Enrico Prampolini

Muzeum Sztuki | MS2
Ogrodowa 19 St.
June 9, 2017–October 8, 2017

View of “Enrico Prampolini,” 2017.

In 1930, Italian Futurist artist Enrico Prampolini donated his painting Tarantella, 1920–22, to the Polish artist group a.r., which was amassing a collection of international avant-garde artworks that would become the foundation of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. It is perhaps fitting, then, that curator Przemysław Strożek uses the work as a symbolic point of departure for an exhibition that simultaneously serves as the first large-scale retrospective of Prampolini’s work since the early 1990s and as a portrait of the international character of the Polish avant-garde, the centenary of which is this year. Indeed, this thematic exhibition is among many organized by the museum in celebration of the anniversary; this one focuses on productive links between Prampolini’s stage design and Polish avant-garde theater.

The first section reflects Prampolini’s burgeoning interest in dynamism and simultaneity in the 1910s; the second section presents his use of technology in his set designs in the 1920s, culminating in a reconstructed model of his 1925 Magnetic Theatre; and the third highlights his approach to pure abstraction in the 1930s. Interspersed are a range of materials connected to the stage design of Polish avant-garde groups, such as Blok, Praesens, and Zwrotnica. Overall, a staggering two hundred paintings, documents, models, costumes, sketches, and photographs are on view in one room. That the exhibition does not become overwhelmed by its content is a testament to the design: Floating walls, on which all two-dimensional work is installed, have been positioned to create semi-intimate viewing areas.

— Alpesh Kantilal Patel