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Mala Gallery
8, Zamkowy Sq., Warsaw (Old Town)
December 2-20, 2003



Tomasz Tomaszewski: A GIFT


Tomasz Tomaszewski "GIFT". Photo by Jerzy Lapinski.

AN INSTALLATION of Tomasz Tomaszewski whose presentation in the Mala Galery was suggested by Tadeusz Rolke does not posses qualities of traditionally understood exhibition. It is rather a gentle provocation aimed equally at receivers and makers of photography. Tomasz Tomaszewski, one of the best known Polish photographers who has in his curriculum vitae many presentations and published albums, has agreed for this proposition without anz hesitation expecting it to be a good opportunity to pose essential questions about the sense of photography, which is especially vital now, when photography undergoes technological, aesthetical and philosophical metamorphoses. Photographing has became recently an incredibly popular activity; the ethos of a photographer who is not only an artist but also a witness to surrounding us reality, has eroded considerably. We are being flooded by millions of photographs, we live in the world of unbelivable abundance of pictures registered and recorded on unprecedented scale.

Perhaps Tomasz Tomaszewski giving thousands of his transparencies to his friend, Jerzy Lapinski, also a photographer, wanted to share with him his bitter reflection upon the state of contemporary photography. At the same time he puts them into the right hands - as he would be giving a fragment of himself - since these transparencies contain very essential and important fragment of his own work and of his own life. A gift received by the friend is something more than only an ingenious gadget - a small living room table that is supposed to astonish astonish possible visitors. For Tomaszewski a house is a very important space, a place in which we mostly deal with something that, as he says, used to be called a family. An interpretation of this gesture may have many levels and to spread to a continously disintegrating photographic milieu. Tomaszewski giving such personal gift invites us to take part in discussion that would help to define the place of photography in this difficult, not very friendly, devoid of simple humane warmth atmosphere of succeding in everything for every price and without giving any consideration to anything.

This kind of reflecting upon this small glass object filled with huge mass of recorded pieces of the world in a form of small rectangular transparencies, which most probably will never be used directly, is one of many that can be accepted. But it is not the only one. This potential multi-layer character of interpretation of this gesture and this object accounts for its symbolic simplicity and, at the same time, for the strength of its originality.

Sometimes it happens so that not the completed work but the kind of intuition revealing itself in some conscious, even private activity, allows to discover new horizons, existence of which we would not even foresee. Te gift of Tomek is then some out of ordinary, symbollic surprise for his friend - as it is also a surprise for us all, whom photography and its future cannot leave uncommited

Marek Grygiel



Opening at Mala Gallery, Dec. 2nd, 2003. Photo: A. Cymer

TOMASZ TOMASZEWSKI uwas born in Warsaw in 1953 where he lives ever since. He is married, has a daughter and a grandson. He is a press photographer who have had his pictures published in major magazines in dozens of countries. He published five books with his pictures and his photographs were included in more than ten collective works.

He has won many Polish and international photographic prizes. Since seventeen years he has been cooperating with the National Geographic Magazine in which he published fourteen photographic reportages. He teaches photography in Poland, USA and Italy.

Member of the Union of Polish Art Photographers.
Member of the Visum Archiv Agency in Hamburg, the Image Collection Ągency in Washington and the American Society of Magazine Photographers.

Books by Tomaszewski

2003 "W Centrum", Warszawa
1999 "Niezwykla Hiszpania", Barcelona
1994 "W poszukiwaniu Ameryki", Warszawa
1993 "Ostatni. Wspolczesni Zydzi polscy", Warszawa
1987 "Die Lezten Juden in Polen", Zurich
1986 "Remnants, the Last Jews in Poland", New York
1982 "Cyganie Polscy", Warszawa

Books with photographs of Tomaszewski

2001 "Wielka Ksiega Dziesieciolecia", Warszawa
2000 "Photographs Then and Now", Washington, D.C.
2000 "A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow", tekst / text by Tim Brookes, USA
1999 "Najlepsze Zdjecia National Geographic", G&J, Polska
1997 "On Assignment by National Geographic", Washington, D.C.
1996 "Contemporary Photographers", London
"National Geographic - The Photographs", Washington, D.C.
1990 "Power to Heal", New York
1989 "Odyssey. The Art of Photography", Washington, D.C.
1988 "A Day in the Life of Soviet Union", New York
1988 "A Day in the Life of Spain", New York
1987 "A Day in the Life of America", New York
1980 "Die Verbanten Dichter", Hamburg

Individual exhibitions

2003 Leica Gallery, Solms, Niemcy / Germany
2003 Galeria Miejska, Gizycko
2003 Galeria Miejska, Andrychow
2003 Galeria ZPAF, Kielce
2003 Muzeum Miejskie, Wroclaw
2003 Galeria B&B, Bielsko-Biala
2003 Galeria Marcholt, Katowice
2002 Muzeum Regionalne w Gorzowie Wielkopolskim
2002 Galeria Miejska w Szczecinku
2002 Muzeum Miasta Oswiecim
2002 Muzeum Regionalne, Stalowa Wola
2001 Galeria Zacheta, Warszawa
2001 Galeria BWA, Sopot
1997 Teatr Wielki, Warszawa
1995 Stara Galeria ZPAF, Warszawa
1990 Canon Gallery, Amsterdam
1989 Galeria Zachęta, Warszawa
1989 Beth Hatefutsot Museum, Tel Aviv
1989 Culture Centre, Jerusalem
1987 Prince Gallery, Detroit
1987 Robert Kahan Gallery, Houston
1987 Beth Tzedec Museum, Toronto
1987 National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
1986 National Geographic Magazine, Washington. D.C.
1986 International Center of Photography, New York
1985 Stara Galeria ZPAF, Warszawa


See also:


Opening at Mala Gallery, Dec. 2nd, 2003. From left: Jerzy Lapinski, Marek Grygiel, Tadeusz Rolke and Tomasz Tomaszewski. Photo Adam Mazur.



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17 - 05 - 2004