Mobile app
Plan your visit to the Museum, check out current events and visit our exhibitions with our Mobile App.
Download Close

//History in Art//

Go to the exhibition

History in Art

The catalogue is in two parts. The first consists of essays written by researchers of various humanist disciplines. The second has reproductions of works from the exhibition with the artists’s comments.

Art and history have been encountering each other within the terrain of the work of art for hundreds of years. In older art, demand for the subject matter contributed to this encounter. The work of art illustrated, and usually exalted, history. Historical representation did not play a very great role for the artist. It was a good excuse for painting a picture – all the better because it was easier to find a buyer or patron for such a picture. The content of the event was not important. The important thing was the original mastery of the composition, an intriguing interpretation, and playing with color and expression. Privacy was limited to the form, and the subject matter – despite the fact that it might be important from a human point of view – did not participate in any profound way in the artistic act. Twentieth-century art renounced the right to treat the subject matter lightly. A work referring to history must justify the choice of a given historical event. This responsibility in regard to subject matter that is no longer treated merely as a pretext means that, in contemporary works referring to history, we are dealing with a thorough ideological commitment on the part of the artist. These works are not illustrations of history, but rather, criticism, or processing, of history. Their creators perform many artistic operations on history. The most important of these include penetrating history, repairing history, and making use of the symbols of history. Varied levels of seriousness, from pathos to irony, accompany these operations.*

*A fragment from Art and History, an essay by Maria Anna Potocka

History in Art

language of publication: Polish and English
editor: Maria Anna Potocka
co-editor: Delfina Piekarska
texts by: Hans Belting, Nicolas Bourriaud, Tim Cole, Przemysław Czapliński, Ewa Domańska, Ben Kiernan, Dominick LaCapra, Tadeusz Nyczek, Mieczysław Porębski, Maria Anna Potocka, Hayden White
artists’ biographical notes: Monika Kozioł
translation: Łukasz Białkowski, William Brand, Jan Burzyński, Anda MacBride, Gwidon Naskrent
graphic design, DTP: Rafał Sosin
format: 210 × 270 mm
number of pages: 320
binding: soft with flaps
ISBN 978-83-62435-08-1
publication date: 2011

Out of print


Artists (authors of the reproduced works): Boaz Arad, Tomasz Bajer, Mirosław Bałka, Yael Bartana, Piotr Blamowski, Wojciech Bruszewski, Hubert Czerepok, Edward Dwurnik, Omer Fast, Dora García, Jochen Gerz, Ivan Grubanov, Władysław Hasior, Maria Jarema, Tadeusz Kantor, Franz Kapfer, Grzegorz Klaman, Jerzy Kosałka, Tomasz Kozak, Jarosław Kozłowski, Katarzyna Kozyra, Edward Krasiński, Zofia Kulik, Robert Kuśmirowski, Zbigniew Libera, Marcin Maciejowski, Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko, Deimantas Narkeviius, Csaba Nemes, Boris Nieslony, Marcel Odenbach, Shinji Ogawa, Krystyna Piotrowska, Józef Robakowski, Jadwiga Sawicka, Collier Schorr, Władysław Strzemiński, Paweł Susid, Andrzej Szewczyk, Maciej Toporowicz, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Stanisław Wyspiański, Artur Żmijewski

The catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition:
History in Art
MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
20 May–16 October 2011
curator: Maria Anna Potocka
assistant Curator: Delfina Piekarska