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Stedelijk Museum opens Paulina Olowska: Au Bonheur des Dames

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents Paulina Olowska: Au Bonheur des Dames an exhibition on view 21 Sep 2013 – 27 Jan 2014.

Paulina Olowska, Lucky Sport, 2010, oil on canvas,110 x 78 cm
Paulina Olowska, Lucky Sport, 2010, oil on canvas,110 x 78 cm
The large gallery presents paintings, collages, and neon works in a theatrical setting. Two adjacent gallery spaces are devoted to the project Café Bar (2011) and the series Accidental Collages.Olowska created this series for the exhibition Time and Again at the Stedelijk Museum CS in 2004, inspired by a group of 22 large educational charts by Kazimir Malevich in the collection of the Stedelijk. In Accidental Collages, recently acquired by the Stedelijk Museum, the artist combined photos of herself and her friends with historical visual material, featuring artworks, architecture and fashion (magazines).

The title of the exhibition, Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise / The Ladies’ Delight), refers to what the artist calls ‘different aspects of the female consumer.’ The title is taken from Émile Zola’s novel, which describes 19th-century Paris and the first wave and subsequent expansion of luxury department stores. In this installation, Olowska suggests women as figures both targeted and implicated in multiple angles of commodity culture—the spectacle of fashion, the seduction of extravagant displays and visual advertising, the leisure experience of merely parading through town. In her critique, Paulina Olowska compares 1960s Eastern European consumerism with the theme of the book.

Paulina Olowska grew up in Poland in a time of great political, economic, and cultural upheaval. For several years, she studied in the United States (at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), followed by the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Olowska’s work debuted in the Netherlands at the Stedelijk Museum Post CS in the 2004 group exhibition Time and Again. – See more at: