Leonia Chmielnik. My World – Our World

Exhibition of sculptures by Leonia Chmielnik entitled My World - Our World is the third major presentation of the artist's work in the last seven years. This time, however, it is not the stone sculptures and bronze casts that will focus attention and admiration.

 From the nooks of Lena's studio, where she has been creating since the 1980s, many forgotten or long-lost works have been brought to light.

"What do I want to show in the exhibition? What I haven't shown recently. I want to show works made of non-durable materials, works made of plaster and ceramics. The ceramics come from more or less the same period, that is 1986-1989. They were created in Bolesławiec, where it was possible to bring the ideas to life quickly. And the ideas actually came by themselves when you picked up the material. And the fact that it was mostly women that came... Women are an important theme of mine, one that has also been realised in other materials. Now it was time to name it, emphasise it and close it somehow.”

Leonia Chmielnik has lived and worked in Szczecin since 1965. She is the co-author of the monument of Bogusław X and Anna Jagiellonka, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The exhibition presents, among others, the first competition draft authored by her, plaster models of the artist's well-known outdoor projects, as well as competition projects that have not been carried out. The assumption of Leonia Chmielnik's first solo exhibition at the National Museum in Szczecin is to show draft works made of poor material, plaster or clay, or created as a result of experimenting with combinations of materials and using the author's own techniques. The objects gathered in the exhibition come from the entire creative period, i.e. from 1965 to the present.

Leonia Chmielnik's works are accompanied by photographs by Jacek Fijałkowski - a photographer and graphic artist who has collaborated with her for many years in preparing publications accompanying her exhibitions. They present the details of the sculptures, showing how revealingly one can look at them, where close-ups, high magnifications and fascination with detail reveal new aspects of the sculptural matter and a different perspective on its observation. Large-format photographs complete the visual shape of the exhibition.

Another supplement, enriching the reception of Lena Chmielnik's work, is a film Babska sprawa /A Female Matter/ (2024) by Helena Kwiatkowska and Marta Płachta with cinematography by Bartosz Jurgiewicz, screened at the exhibition space. Noteworthy are the shots of the artist's sculptures - interestingly lit, captured in the studio and in the open air of the garden - effectively woven into the narrative of the film.

Leonia Chmielnik is one of the most important artists of post-war Szczecin. A native of Cieszyn, she was born during the war, in 1943. She graduated from the State Secondary School of Fine Arts in Poznań and studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts there, in the atelier of Prof. Jacek Puget and Prof. Bazyli Wojtowicz and Tadeusz Brzozowski. She obtained her diploma from the Faculty of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture in 1965. Since that year she has been associated with Szczecin. Between 1967 and 1969, she worked at the "Dana" Clothing Factory, and later collaborated with the Adolf Warski Szczecin Shipyard (1971-1986), creating designs for ship decorations.


She creates monumental, park or chamber sculpture, as well as drawing. She creates in stone, bronze, wood and ceramics. She is a two-time scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and Art and has won numerous awards and distinctions. In 2017, she received the "Pro Arte" Award of the Marshal of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship and the occasional award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. She has presented her works in eighteen solo exhibitions and dozens of collective ones. Her most important artistic realisations in the public space of Szczecin are: Woman in a Long Dress (1969) and Mask (1976) in the Summer Theatre, Children (1970) in General Władysław Anders Park, Pomeranian Griffin (1972) and Birth of Spring (1979) in Pope John Paul II Avenue. One of the most beautiful monuments of Szczecin, Bogusław X and Anna Jagiellonka (1969-1974) in front of the Castle of the Pomeranian Dukes, is a joint work with Anna Paszkiewicz.




Leonia Chmielnik. My World – Our World

17 May – 3 November 2024
vernissage: 16 May 2024, 6.00 P.M.

The National Museum in Szczecin – the Museum of Contemporary Art
ul. Staromłyńska 1

Curator: Joanna Łozowska

Photographs: Jacek Fijałkowski, the artist's archive