Ewa Partum



Born in 1945 in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, a precursor of conceptual and feminist art in Central and Eastern Europe. Author of corporal interventions in the public space, experimental films, photomontages, installations, photographs and visual poetry. She studied in the National School of Fine Arts in Łódź and then at the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where she defended her diploma on poetry as art.

In the initial stages of her practice, in the 1970s, she was developing the ideas of conceptual art related to linguistics. She was interested in the arbitrariety of meaning, conventionalization of sense, and in the material dimension of writing. At that time, she created photomontages that maintained a dialogue with the canon of art, visual poetry, she also used tautologies in her art, in order to expose the fact that meanings are conventional, while in case of cinema, she revealed the materiality of the recording. Linguistic explorations led her to notice the limitations of female agency, and to develop feminist awareness. She drew attention to the problem of gender inequality, and highlighted the originality of women’s art. She made use of genres of personal writing, underlined the author’s self, and at the same time she followed signs of female expression. At the same time, she started to use the naked body as a creative object – in a series of photomontages she pasted her naked body into important places of Polish cities (Warsaw, Łódź), which constituted a provocative intervention into the public space, limited by social norms. Between 1972-77 she managed her proprietary Gallery Adres in Łódź, where she presented the works of world-famous male and female conceptual artists, while also publishing and documenting.

Since 1983, she has been living and working in Berlin, where she continues her artistic activity. Currently, she focuses on the process of archivisation of her art – she reenacts past interventions or reconstructs ideas for works that she wasn’t formerly able to carry out. She co-manages the “ewa partum museum”. She had many individual retrospective exhibitions: Badisher Kunstverein in Karlsruhe (2001), National Museum in Warsaw (2006), Tate Modern in London (2006) ms2 in Łódź (2014). Her works are in the collections of the most important world institutions: MoMA in New York, Tate Modern in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and many others.