NArchitekTURA designs exhibition for prominent artist in the national museum in krakow
 

NArchitekTURA designs exhibition for prominent artist in the national museum in krakow

NArchitekTURA was commissioned to design the largest exhibition ever held at the national museum in krakow, a show with over 470 artworks by the famed polish artist, stanislaw wyspianski. spanning 2360 sqm and having new artworks added throughout the exhibition, the designers maintained a balance between the neutral background for the exhibits and a unique set design that would emphasize the artist’s genius. the varied nature of each of the seven room corresponds to the chronological and thematic narrative.

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bringing technology and innovative materials into the exhibition, the designers clad the vestibule of the exhibition with perforated plywood panels, all digitally cut in modular elements. the cuts and patterns are based on the artist’s sketches, but their accumulation and multiplication in the three-tier structure reference a more contemporary piece. as this is the first room guests encounter, it is proof of the timelessness of the artist’s vision and also the ability to transfer his ideas into the architectural scale.

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the following rooms are kept in a more subdued style of white boxes, yet each of them is distinguished by different configurations arranged to the inidividual pieces of the exhibition. the architects removed redundant partition walls in the second floor, aiming to restore the interior to its original layout.

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the architects have also devoted time to exploring the varied ways to perceive wyspianski’s works. they encouraged the viewer to see them in the same way as the artist once did. hence, the decision to place stained glass designs for the franciscan church in krakow on the pedestals in one of the first exhibition rooms. the composition of seven horizontally arranged works of art can also be viewed from an elevated platform.

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in another room, NArchitekTURA not only displayed the final results of the artist’s work, but also exposed the whole creative process. in the display cabinets on the ground floor and the mezzanine, guests can see template drawings that are illuminated by indirect lighting to show the mysterious composition of the hand-crushed tracing patterns.

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in other rooms, the architects implemented ‘chapels’, which are free-standing cuboids for the exhibition of large-format works that the artist made for churches in krakow and lviv. these elements illustrate the desire to interpret the concept for the sacred in architecture, and at the same time are unique features designed exclusively for the exhibition of individual works of art. in one of the chapels, a canvas of over seven meters was placed on a low pedestal, and its reflection can be seen in a mirrored plane arranged at a specific angle. the use of the optical illusion in this interior created interesting relationships between reflected and real images.

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in the hall ‘theater of the nation’, a contemplative area is topped with the only window allowing access to the outside of the building, within the exhibition. the narrow, vertical gap appears on the axis of the passage between the chapels. in this room, the audience is surrounded by excerpts from wyspianski’s plays ‘liberation’ and ‘the wedding’. the immaterial way of exposition draws attention to the transitory nature of the written word, but also to the timelessness of these works.

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the last hall houses a two-level library holding nearly 600 titles from wyspanski’s book collection. the smooth lines of the walls of the room are a spatial continuation of the pastel piece ‘apollo (system copernicus)’ that hangs along the main axis. the colors used in the two joined interiors, blue and yellow, are another allusion to the design for the famous stained glass window topping the composition. the architects attempted to make visitors feel surrounded by the books and pictures placed within a ribbon going across the walls at eye level. the shelves’ dynamic forms are emphasized by the hidden lighting.

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the architects were challenged to relate their design vision with the works of one of the most outstanding polish artists. their end product results in a space with supporting roles – layout and design, lighting and color – contribute to the leading role of the multidisciplinary work of stanislaw wyspianski. the architecture, which remains in the shadow of the brilliant artist, is visible through stimulating dialogue between artworks and their surroundings and the viewers.

 

exhibition info:

 

architects: NArchitekTURA

artist: stanislaw wyspianski

exhibition name: wyspianski. unknown

location: national museum in krakow, poland

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