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Mala Gallery
8, Zamkowy Sq., Warsaw (Old Town)
2 - 29 November 2005



Wiktor T. Nowotka - For Wiktor

In memory of Wiktor Urbanek (1950-2005)

Photo by Wiktor T. Nowotka, from his exhibition at Mala Gallery in Warsaw, November 2005.

PRESENTATION of the most recent photographic works of Wiktor Nowotka is for such a venue as the Mała Gallery a confirmation of its policy formula for non-commercial art gallery with an individual profile shaped already decades ago.

The work of Wiktor Nowotka which is marked by noteworthy consistency was presented for the first time in the gallery almost 15 years ago. Nowotka was one of the first photographers who in very conscious and comprehensive way took advantage of peculiar qualities of pinhole photography. The artist in his technically very carefully executed pictures concentrates on interiors and recording of various details of everyday life. It does not mean that people disappeared from these sophisticated photographs completely – on contrary, we can see them, even the artist himself. Nevertheless particular attention is turned to individual common objects, which due to exaggerate perspective and specifically blurred outlines seem to gain almost fairylike meanings.

These pictures radiate specific aura and they seem to be taken from inside, like they were not an external recording of what has appeared in front of the camera. Providing of course that we regard the equipment the artist uses as “a camera”.

A new, non present up to now element of this new series is multiplication of images – on each print a particular motiff is seen five times. It gives an additional effect of as if internal reflection. But it does not deprive these works of this what many photographers using this simple technique consider to be most essential thing – an element of objectiveness.

For Wiktor Nowotka the pinhole photography despite of definite rules of making it seems to be still an area of consistent development of searchings and experiments.

The Mala Gallery while reporting on consecutive stages of this quest affirms its policy shaped through decades. The policy concentrated not only on formal and technological experiments but also on searchings within one, consistently chosen stylistics.

Marek Grygiel
Warsaw, 13 October 2005.


Photo by Wiktor T. Nowotka, from his exhibition at Mala Gallery in Warsaw, November 2005.


MANY times I had opportunity to express my opinions about phenomenon of popularity of pinhole photography in Poland. This popularity should likely be referred to inclusion of this technique to curricula of many schools. Because of that the pinhole photography became a source of many interesting experiments. In view of deluge of such works it would be worthwhile to bring back memory of pioneers of this method of imaging who used this technique when photography still was not a part of academic teaching. Undoubtfully one of these pioneers is Wiktor Nowotka, who presents his subsequent exhibition as a kind of retrospective, presenting both his early pictures and the most recent ones, taken with a multi-hole camera.

The title of this exhibition reveals another aspect of this show. That is, the artist devotes the exhibition to his late friend, Wiktor Urbanek, with whom he was carrying out first succesful pinhole realisations already in 1980’s. Just these attempts (apart from works of Paweł Borkowski from Gdańsk) were one of the first “pinholes” in Poland. The dedication is meaningful in this that it brings back to historical memory the name of a photographer almost unknown in the environment of pinhole photographers. Nevertheles for me as an observer of contemporary photographic scene equally essential is artistic programme of Nowotka himself

The artist belongs to a few photographers consistently practicing one particular technique in such long time span and this consistency seems to be also a vital characteristic of his artistic attitude. However it would not be good if in the context of above reflections the aesthetic values of Wiktor Nowotka works escaped our notice. Just to these values I want to turn attention of beholders. Nowotka uses the pinhole camera as very personal, visual diaryconcentrated on his closest surroundings. In face of fashionable Internet blogs which also employ photography acquired mostly with digital cameras, the proposal of Nowotka means return to sources of photography understood in classic way with its mystery present in latent image, the image that is revealed only in chemical process of calling to life.

Zbigniew Tomaszczuk


Photo by Wiktor T. Nowotka, from his exhibition at Mala Gallery in Warsaw, November 2005.


Wiktor Teodor Nowotka
Selected exhibitions:

1987 - "Fenomeny”, Galeria WTF, Warszawa
1988 - „Podróż”, Galeria WTF, Warszawa
1989 - „W krzakach i gdzie indziej”, (z Wiktorem Urbankiem) Galeria WTF, Warszawa
1990 - „Pinhole”, (z W. Urbankiem), Galeria Foton, Warszawa
1991 - „Dotyk światła”, Mała Galeria - CSW / ZPAF, Warszawa
1993 - „Krajobraz z rowerem w pierwszym planie”, Dom Holenderski, Warszawa
1993 - „Autoportret fotograficzny przy muzyce Donizettiego” Galeria Foto- Medium - Art , Wrocław
1995 - „Przez otwór” - Galeria Foto-Medium-Art - Wrocław
2000 - „Łazienka” - Galeria Arsenał, Poznań, BWA-Bydgoszcz
2000 - „Oswojenie II” - Mała Galeria CSW/ZPAF, Warszawa
2003 - „Broń Norblin” - Galeria Zaoczna - Warszawa

Photo by Wiktor T. Nowotka, from his exhibition at Mala Gallery in Warsaw, November 2005.


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