(History, development and current activity)

The gallery was founded in 1985 in Krakow as a private, independent institution, operating beyond censorship and beyond contemporary art institutions – both state and church. The aim of the gallery was to present the most interesting phenomena in the young Polish art – in the mid-eighties, it was a wave of “returning to painting” and the Neue Wilde movement. We were aware that something very important was happening, which broke the barriers of its time.

In the nineties, the Gallery had a new goal- working from an archeology of culture. Presentations of artists forgotten or neglected by art history, and important for Polish culture, were connected with the movement of the recovery of historical memory appropriate for the transition period.

Since 1989, Zderzak acts as a trading company. The gallery name and logo are protected by law. The owner of the gallery is Marta Tarabuła. The gallery specializes in the sale of contemporary Polish painting. The gallery offers expertise on the works of Andrzej Wroblewski and certificates of authenticity for all its artists.

The Zderzak gallery has a strong personality. It has an original and deeply individualistic character. The circumstances in which it was established – a period of political repression, the underground Solidarity movement, the boycott, the flowering of independent culture – had an impact on its character and continues to define it to this day. The gallery is individualistic, in contrast to the closeness and emotions raised by the Solidarity movement which defined the era. As someone correctly observed, the Gallery features an obsessive sense of independence in; choice, judgment, hierarchy, independence from the institutions of art, from the artistic community, from seasonal trends, from popular opinion, political changes, and so on. The gallery doesn’t take snobs seriously . Further relevant characteristics of the gallery are a sense of its history and a related romantic attitude.

A spirit which is romantic, idealistic, adventurous and gives life to the gallery, was pictured on the website showcasing an installation of Julian O. Jończyk “Re-vision of the monument of Adam Mickiewicz” (2005). A feeling of hierarchy, in the spiritual sense, comes out of this romanticism, while emphasizing the need for democracy in social life. The romantic spirit invokes the need of beauty, and with it a high aesthetic criteria, which is the fifth most important characteristic of the Zderzak gallery. Strong links with the poetry and a sense of humor that makes the Zderzak Gallery stand out from the rest.

In short, The Zderzak Gallery is:
– Independent
– Individual
– Historical
– features a sense of Romanticism
– has a High aesthetic criteria


Zderzak Gallery logo.

The Gallery logo is a stylized stamp carved in linoleum and mounted on a wooden shaft by the eminent sculptor Jerzy Beres. The stamp was drawn by Marta Tarabuła, in 1985, on a napkin in the restaurant car of the train to Warsaw, The intention was to represent a bumper. However, the engraver carved the negative, so now it looks more like a telephone.

The stamp was always used to sign the gallery’s publications and is still used to manually seal the invitations printed. Seals and emblems are commonly used by artists and independent cultural printers of the 80s, so the Zderzak Gallery logo manifests the spirit of its time. It also recalls an image of caves, volcanoes, and perhaps this is why some young art historians associated with concepts such as: conspiracy, stability, antiquity, resistance, courage, desire for confrontation, and even sex. Also the prototype was a popular theme of representing the new expression.

The gallery logo doesn’t have a standard color, the most commonly used is black.


Zderzak adventures.

The Gallery takes part in foreign and domestic art fairs. Zderzak was a pioneer among Polish private galleries in traveling international trade routes. The gallery had stands in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dresden, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Vienna, Chicago, Krakow, Poznan, Katowice, Bytom.

The gallery organized exhibitions, such as those in Frankfurt an der Oder, Erfurt, Berlin, Vienna, Madras, Palma de Majorca, Budapest, Lucknow, Cologne, Rome, Stockholm, Poznan, Warsaw, Lodz, and many other places, but has never been a traveling circus.

The weekly newspaper “Polityka” chose the Zderzak gallery as the best gallery in the country. The mayor of the Royal City of Krakow awarded the gallery a medal of merit. Gallery Publications received prizes and awards in publishing competitions and the modest “King Ubu” by Jan Mlodozeniec was elected the most beautiful book of the year.

But the greatest adventure is the gallery’s artistic discoveries. Some of these adventures are short, others last a very long time (like work on the work of Andrzej Wroblewski), but the Zderzak gallery can be called the birthplace of artists. Wilhelm Sasnal debuts here, and Piotr, Jaros, Gregorz Sztwiertnia, Andrzej Cisowski, Paweł Książek i Monika Szwed, Krzysztof Zieliński i Basia Bańda, Marcin Maciejowski i Igor Przybylski, Dawid Czycz i Monika Chlebek, and many other young artists.


The Zderzak Gallery Collection

The collection of art works by the Zderzak gallery began in 1986, when the first painting was bought – “I don’t speak,I do not see, I do not hear,” by Włodzimierz Pawlak. The Zderzak gallery collection now has several hundred works of art and some of the most valuable private collections in the country.

The collection contains works from many artistic groups. These include:
11works from the circle of the new expression of the 80s
2.paintings, gouaches and drawings by Andrzej Wroblewski
3. works from the circle of materia; painting of the early 60s
4. the work of Jarosław Modzelewski
5. Works of Gregorz Sztwiertnia on paper, paintings, books, authored by Zbigniew Makowski
7. paintings and watercolors by Stefan Gierowski
8. artwork of Zdzislaw Nitki
9th photographs of artists from the circle of “photorealists”

In addition to the above-mentioned thematic themes. The Gallery also has in its collection from one to dozens of different authors, including: Barbara Bańda, Anna Maria Bauer, Cezary Bodzianowski, Rafał Bujnowski, Michał Cała, Tomasz Ciecierski, Andrzej Cisowski, Ignacy Czwartos, Marta Deskur, Jan Dobkowski, Wojciech Głogowski, Paweł Jarodzki, Piotr Jaros, Julian O. Jończyk, Jerzy Kałucki, Paweł Książek, Piotr Kurka, Konrad Kuzyszyn, ZbigniewaLibera, Piotr Lutyński, Marcin Maciejowski, Jadwiga Maziarska, Jan Młodożeniec, Piotr Młodożeniec, Stanisław Młodożeniec, Marian Oslislo, Anna Ostoya, A. R. Pencka, Igor Przybylski, Robert Rumas, Łukasz Skąpski, Marek Sobczyk, Radosław Szlaga, Monika Szwed, Janusz Tarabuła, Krzysztof Zieliński, Jacek Ziemiński, Ireneusza Zjeżdżałki.
[Link: Bumper Collection Gallery]


Zderzak Gallery Archive.

The archives of the Zderzak gallery began to operate in 1985. Since 1989 the gallery became a private trading company, whose owner is Martha Tarabuła. Since that time a part of the Archives, in addition to the documentation of artistic, is dedicated to correspondence and contracts with various businesses.

The Gallery’s archives can be divided into several sections:
1.documentation of the activities concerning exhibitions, publishing and education (written, photographic, digital, music production, film)
2.documentation of business
3.documentation of creative projects leading the gallery
4. other (private correspondence, artistic relics, collections of objects and memorabilia connected with art, artists, autographs, etc.)

Documentation of the exhibitions is on ongoing since 1985 in the most basic sense – consists of collecting chronologically sorted photographs, invitations, press releases and reviews.

Since 1990, there is registration of films documenting exhibition openings, projects, lectures, school activities.

A basic knowledge of the archival resources of the Gallery, known by another name,resulted in the exhibition “Naturmuseum” organized on the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Zderzak Gallery in October 2005.


Zderzak Gallery Publishing

The collection includes works published by the Gallery, and other publications relating to its activities.

I. Zderzak Gallery Publications

The first exhibition held in the Gallery (an exhibition of paintings by Marek Sobczyk, October 1985) was accompanied by a catalog published at the gallery’s own expense. Only 100 copies of the publication were printed, stamped with Gallery’s logo. It contained the text of the author of the exhibition, a text by the author Richard Wozniak and a list of all the works in the exhibition. The printing was issued outside of censorship, which was developed (editing, graphic design, calligraphy, ornaments) and executed by Gallery (rewritten on the machine, collected and framed), reproduced by means of photocopying, given away for free during the exhibition and distributed throughout the gallery. Inclusion of a list of works exhibited was not standard practice, and it shows the professionalism of the Gallery’s organizers. Since then, the Gallery has released over 100 publications of various types.

1.The Publications of the Gallery include:
a. catalogs
b. books
c. informational pamphlets (brochures, postcards, magazines, invitations, press releases, flayers, posters, etc.)
d. posters
e. websites

2nd Characteristics of the Gallery’s publications.

Expenditures. Dominate low-input Publishing (up to 1000 copies) and unique (up to 100 copies). On several occasions the Gallery issued limited, numbered releases. These include specially designed art books,such as Zbigniew Makowski’s “Florilegium” – a symbolic selection of the artist’s favorite songs – issued a circulation of only 99 copies. The limited editions also include two exhibition catalogs of Monika Szwed – “Innocent Homes” and “Frozen Charlie” – each only issued p 50 copies. The most recently published collector’s edition of publications consists of folder relating to the solo exhibition of Jerzy Kałuckiego “Periscope” and monographic album of works by Monika Szwed “Works from the years 2003-2008”, numbering 220 pages and released at a record low circulation of 20 copies! Both publications are numbered and signed by the artists.

Artistic Publications. The gallery published many works, which were a presentation of themes encountered in their works. The first publication of this kind in was “Zwierzyniec” by Apollinaire with drawings by Jan Dobkowski from the early 60s The second were Thomas Ciecierski’s”drafts”, artist sketchbooks from the early 70s The third was the “King Ubu” by Jan Mlodozeniec, containing reproductions of portraits of King Ubu tempera, made by the artist in the 90s. Art prints are characterized by an original graphic design.

Related publications of this kind include photo albums, showing a homogeneous thematic series – “Black and white Śląsk” by Wojciech Wilczyk and “Silesia” by Michał Cała.

The development of a historical documentary. These types of publications include, among others; “Andrzej Wroblewski unknown” 1994, a book prepared by the artists and art historians, which gained cult status. “Material Paintings 1958-1963 Nowohucka Group ” 2000 – the first books in which the material painting style is examined, or” Jaroslaw Modzelewski. Images 1977-2006, “a 2006 monograph on the painter, including, among other things, a catalog raisonne of all the images, complete with technical data, ownership, list of exhibitions, bibliography for each work, variants and sketches.

Informational Publications. Invitations to Miroslaw Filonik “Love” exhibition in 1991 fall into this category. This is a two-color, single sided silkscreen on canvas designed and made by the author with a circulation of approximately 100 pieces. A textured cube produced for the occasion of the Cezary Bodzianowski performance in 2004 also falls into this category.

Posters. The collection includes dozens of posters and banners designed for the Gallery by the likes of Marian Oslislo, Peter Mlodozeniec, Marek Sobczyk, Jan Mlodozeniec. Ispecific posters are preserved and a few copies are kept-posters done in silk screen printing technique predominate .

II. Other publications related to the activities of the Gallery.

1. Foreign publications relating to the gallery’s exhibitions
2.Foreign prints and graphic projects carried out by the Zderzak Gallery Publisher. From 1991 until the end of the 90s, during the country’s rapidly growing demand for high quality publications, the gallery published various publications, mostly artistic, advertising, educational, on behalf of various companies. This built up the budget of a modest gallery in the 90s, during the downturn in contemporary art market. The collection of foreign publications made by the Gallery includes dozens of publications and projects.

III. Gallery Library

A private library ,includes:
a. rare & unique publications
b. a small library of key topics

In the galleries book collection there is a small amount of unique and rare prints. For example, these are copies of 80’s magazines ‘Gruppa’ and’ Luxus’, of the unique publishing group Ładnie, avant-garde prints, publishers of original works by Polish and foreign artists. These publications have never been collected regularly. The modest reference library of the Gallery provides basic information (in the from of expert publications) on Polish contemporary art as well as collecting and foreign publications and their two broader thematic collections – Russian avant-garde and German expressionism.

Terms of use for the Gallery’s reference library. The library resources can only be used in the gallery, in accordance with the opening hours. Photocopying and scanning of books to be agreed with the Gallery employees. The unique and rare prints can be used for scientific purposes upon presentation of credentials, and after receiving the consent of the Director of the Gallery.

The gallery is open from tuesday to saturday between 12pm – 17 pm,
Address: al. J. Słowackiego 58/10, 30-004 Kraków,
phone number (+48) +12 12 257 56 34
Directorr: Marta Tarabuła.