A new art director at the Ujazdowski Center for Modern Art in Warsaw is not only upsetting the apple cart — he’s getting rid of most of the apples. Back in October Piotr Bernatowicz was appointed as the new director the the museum, which in the past has featured most of Poland’s outstanding modern experimenting visual artists, and has also put on display works by such radical outsiders as Kara Walker, Nan Goldin, and Barbara Kruger, to name just a few.
Exhibitions at the Ujazdowski Castle, as it is known in Warsaw, have been to the far left of the political spectrum, with one of the latest installations, by Karol Radziszewski, examining the plight of gay men in Slavic nations. But all that is changing, now that Bernatowicz is in charge.
Bernatowicz makes no secret of the fact that he is a right-leaning political believer. And so he’s proposing some radical restructuring of his museum that have many ultra-liberal Polish artists up in arms — claiming that he is betraying the museum’s liberal history.
The director says he plans on introducing the works of populist and pro-family artists into the museum’s exhibition schedule this coming spring. He’s interested in any Polish artists, well-known or not, who is not ashamed to display patriotic and conservative values in his or her paintings and sculptures. The controversial spring schedule of exhibitions has not yet been announced, as there are very few conservative painters and sculptures in the Polish art world.