research by CENTRALA into the legacy of architect and designer Jacek Damięcki and a series of exhibition designs and collabortions with the architect, 2012–ongoing
in collboration with Polish Modern Art Foundation
Jacek Damięcki is a Polish architect, inventor and great architectural thinker, known for uncompromising spatial concepts and syncretic designs that combine elements informed by the experience of multiple disciplines—art, geometry, sports. A former student of Lech Tomaszewski, Oskar Hansen, Jerzy Sołtan and Helena Syrkus, Damięcki was employed at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts where he taught the art of exhibition design. Since the 1960s, he created over thirty exhibitions, including displays of Polish products at national and international fairs, and large artistic installations presented in the public space of Warsaw.
For CENTRALA, working hand in hand with Damięcki was a great privilege and a unique learning experience. With Damięcki generously sharing his memories, we got access to knowledge and forgotten skills of iconic Polish exhibition designers that were hitherto undocumented. Also, between 1965–1981 Damięcki was employed at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw where he taught exhibition design at the Interior Design Faculty, as the Chair of Exhibition Design. Damięcki created over thirty exhibitions, including those for Polish products at national and international fairs.
This knowledge and relationship with the architect proved invaluable for CENTRALA during the development of the exhibition devoted to his oeuvre. Jacek Damięcki: Macro-Forms in Zachęta—National Gallery of Art in Warsaw was a well-received retrospective of one of the most fascinating architects of Warsaw, a modernist who has worked consistently and uncompromisingly throughout his career to formulate his own concept of space.
The exhibition in Zachęta consisted of archival materials, as well as contemporary reinterpretations of his work, e.g. the installation that formed a part of his master thesis at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1961, the system of folding canvas screens designed in 1974, and the accompanying photo frieze clamps designed in the same year.
The exhibition was then presented in the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, 28 September–28 October 2018. CENTRALA co-curated and designed both exhibitions, working closely with its main protagonist.
Trip to Jacek Damięcki’s studio was an accompanying event for the exhibition in Zachęta.
Jacek Damięcki: Macro-forms
exhbition at the Zachęta—National Gallery of Art in Warsaw
7 November 2016–8 January 2017
Jacek Damęcki: Architecture as an Experience of Space
exhibition at the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław
28 September–28 October 2018
curators: Sarmen Beglarian, Małgorzata Kuciewicz
design: Jacek Damięcki, Simone De Iacobis
graphic design: Tomasz Bersz
collaboration: Polish Modern Art Foundation
In 2018 CENTRALA collaborated with Jacek Damięcki also for their Amplifying Nature exhibition in the Polish Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura.
CENTRALA’s text about Damięcki’s expography Twór wystawowy/komunikacyjny from the Jacek Damięcki. Architektura jako doświadczanie przestrzni publication, 2018 (in Polish only).
Press materials Jacek Damięcki. Macro-forms exhibition in the Zachęta—National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, 2016.