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On 5 June at 11:00 AM, the opening of a temporary exhibition entitled For Chopin: Three Monuments to the Composer 1894 – 1926 – 1961 will take place. The exhibition, which is being presented at the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin and Park in Żelazowa Wola, is devoted to three monuments dedicated to  Fryderyk Chopin which have become a peculiar sort of landmark works in the presentation of the composer’s image in public space.

In Żelazowa Wola, in front of the manor annex of the Counts Skarbek in which Fryderyk Chopin was born, the first monument honoring the composer within Polish soil was erected in 1894. In 1926, in Warsaw’s Royal Łazienki Park, the most famous monument to Chopin was unveiled nearly two decades after it was designed. In 1961, a young artist named Krystian Burda defended his diploma project – a design for an abstract monument dedicated to Chopin.

These three monuments – the obelisk with classically-oriented tondo from the late 19th century, the Art Nouveau monument in Royal Łazienki Park and the abstract arrangement of forms perceived in motion from the early 1960s – are linked by a common desire to commemorate the composer. To commemorate, but also to interpret in accordance with the expectations and ‘spirit of the time’.

The monuments to Chopin that are presently being built in great numbers bring to mind a question: how does this brilliant composer – difficult to define unambiguously, linking Romantic and Classical, national and universal elements – deserve to be commemorated? Is a  presentation based on well-known images of the composer sufficient? Can numerous symbols and allegories be helpful to the figure of Chopin, or perhaps quite the contrary? The present exhibition does not attempt to give an answer to these fundamental questions; it aims rather to inspire reflection on how various artistic attitudes have responded to the needs of times past, and in what measure their actions are still relevant.

 For  Chopin: Three Monuments to the Composer 1894 – 1926 – 1961 exhibition will last from 24 May 2016 to 12 March 2017.

5 June 2016, opening of temporary exhibition at the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin and Park in Żelazowa Wola, Prelude Pavilion, admission free.

Exhibition curators: Maciej Janicki, Mariola Wojtkiewicz