Wilhelm Sasnal Solo Exhibition
November 2022 – February 2023
Wilhelm Sasnal, Leaving Kacper, 2020, oil on canvas, 100 × 70 cm. Collection of Longlati Foundation. Image courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London
Credit: © Wilhelm Sasnal. Courtesy The Artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London.
Photo: Marek Gardulski
Wilhelm Sasnal has emerged over the last two decades as one of Europe’s preeminent contemporary painters. Sasnal regularly uses photographic imagery – drawn from films, reproductions of art, pop culture or his own phone – as the starting points for his paintings, which then undergo various levels of distortion, simplification or abstraction. His work often addresses weighty historical themes such as the Holocaust, or familiar pop-cultural icons, as well as the people, places and objects around him, constituting an artistic document of post-Communist Poland at a time of socio-political transformation.
Wilhelm Sasnal (b. 1972, Tarnów, Poland) studied architecture at the Krakow University of Technology (1992-1994) followed by painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (1994-1999). Sasnal has exhibited internationally with major solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the USA including: Such a Landscape, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw (2021); Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street, London (2020); ENGINE, Kistefos-Museet, Jevnaker, Norway (2018); Sleep, Sadie Coles HQ, Kingly Street, London (2018); Take Me To The Other Side, Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland (2014); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2012); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2011); K21, Düsseldorf, Germany, and Centro De Arte Contemporàneo, Málaga, Spain (both 2009); Wilhelm Sasnal – Years of Struggle, Zacheta Narodowa Sztuki, Warsaw (2008); Matrix, The Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California (2005); and Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2003). He was included in the XXVI Bienal de Sao Paolo, 2004, and was shortlisted, with four other finalists, for the 2004 Vincent Prize at the Stedelijk Museum, 2004. With Anka Sasnal, the artist has written and directed five feature-length films, most recently We Haven’t Lost Our Way (2022) which premiered at the 72nd International Film Festival Berlinale in February 2022; preceded by Huba (2013), It looks pretty from a distance (2011), and Swineherd (2009). In 2020, Rizzoli published an extensive monograph exploring the artist practice over the past two decades, with newly commissioned texts by Brian Dillon, Pavel Pys, Kasia Redzisz and Andrzej Przywara.