) fetched more than 2 million zlotys when it came under the hammer at the auction house DESA Unicum in December, while the auction house Art Polswiss sold another of his images, „Flight of Icarus” from 1959 (oil/canvas 119×70 cm) for a price of 90 thousand PLN. In recent years, small examples of Opalka’s works could be purchased for a few thousand.

What is worth having on the wall

Besides the classics, which will always be fashionable, I would highlight three trends in contemporary art. One of them is art which is promoted through prestigious competitions, rankings and galleries; another is related to investment prospects; and the third is what the Poles hang in their salons. Focusing on the youngest art, the biggest authority in creation of rankings are such competitions as Bielska Autumn, Compass of Young Art and Deutsche Bank’s Culture Foundation competition organized in co-operation with the Warsaw incentive. For several years among the most widely promoted artists have been Ewa Juszkiewicz, Radek Szlaga, Bartosz Kokosiński, Wojciech Bąkowski, Agnieszka Polska, Karolina Breguła and Łukasz Jastrubczak. Their works represent, however, very diverse styles, techniques and subjects, so, in their case, it is difficult to single out one artistic trend. These names are worth looking out for having in your collection. Huge profit potential also lies in works of artists who are just „discovered”. Artists such as Marcin Painta, Edyta Dzierż, Julita Malinowska, Anna Merska, Aneta Mlaś and Danuta Nawrocka fall into this category. They are artists whose works are selling well – and so far, at affordable prices.

Healthy snobbery

As the Latin phrase has it, De gustibus non est disputandum – in matters of taste, there can be no disputes – but appetite grows and develops. We discover what we like best and what gives most pleasure. Therefore, the most important advice is to expand your horizons, discover new art, enter into a real relationship with it. Poles hang art in their homes that they simply like – usually positive or „safe,” namely abstractions, simple geometric and architectural forms. There has also been a revival of portraits, especially in ambitious artistic interpretations. In some communities, the demand for art is evident, for example, among lawyers and doctors. They simply appreciate art in all its aspects and they can enjoy it, what can be called a sound snobbery. And then there are the so-called celebrities, who visit auctions or galleries and purchase art as investments or simply to be owners of great works of art.

By Magdalena Woźniak