•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
30th anniversary
Saatchi Store
Current Exhibition

Wilhelm Sasnal EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Soldiers
Wilhelm Sasnal
Soldiers

2000

Oil on canvas

175 x 175 cm
Sasnal’s soldiers are reduced to a kitsch logo: war, oppression, and authority are reconstituted as youth culture communismo-chic. Rendered as pure pop, Soldiers wittingly adopts an amoral capitalist ethic, where authoritarianism and violence are reconstituted as retro cool. Sasnal’s paintings don’t celebrate freedom, but rather a shift in media-dictated conformity.
Airplanes
Wilhelm Sasnal
Airplanes

2001

Oil on Canvas

150 x 300cm
Wilhelm Sasnal approaches painting as a formal exercise. He often borrows subjects from art history, 20th century propaganda, and photojournalism. Airplanes is a dark appropriation of Alighiero Boetti’s famous airplane drawings. Subverting the original pastoral optimism, Wilhelm Sasnal’s planes are engulfed in smoke as if they’ve been hit by enemy fire.

Wilhelm Sasnal deconstructs the hierarchy of ’high culture’ by filtering it through mass-media association. Through painting, Sasnal explores his own interpretation and understanding of imagery. His work constantly questions the space between ‘personal’ and ‘public’, and strives to define individual experience within a world order of collective consciousness.
Girl Smoking (Peaches)
Wilhelm Sasnal
Girl Smoking (Peaches)

2001

Oil on Canvas

33 x 33cm
Girl Smoking (Dominika)
Wilhelm Sasnal
Girl Smoking (Dominika)

2001

Oil on Canvas

33 x 33cm
Girl Smoking (Anka)
Wilhelm Sasnal
Girl Smoking (Anka)

2001

Oil on Canvas

45 x 50cm
Wilhelm Sasnal’s portraits of women explore modern concepts of beauty and representation. The pop star Peaches is given a degenerate Warhol glam; Anka, the alabaster sophistication of Katz. Dominika, painted in greyscale, has the allure of outdated photography suggestive of distinctively Eastern European chic.

Wilhelm Sasnal approaches feminine idealism as a construct of fashion. It’s not the physicality of the women themselves, but rather the style with which they’re represented. Each rendered in a manner associated with a specific time and place, Wilhelm Sasnal’s portraits aren’t classical icons, but models defined by their own sell-by dates. All pictured smoking a cigarette, Sasnal alludes to the slow self-destruction of their beauty.
Factory
Wilhelm Sasnal
Factory

2000

Oil on Canvas

101 x 101cm
Painted from a famous propaganda image, Wilhelm Sasnal’s Factory swaps the celebratory ideal of the Socialist Worker for the impersonal hardness of mechanised production. Sasnal treats painting as a reductive process: information is lost in translation from photography to painting.

Using the original photo’s black-and-white tones, details are eradicated through heightened contrast, the image simplified through ‘overexposure’ and the intervention of the artist’s hand. Wilhelm Sasnal’s replicated images are dissociated from their once powerful meanings: they exist only as mere vestiges of themselves.
Man at the Control Panel
Wilhelm Sasnal
Man at the Control Panel

2000

Oil on Canvas

180 x 160cm
Man at the Control Panel has the design of a government-issue poster. Through the act of painting, Wilhelm Sasnal divests this once authoritative image of any sense of infused power. It becomes merely an advertisement for banality, an explicit logo of its own defunct politics.

Through the personal intervention of making, Wilhelm Sasnal promotes a democratisation of image ownership. Through painting all things are rendered equal.
Portrait of Rodchenko, Lady
Wilhelm Sasnal
Portrait of Rodchenko, Lady

2002

Oil on Canvas

30 x 30cm
For Wilhelm Sasnal, painting is imperative as a means to challenge traditional expectations of representation and perception. Through the personal intervention of making, his subject matter becomes distorted. Images are pared down to their barest essentials and estranged from their original context and meaning.

Portrait of Rodchenko, Lady resurrects the photographer’s iconic image. Gone is her golden Soviet virtue, replaced by a fiercely dark shadow. Wilhelm Sasnal’s reconstruction is a hollow memento, a death mask of a graven image.
Car
Wilhelm Sasnal
Car

2002

Oil on Canvas

181 x 181cm
Flirting with the future, Wilhelm Sasnal’s space-age car is an unnervingly anthropomorphic vehicle promising a super determinism of technological prowess. Looming just beyond imagination, Car retains all its untold visual mystery; only a suggestive glimpse fits the canvas. It is not what the viewer sees that is important, but the disconcerting Orwellian sense that Car is looking back.
Portrait
Wilhelm Sasnal
Portrait

2001

Oil on Canvas

50 x 73cm
Wilhelm Sasnal’s green lady is marbled perfection: a towering sculptural goddess executed as an anonymous product of design. Cropped, chin jutting out: her once symbolic mysticism now holds only graphic optimism, a pleasant hallmark of simplified form and bright colours. Wilhelm Sasnal repackages ideology for an indiscriminate consumer culture. Painting becomes a ritual of purification through aesthetics, which can sell even the most frightening of concepts.
Terrorist Equipment
Wilhelm Sasnal
Terrorist Equipment

2000

Oil on Canvas

63 x 80 cm
Sasnal draws his subject matter from day-to-day reality. The most banal examples of still life mingle with commensurate importance to propaganda icons, advertising, and photojournalistic imagery.

An ambiguous Tuymans-like rendering of a suicide bomber’s belt/parachute/life jacket is painted with the impartiality of an instruction-manual illustration. Terrorist Equipment is dissociated from any political meaning, rendered inconsequential in the cold vernacular of documentation.
Gym Lesson
Wilhelm Sasnal
Gym Lesson

2000

Oil on Canvas

150 x 150cm
Gym Lesson offers a colourless documentation of children at play, reminiscent of Soviet social painting stripped of all joyous idealism. Emptying the image of vivacious allure, Sasnal’s painting operates as palimpsest: through its impartial and sterile surface, only faint traces of historical significance remain.
Landscape
Wilhelm Sasnal
Landscape

2001

Oil on Canvas

36 x 40cm
In Landscape, a row of Eastern European houses is half obliterated by a smoke bomb. In an image reminiscent of news clippings, Sasnal impersonalises the violence until it becomes nothing more than a perfect cloud. Dehumanised to the point of abstraction, Sasnal reduces horror to a mere formalist problem: a structural composition of terror; a self-absorbed contemplation of the sublime.
Arms Raised
Wilhelm Sasnal
Arms Raised

2001

Oil on Canvas

33 x 36cm
Through rich and incongruous application techniques, Sasnal uses the paint itself to expose the paradoxical qualities of image interpretation. In Arms Raised, he subverts the documentary ‘truth’ of photography. Rendered in negative, his image of a champion becomes a hostage and heroicism is shrouded in a demonic aura. Sasnal exposes cultural triumph as conspiracy, inherently underscored with apocalyptic sensations of revulsion and fear.
Resort
Wilhelm Sasnal
Resort

1999

Oil on Canvas

89 x 89 cm
Sasnal presents the usual vacation ideals of sun, booze, and sex through a voyeuristic binocular view. Under surveillance scrutiny, the luxury resort emerges as something lonely, corrupt, and comically sad. Painted with a knowing faux naïveté, Resort is offered to all as an international logo/pictograph, loaded with overtures of condescension and imperialism.

Wilhelm Sasnal's BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1972, Tarnow, Poland
Lives and works in Tarnow, Poland



SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2010
Johnen Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY
Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Wilhelm Sasnal. Lata Walki / Years of Struggle, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Sara Hilden Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (Travelling Exhibition)
Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN

2009
Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK
K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany
Fundacja Galerii Foksal, Warsaw, Poland
Presentation in the Collection Rooms: Wilhelm Sasnal.Works from the Collection Martin, Neues Museum, Nürnberg, Germany
Wilhelm Sasnal. Lata Walki / Years of Struggle, CAC – Centro de Arte Contemporàneo, Malaga, Spain (Travelling Exhibition)
Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland

2008
Wilhelm Sasnal. Lata Walki / Years of Struggle, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Italy

2007
Wilhelm Sasnal. Lata Walki / Years of Struggle, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
Johnen Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland
Fundació la Caixa, Barcelona, Spain
Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY

2006
Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Wzorzec kilograma, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany
Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

2005
MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art, The Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY
Wilhelm Sasnal - Chinati Artist in Residence, The Locker Plant, Marfa, TX

2004
The Band, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland
Camden Arts Centre, London, UK
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich, Germany
ZAWA SROD, Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne, Germany
Wilhelm Sasnal – Map Trap, Galerie Raster, Warsaw, Poland

2003
T-ów, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY
Wilsa, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium
3 o’clock road block, Sadie Coles, London, UK
Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany
Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Wilhelm Sasnal – Monika Sasnowska, Galleria Laura Pecci, Milan, Italy

2002
PHO, Galerie Johnen + Schöttle, Cologne, Germany
Show on your hands – Look – Come closer, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw
Parel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2001
Cars and Men, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
Everyday Life in Poland between 1999 and 2001, Galeria Raster, Warsaw, Poland

2000
Board Game, Galeria Potocka, Cracow, Poland

1999
The Hundred Pieces, Galeria Zderzak, Cracow, Poland
Painting, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
The Crowd, billboards of Galeria Otwarta

1998
Private–Public, billboards of Galeria Otwarta
A Natural Holyday, billboards of Galeria Otwarta


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2011
Rearview Mirror: New Art from Central and Eastern Europe, The Power Plant, Ontario, Canada
Kurimanzutto, Mexico City, Mexico

2010
Villa Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland
Schloss Marquardt, ‘XVII. Rohkunstbau’, Marquardt-Potsdam, Germany
ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, ‘fast forward 2. The Power of Motion – Media Art Sammlung Goetz’, Karlsruhe, Germany
Johnen Galerie, ‘Conversation Pieces. A Chamber Play, Act III, Scene 3’, Berlin,Germany

2009
The Reach of Realism, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL
Wilhelm Sasnal. Werke aus der Sammlung Martin, Neues Museum, Nürnberg, Germany
Hellwach gegenwärtig - Ausblicke auf die Sammlung Marta, MARTa Herford, Herford,Germany
Monument to Transformation, City Gallery, Prag, Czech Republic
Invasion of Sound. Music and the Visual Arts, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
International Collection of Contemporary Art 5th Edition, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
Something Else!!!!, MAN, Nuoro, Italy
Sonic Youth etc.: Sensational Fix, Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
Mapping the studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, Punta della Dogana,Venice, Italy
Play, Part 1 – The Game and the Players. Strange and Close, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

2008
Family and Friends, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, NY
Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, Site Gallery, Sheffield, England
T2 Torino Triennale, Turin, Italy
Heartland, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
I am never at home, Johnen Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Back to black - schwarz in der aktuellen malerei, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany
Peripherer Blick und kollektiver Körper, Museion, Bolzano, Italy
Du Dialogue Social, Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany
Ad Absurdum, MARTa Herford, Germany
Glasgow International 2008, Glasgow, Scotland
Manual CC, uqbar, Berlin, Germany
The Painting of Modern Life, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy

2007
1,2,3… Avant-Gardes, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain
Playback, Musée d’ Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Gesellschaftsbilder. Zeitgenossische Malerei, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Who’s got the Big Picture? Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium
Frisch gestrichen, Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Switzerland
What is Painting?, MoMA, New York, NY
Untitled, Swiss Institute, New York, NY
The Present, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Last News, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk, Poland
Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, UK
Painting Now!, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands
Airs de Paris, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Old School, Hauser & Wirth, London, England
Bare Life, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel
The Weasel: Pop Music and Contemporary Art, South London Gallery, London, UK
Lights, Camera, Action: Artists Films for the Cinema, Whitney Museum, New York, NY
Polish Painting of the 21st Century, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

2006
Grey Flags, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York, NY
Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin Centre, Coidropo, Italy
Imagens em Pintura, Havekost, Kahrs, Plessen, Sasnal, Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal
Sammlung Marx in Hamburger Bahnhof, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany
1,2,3… Avant-Gardes, Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
Melancholia, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel
The Vincet 2006, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Essential Painting, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
The Triumph of Painting, from the Saatchi Collection, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
Imagination Becomes Reality, Pt. V: Fantasy and Fiction, Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany

2005
What’s New Pussycat? Museum for Modern Art, Frankfurt, Germany
ATOMICA – making the invisible visible, Esso Gallery and Lombard Freid Fine Arts, New York, NY
Material Time/Work Time/Life Time, Reykjavik Arts Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland
It takes some time to open an oyster, Centre Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
The Triumph of Painting, The Saatchi Collection, London, UK
Prague Biennale 2, Prague, Czech Republic

2004
Some Forgotten Place, Matrix, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
Nowa Huta, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany
Werke aus der Sammlung Boros, Museum für moderne Kunst, Karlsruhe
MUHKA de collectie, MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium
Time and again, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Biennale de Sao Paulo, Brazil

2003
4ever Young, Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland
Creeping Revolution 2, Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, Sweden
Hidden In A Daylight, Hotel pod Jeleniem, Cieszyn, Poland
2002 Painting on the Move, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Pause, 4th Gwangju Bienniale, Gwangju, South Korea
Urgent Painting, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Raster – aktuelle Kunst aus Polen, Museum Viadrana – Junkerhaus, Frankfurt, Germany
A Need For Realism. Solitude In Ujazdowski, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
Pod Brunatnym Jeleniem, Hotel, cur. Joanna Mytkowska, Andrzej Przywara, Adam
Szymczyk, Cieszyn, Poland

2001
Painters’ Competition, Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko-Biala, Poland
The Good, Galeria Raster, Warsaw, Poland
1st Tirana Biennial, Tirana, Albania
Bureaucracy, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
In Between, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Popelita/Pop-elite, Bunkier Sztuki, Cracow, Poland
Rybie of Fisheye, BWA Gallery, Slupsk, Poland

2000
Scena 2000, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
100% Painting, BWA Gallery, Poznan, Poland
Visual Art – Simple Life, Edit-Russ Haus, Oldenburg, Germany
Paint Me, BWA, Zielone Góra, Poland

1999
What you see is what you get, Medium Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

1997
Seven Young Painters, French Cultural Institute, Cracow, Poland