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Mala Gallery
8, Zamkowy Sq., Warsaw (Old Town)
June 7th - July 1st, 2005



Wanda Michalak - 5 years later

Wanda Michalak, z wystawy p.t. "5 lat później",
Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW w Warszawie, czerwiec 2005 r.

(5 years later the) MEN (are still) ABOUT Wanda Michalak

THIS IS Wanda’s Michalak favourite subject in life and photography: Men. These men on the pictures look like soldiers. They wear the same battledress; they’re barefoot, clothed in long trousers and a singlet. Behind their sunglasses they seem to be invaders from another planet. But at this point the association with warriors comes to an end. Compared to each other the men look very vulnerable, almost naked.

Wanda asked them to stand in front of her camera and behave as they were going to embrace somebody. Most of them look a bit shy.

Wanda’s pictures reveal a clear paradox. It is the contradiction between uniformity and individuality. At one side men are shown as a strange but uniform species of mankind. There is much resemblance in these 21 characters today.

At the other hand: Because of the way Wanda presented them we can see 21 sheer individuals with their private personalities.

Some men look like proud lovers, some are looking at us as if they are ready to conquer the adventurous world. Other men seem to be utterly surprised.

In photography people are formed by light that falls upon them. Wanda chose to use a very simple form of lightning. The background contains no light at all. It is black. This results into a clear distinction of the various identities which are attached to the walls of WMGallery. Passport pictures should be taken in this way.

The exhibition is called Men are Still About. Five years ago at the beginning of her gallery Wanda’s exhibition was called Men about. At that occasion Wanda depicted most men in the nude. Now all Wanda’s men are wearing clothes. But in a way these men are even more naked than as they would be in the nude. They look very innocent. They have dropped their masks. It shows the real beauty of men.

A photographic portrait is a statement. These pictures are looking very natural, logic in a way. That’s a quality of good photography: pictures taken and shown in a way that we can take their depicted reality for granted.

Jaap Bijsterbosch, (February 2005)

Wanda Michalak, z wystawy p.t. "5 lat później",
Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW w Warszawie, czerwiec 2005 r.

Wanda Michalak, z wystawy p.t. "5 lat później",
Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW w Warszawie, czerwiec 2005 r.


WHEN few years ago we have presented for the first time photographic works of Wanda Michalak, who lived abroad already for many years, we had no idea what exactly her photographic way will be. Wanda belongs to this small group of artists photographers who while focused on their own work are also curious to see the works of others or even to enter into a kind of dialogue with them. It was not by accident that the one of her recent shows was called so.

This curiosity or the form of dialogue Wanda is conducting with artists whom she cerefully selects for her gallery that is celebrating this year its fifth anniversary, is being verified by the audience which from the first glance hasn’t any particular problems with Wanda’s pictures. Her pictures are marked with simplicity and communicativeness. Her attention is always focused on human being (more often a male!) whether it is a portrait or an image of some person posing in the front of her camera. Wanda knows how to disclose sometimes artificially created pose, the characters at her pictures seem to be natural and at ease. Look – I am just like that. And it is preserved on these photographs.

Photography more then the other media is capable to reveal the whole truth about what it is depicting. Despite of all illusions, it conveys - when treated as neutral recording of the reality - essential elements of knowledge that are elusive in everyday life. It refers also to photographs of people, even they are being taken in a studio and have quality of situations staged to some degree, just like it is sin case of the last series of male characters from collection of Wanda Michalak.

Marek Grygiel, Warsaw, May 31st, 2005.

Wanda Michalak, z wystawy p.t. "5 lat później",
Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW w Warszawie, czerwiec 2005 r.

Opening at Mala Gallery:
Wanda Michalak and Marek Grygiel.

Born in Warsaw, Poland. Works and lives in Amsterdam.
Carrington Polytechnic Design School, Auckland, New Zealand
Selected exhibitions:
1990- "Portraits", Auckland
1991- "The Four Elements" (group exhibition), Gallery De Moor, Amsterdam
1992- "The Moor Inside Out" (projekt fotograficzny / photo project), De Moor, Amsterdam
1992- "Selected Works", Gallery Spectrum, Amsterdam
1993- "Double Exhibition", Galeria Panorama - Patio, Warszawa
1993- "Travel Photography - Ghana", De Moor, Amsterdam
1994- "New Horizons", Lubljana
1994- "Natural Connections", Gallery De Moor, Amsterdam
1995- "Slavic Connections " (ACF) Amsterdam Centrum voor Fotografie
1995- "Portraits of Slavic Women"(wystawa podwójna / duo exhibition), Hoorn
1996- "Project 17x17x17", (group exhibition), ACF, Amsterdam
1997- "Venus Nova", Studio "M" Bożeny Marki, Warszawa
1997- "World Watching", Galeria FF, Łódź
1997- "Venus Nova & Slavic Connections", Schwarzenbergplatz 4, Vienna
1999- "World Watching II", Instituto Portugues de Fotografia, Lisbon
1999- "About Men", Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW, Warszawa
1999- "Venus Nova" (group exhibition), Gallery ArkA, Breda
1999- "World Watching II", Salvador de Bahia
1999- "Ontmoetingen" (group exhibition), Grote Kerk, Breda
2000- "Men About", Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2000- "Bilgoraj. Polen in de Bijlmer" (group exhibition), Bijlmer Galerie, Amsterdam
2000- 1956-1996 Photoproject - Europa Dag Express (9.05.2000)
2000- "I Love to be Landscape", Scheltema Trappengalerie, Amsterdam
2001- "Australia on the Line", Franjostudio - Raam Galerie, Amsterdam
2001- "Self and Friends" (group exhibition), ACF, Amsterdam
2001- "20x20 Inches of Holland" (group exhibition) Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2001- "World Watching", Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2001- "De Fotograven Avond" (group exhibition), ABC Tree House Gallery, Amsterdam
2001- "Selfish" (group exhibition), Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2002- "American Bookshop Calender" (group exhibition), ABC Tree House Gallery, Amsterdam
2002- "World Watching" (duo exhibition), Gallery Objectief, Enschede
2002- Open Ateliers de Jordaan, Amsterdam
2002- "Polish Biennale (group exhibition), Brielle
2002- "Images of Desire" (wystawa grupowa / group exibition) Winston Hotel, Amsterdam
2002- "Tweede Fotograven avond" (group exhibition) ABC Treehouse Gallery, Amsterdam
2002- "Jubileusz 25 lat" (group exhibition) Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW, Warszawa
2002- "World Watching", Galerie Donker, Gorinchem
2002- "Duister" (wystawa grupowa / group exhibition GKF members), Galerie Melkweg, Amsterdam
2003- "If you go to the woods today…" (group exhibition) Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2003- "Dialogues, dialogues" (solo exhibition) Mala Galeria, ZPAF-CSW, Warszawa
2004- "World Watching" Polish Cultural Institute, Sofia
2004- "Ego Ik Zelf" Melkweg Galerie, Amsterdam
2004 - "If you go into the woods today…", Pauza, Kraków
2004/05 - "Van bossen en bomen", Melkweg Galerie, Amsterdam
2005 - "(5 years later the) Men (are still) About", Gallery WM 5 Years Jubilee, Amsterdam

"World Watching", Published by LTM, Warszawa - 1997
Respublica Nowa, illustrations for: nr 72, 92, 100/101, 105, 120, 153, nr 161, 168.
Motor Puls Magazine: 1996 - Ghana (illustrations)

Works in collections:
Mobil Oil, Vienna, Austria
Private collections in in New Zealand, Poland, The Netherlands, Norway, USA



Earlier in FOTOTAPETA:




See also:


Wanda Michalak and her guests for the opening of the exhibition at Mala Gallery, Warsaw, 7 June 2005. Photo by M. Grygiel


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