ART IS POWER
The title of Jozef Robakowski’s video artwork crisply describes the meaning of building a contemporary art collection. Art collecting dates back to the Ancient Greece, proving it to be one of the most uncanny human needs.
The beginnings of the Signum Foundation’s collection are marked by a few private purchases made in the nineties by Hanna and Jaroslaw Przyborowscy. At the time they began to acquire works by prominent artists from the turn of the 19th and 20th century such as Jacek Malczewski, Olga Boznanska, Stanislaw Wyspianski as well as the art of the Ecole de Paris circle of artists, specifically Tadeusz Makowiecki, Mela Muter, Mojzesz Kisling and many others.
In the year 2002 the Signum Foundation is established. One of the main goals of the newly formed Foundation is to build a contemporary art collection and to promote Polish art, particularly within a wider context of European art. Mr and Mrs Przybylscy’s acquisitions lay groundwork for the Signum Foundation’s ever-growing art collection and its art promoting enterprise. The avant-garde of the interwar period is represented by the art works of Karol Hiller, Katarzyna Kobro, Kazimierz Malewicza, Maria Nicz-Borowiakowa, Władysław Strzemiński, Mieczysław Szczuka, Stefan Themerson, Brunon Schulz, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. The collection’s postwar art includes among others works that were shown in the first Contemporary Art Exhibition in Krakow in 1948; works by Maria
Jarema, Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Nowosielski, Stefan Wegner, Andrzej Wróblewski. The Foundation is in the possession of many significant artworks by the artists from the sixties, seventies and eighties, such as Roman Cieślewicz, Stanisław Dróżdż, Wojciech Fangor, Edward Krasiński, Kojii Kamoji, On Kawara, Zofia Kulik, Natalia LL, Roman Opałka, Ewa Partum, Henryk Stażewski, Jesus Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Ludwig Wilding.
The art of the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries is still an area of exploration for the Foundation. It inspires important questions, such as what is the meaning of the art in the present day, and what role does it play in the modern world. The most recent artworks acquired by the Foundation include works by Paweł Althamer, Nicolas Grospierre, Grupa Sędzia Główny (Chief Judge Group), Andrzej Karmasz, Katarzyna Kozyra, Essayd Lall, Dominik Lejman, Didier Ben Loulou, Michał Martychowiec, Agata Michowska, Monika Sosnowska and more.
The collection will never be complete; it continues to grow by newer, carefully considered acquisitions by the foundation, while maintaining its openness to what’s to come.
The artworks from the Signum’s collection are regularly exhibited in Poland and abroad.