Bel Air

opening of Leon Podsiadły’s exhibition in cooperation with Magda Podsiadły

„Bel Air”
Leon Podsiadły
in cooperation with Magda Podsiadły

 opening: 15.09.2017
6 PM
Mieszkanie Gepperta

Wrocław and Conakry are connected not just by the title of the UNESCO World Book Capital and the action “Books for Guinea,” which is being carried out in connection with Wrocław’s title of European Capital of Culture 2016. The two cities have been brought closer together by people such as Zbyszek Cybulski, Barbara Brylska, Stanisław Lenartowicz and Leon Podsiadły.

After regaining independence Guinea initiated intensive intellectual, scientific and economic exchange with countries of the former Eastern Bloc, including Poland. In the 1960s and 1970s Conakry was a destination for many Polish artists, lecturers and writers. The exhibition titled Bel Air transports us back to the past with the help of extraordinary works by Professor Leon Podsiadły, a doyen of Wrocław sculpture. It features photographs, sculptures and graphics inspired by his sojourn in Guinea in the years 1965–1970, as well as a selection of original African sculpture – genuine pearls from the rich collection of the Podsiadłys; this sculpture is impossible to find today, except for a handful of African museums. The visual story is made complete with a conversation between father and daughter, Magda Podsiadły, who returned to Conakry after many years to find her father’s pupils and visit their old home in Guinea

The eponymous Bel Air is not just the name of a Guinean town on the ocean, around 100 km to the north of Conakry, but also the title of one of Podsiadły’s drawings. As the artist explained, the motif of black boys running by the sea (which had been inspired by a photograph taken in Guinea) illustrates “a run towards Europe.” Against the background of the contemporary migration crisis, this work becomes painfully relevant while its sobering message warns us against the overly simplistic sentimentalism that all too often permeates our thinking about Africa.

Curator: Michał Bieniek
Idea: Karolina Bieniek
Production: Małgorzata Sobolewska, Julia Janowska
Promotion: Anna Stec, Paulina Popiół
Graphic design: Marta Przeciszewska

exhibition: 15.09 – 13.10.2017
the gallery is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 PM
Mieszkanie Gepperta
Ofiar Oświęcimskich ½, Wrocław

On 15 September we will end the fundraising action Books for Guinea – a project in which Wrocław, UNESCO World Book Capital 2016, will donate 100,000 textbooks to teach reading and writing to the children of Conakry, the capital of Guinea and World Book Capital 2017.

To celebrate the end of the action, the Art Transparent Foundation has planned a series of artistic events in September.


7 PM

Guinea – contrasts. Tales of the ocean, youth, happiness, and the difficult reality of Guinea: opening of Karolina Łągiewka’s photo exhibition / PROZA Club

6 PM

Full Ahead: screening of Stanisław Lenartowicz’s film with Magda Podsiadły’s introduction / PROZA Club

6 PM

Bel Air: opening of Leon Podsiadły’s exhibition in cooperation with Magda Podsiadły / Mieszkanie Gepperta gallery

8.15 PM

Bossa Nova concert and official closing of the fundraising action Books for Guinea / Vertigo Jazz Club
Ticket for the whole evening: 20 zlotys
Part of the cost of tickets will be devoted to the action Books for Guinea

Until 15 September everybody can purchase books for Guinean children by making a donation on the website