Glass Guerrilla – the first fire!
I am writing another book. No more hiding. I declare to all and that’s all to feel obliged and motivated to everyday work in the field of writing (God, it is so hard sometimes!). The book will be about people and things, that is design freaks. Those most interesting. Unique.
I’ve made a decision, that such secondary topics as “something by the way and generally a bit aside” will show up here – for the most seasoned and nicest readers. A little writing backstage.
Only most delicious bites that probably won’t make to the book…
One chapter however for sure will be dedicate to a completely improper man. An extraordinary person: talented as hell and feisty as the saints… Wiesław Krysiak. Graduate of Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław promoted by Professor Stanisław Dawski – as all them glass designers.
Wiesław was a freak but in the best meaning of the term. When I met him, and I was only
24 years old then, he has offered me to co-run a gallery! As he said “she has power that little one from art history, hard-working and willing as hell – what is rare for a theoretician at a university…” And so I’ve become a partner in an art gallery! Fully-fledged before my diploma!
The history of our cooperation was truly incredible, opening one exhibition after another,
but what was most interesting was the travelling. Thanks to Wiesiek I have met tens of designer from various fields. All influencers. God, what conversations, what memories! And I’ve made up my mind to write my Master’s thesis at the esteemed Institute of Art History, University
of Warsaw entitled: “Glass Guerrilla” – let me tell you, only someone at that age and with high risk threshold could’ve thought of something like this! I wrote about designs that designers made with glass-workers after hours, under the table and then took them abroad in their car trunks and sold to galleries in Amsterdam, Stockholm and London. None has ever spoken about the phenomenon as it was all illegal…
I’ve caused a mild scandal as first, none knew who should promote my thesis. Industiral design was not taught at the university as part of art history classes. Second, I already had my own TV show about the phenomenon, together with a ready exhibition and its catalogue… so I went to Professor Maria Poprzęcka and asked her boldly whether they could be parts of my diploma and that I o f course understand that the respected commission should probably see the exhibition live so I am willing to show it in Warsaw and that I’ve even began talking with the Institute
of Industrial Design…
Professor Poprzęcka, the director of the Institute at the time stayed in cold blood. She did not throw me out of her office for the cockiness. So far it was conceived however, that you have to defend your thesis and to be belted as an art historian before you can exhibit anything and not as a curator from the very beginning… But well, “sooner said than done” and I got the permission for my thesis. My promoter was Professor Anna Sieradzka, specialist of functional art and
Art Deco. Everyone involved took the risk but they agreed, astonished by the brashness of a young girl.
Thanks to Wiesiek, who has opened me the doors to incredible people, I have collected rarities in Warsaw. It would be enough to say that I’ve shown glass by Małgorzata Dajewska, Barbara Miszczyk, Janusz Kazanecki, Ludwik Kiczura, Mariusz Łabiński, Kazimierz Pawlak, Stanisław Borowski and many others, all first names of the Polish glass.
The biggest surprise was built of neon – in a dark room – glazier oven in the Institute of Industrial Design, and speaking on behalf of artists Stanisław Borowski’s San Francisco agent caused a real sensation. He sold Borowski’s objects for ten thousands of dollars and he calmly said that the exhibition is on a world level and he simply had to be there… Professors Paweł Banaś, Antoni Zięba, Tadeusz Jaroszewski, Anna Sieradzka and Irena Huml made the guest list complete.
Upper crust of art history from a few cities. The exhibition was acclaimed the best exhibition
of the year by the Ministry of Culture and went to the USA and Mexico invited by museums and world’s biggest association of glass artists. Of course, the same as for its production, I had to gain the sponsors and money myself… Now I think that I had more luck than sense to have met such a talented and open-minded (even for my unrealistic ideas) artist that Wiesław Krysiak was. And because of that you will surely read about his work and accomplishments a few stories as such freaks and experimentalists are needed in a handful and their biographies and achievements have to perpetuated!
That is how the younger generation pays off its debt to the elder one