Radek Szlaga

b. 1979, lives and works in Warsaw (PL) and Detroit (US)

Szlaga is taking an exploratory and experimental approach to both Eastern European and American visual culture as well as his own subconscious. Central to Szlaga’s work is an investigation of identity, and the boundary between its reality and simulation. His practice relies on both historical research and an introspective mining on his own memories and dreams.
His principal media, painting , drawing, sculpture and installation, are customarily presented as an integrated body of work which establishes an associative interplay of mirroring and self-reference between the individual pieces.
Szlaga describes his painterly approach as “a way of thinking” implying a constant re-thinking and “peeling off” of layers of tradition and history through the selective recycling of archived and found imagery, which he often literally “cuts and pastes” transferring fragments of one canvas onto another. His subtle manipulations of second hand and often iconic images, stemming from everything between rap culture and colonialism, address questions of public archives, memory and what it means to paint in this digital age.

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Selected exhibitions:

2017
– Core Lexicon, Polnishes Institut, Düsseldorf, DE
– Late Polishness, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL
– Post-Peace, Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart, DE
– Piotrowicz and Guests, National Museum in Poznań, PL

2016
– Core Lexicon, BWA Zielona Góra, PL (solo)
– Core Lexicon, Gowen Contemporary, Geneva, CH (solo)
– Miejsce. A Place, Foksal Gallery, Warsaw, PL
– Money to Burn, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL
– this one is smaller than this one, Galerist, Istanbul, TR
– DE – MO – CRA – CY, Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, PL
– The Travellers, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL
– All the Brutes, Fresh Paint, Tel Aviv, IL
– Out of Limits, artgeneve 2016, Geneva, CH
– this one is smaller than this one, Postmasters Gallery, New York, US

2015
Puritan, Pioneer Works, Nowy Jork, US (solo)
– All the Brutes, LETO, Warsaw, PL (solo)
– All The Brutes, Harlan Levey Project, Brussels, BE (solo)
– State of Life. Polish Contemporary Art Within a Global Circumstance, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, CN
– Sammlung Dr Werner Jerke. Eine Auswahl, Atlas Sztuki, Łódź, PL
– The Heart, Galerie Laure Roynette, Paris, FR (solo)
– WY 3208G, Warsaw, PL
– Cannibalism? On Appropriation in Art, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL

2014
– Show with a Lovely Title, LETO, Warsaw, PL
– Stendhal Syndrome, Zona Sztuki Aktualnej, Szczecin, PL
– Hate Speech. I Exclude the Exclusion, Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, PL
– Primary Images, ArtBrussels 2014, Brussels, BE
– Milenium, Czytelnia Sztuki, Gliwice, PL (solo)

2013
– Limited Dictionary, Trinosophes, Detroit, US (solo)
– Tribute to Errors and Leftovers, Performa 13, New York, US
– BRITISH BRITISH POLISH POLISH, Center of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL
– Migrations | Creations, Emigration Museum, Tricity, PL
– A Few Practical Ways to Prolong One’s Life, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PL

2012
– Freedom Club, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL (solo)
– Freedom Club – Trailer, Foksal Gallery, Warsaw
– Arrière-garde, Temporary Gallery Cologne, Cologne, DE
– Respect paper, Piktogram/BLA, Warsaw, PL
– Transatlantic, Frieze Art Fair, New York, US
– Coming soon, Temporary Gallery Cologne, DE
– Wat doet u daar?, Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem, NL

2011
– They don’t know why, but they keep doing it, waterside contemporary, London UK
– Sweatboxing II, LETO, Warszawa, PL
– Freedom Club, West Gallery Den Haag, The Hague, NL (solo)
– Oysz… painters, Alexander Ochs Galerie, Berlin, DE
– Dreams/Icons, Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, PL (solo)
– Galeria Blanca Soto, Madrit, ES
– New Wave, BWA Bydgoszcz, PL

2010
The End, Aleksander Ochs Gallery, Berlin, DE (solo)
– The Way, LETO, Warsaw, PL (solo)
– FALSE RECOGNITION / 14TH VILNIUS PAINTING TRIENNIAL Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, LT
– Fake Fauna Arsenal Municipal Gallery, Poznan, PL (solo)
– Iconoclasm, White Space, Pekin, CN (solo)
– The Way, National Museum in Szczecin, Szczecin, PL (solo)

2009
– The Calendar 2010, LETO Gallery, Warsaw, PL (solo)
– WHERE TO GO? Notes on Transformation after 1989, Rotor association for contemporary art, Graz, AU
– Le coeur est un chasseur solitaire, Gare Sauveur, Festival LILLE 3000, FR
– Radek Szlaga, Short I, Alexander Ochs Gallery, Berlin, DE (solo)

2008
– Atlantis, LETO, Warsaw, PL (solo)
– Revaluations, Austrian Cultural Forum, Warsaw, PL
– Establishment, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL

2007
– Atlantis, Arsenal Municipal Gallery, Poznan, PL (solo)
– Closeness, LETOy, Warsaw, PL
– Squares, POSK Gallery, London, UK
– History and geography, Zderzak Gallery, Krakow, PL (solo)

Scholarships & Residencies:

2015
– Residency Unlimited, New York
– Penthouse Art Space Residency, Brussels

2013
– Polityka’s Passport nominee

2012
– Kompas Młodej Sztuki, 1st Prize for emerging Polish artist
– ISCP Residency, New York

2011
– TVP KULTURA Prize for the artistic group Penerstwo

2010
– Residency at the White Space, Beijing, China

2008
– Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
– ”Polska The Times” Prize for Young Artists

2007
– City of Poznan artistic scholarship