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Paulina Olowska

Alchemistic painting
5–17 August 2019

Paulina Olowska, The Numismatist
The numismatist, 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas, 220 x 150 cm

Sold out!


Hohensalzburg Fortress

Teaching language
English (teacher also speaks Polish and Russian)

What to bring
Necessary tools and materials will be specified along with your confirmation of acceptance, and can be purchased at the Academy shop.


Maximum number of participants

Jerzy Lisak, Ksenia Gryckiewicz

Participation fee
€ 700.– (€ 540.–)

Painting is a pleasurable, extremely clever and ancient, communicative, foolish, intelligent, stupid, pioneering, world-changing procedure for making a study of society, and a tool for the future, says Paulina Olowska. (Der Standard, 10.07.2017)

Alchemy is an ancient science that deals with the mixing of various elements to create something new. Alchemists attempted to produce gold – an ambition many painters seek to achieve, in a figurative sense, with their painting.

In the Alchemistic painting course, Paulina Olowska combines these two approaches: the early one, mixing pigments or other elements to create something totally new, and the contemporary, a critical study of society.

The course focuses on painting in the broadest sense. If they wish, participants may learn how to produce paints – acrylic, gouache and oil paints. They can try painting murals and experiment with industrially-produced paints. There will be exercises with live models, tableaux vivants, with people (possibly also in theatrical costumes) as well as animals. Students may choose the subjects they wish to study in depth: portrait, gesture, objects, animals, or the question of how human emotions can be expressed in painting.

Group discussions will be held (also with references to art history), and individual guidance offered. A final exhibition will present results.
Paulina Olowska, born in Gdansk (PL) in 1976, studies the processes of urban transformation and social relationships in an era of growing consumerism, and is interested in the function of painting as a fictional space. Paulina Olowska’s paintings, performances, videos and installations continuously explore forgotten figures of feminism, utopian promises articulated in Modernism, shifts in cultural perspective between East and West, minor histories and popular aesthetics. Olowska has undertaken frequent collaborations with artists including Bonnie Camplin in Salty Water/What of Salty Water at Portikus, Frankfurt (DE) in 2007, and Lucy McKenzie, with whom she created the now legendary bar, Nova Popularna, in Warsaw in 2003. Olowska has exhibited internationally at Manifesta 11, Zurich 2016, Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA (US) 2013, Steirischer Herbst, Graz (AT), 2010, and in biennials including Berlin, 2008, Moscow and Istanbul, both 2005, and Venice (IT), 2003.

Solo exhibitions
2019 Inaugural group exhibition, Museum Susch, Zernez (CH). 2018 Belavia, Metro Pictures Gallery, New York, NY (US). Amoresques: An Intellectual Cocktail of Female Erotica, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. 2017 NGV Triennal, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (AU). The Method, Gdańsk City Gallery, Gdańsk. Slavic Goddesses, The Kitchen, New York, NY. 2016 Wisteria, Mysteria, Hysteria, Metro Pictures, New York, NY. The Spell of Warsaw, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw. 2013 Au Bonheur des Dames, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Pavilionesque, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (CH). 2012 Mother 200, Simon Lee Gallery, London. 2011 The Revenge of the Wise-Woman, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. 2010 The Magnificent Seven, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA (US). 2008 Usher We (Down There), with Bonnie Camplin, Tate Modern, London (performance).

Paulina Olowska: Pavilionesque at the Kunsthalle Basel, exh. cat., Kunsthalle Basel, JRP Ringier, Zurich 2013.
Claire Bishop, “Paulina Olowska: Reactivating Modernism”, Marta Dziewanska, “Storytelling: Paulina Olowska and History in Motion”, Catherine Wood “Design for Living”, in: Parkett 92, 2013.
Nikola Dietrich (ed.): Salty Water/What of Salty Water (with Bonnie Camplin), exh. cat., Portikus, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Frankfurt 2007.

Paulina Olowska