Framework: Accompanying Exhibition to Tapestry Triennial
May 23, 2010
Another absolutely amazing exhibition that accompanied the Tapestry Triennial here in Łódź was called “Framework…/W Ramach…”– showing the works of Włodzimierz Cygan. I was absolutely floored by this exhibition. The opening was on Monday night– the same day as the opening of the International Tapestry Triennial, the Polish National Tapestry Exhibition, and the Polish National Exhibition of Textile Miniatures at the Central Museum of Textiles. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day and wasn’t even planning on going to see “Framework.” However, after having dinner with Professor Lidia Choczaj and her visiting textile artist friend, Teresa Albor, I decided to head over to see the exhibition. Professor Choczaj and I got there quite early– in fact, we were the first visitors at the gallery! And since Professor Choczaj is friends with Włodzimierz Cygan (who also happens to be recent addition to the faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts, Łódź), I got to meet him before the crowds descended upon him.
I didn’t know much about his work, except that he had won the Grand Prix at the last edition of the International Tapestry Triennial. (This year, he was one of the judges of the triennial.) Already an accomplishment in its own right, this solo exhibition was his way of showing the rest of his work– with which people might not be familiar. The exhibition featured his incredible gobelin weavings, as well as digitally printed images of the work. His idea was to see people’s reaction to his exhibiting them together: weavings that took a year to create, next to images that took 12 minutes to print. To which would people be more drawn? For me, it was definitely the weavings. They were so elegant, so quiet. Natural colors: black, cream, beige. But technically they are revolutionary. Włodzimierz Cygan created a new technique–what he’s entitled “circular weaving”– in which the warp is no longer trapped in its stationary vertical position. In his works, the warp has as much freedom as the weft threads; it can run diagonally, sideways, etc. “Framework” was the first time that Cygan exhibited his weavings in the actual frames on which they were woven. And indeed, rather than running vertically as they do traditionally, they run radially. Absolutely incredible. I’m so glad I ended up coming to see this exhibition. Cygan’s works are very important in the realm of weaving.
The weavings were exhibited at Gallery PATIO, in what was once a factory. The raw interiors, with their exposed bricks and high, arched windows were so appropriate for exhibiting Cygan’s pieces. Definitely added to the overall mood. Please check out Włodzimierz Cygan’s great website as well.