Jan Pamuła. The Pleasure of Communing with Colour

opening: Friday, May 5th 2023 at 7 PM

exhibition: 05.05 – 16.06.2023

exhibition open Monday – Friday 10 AM – 6 PM
admission always free

place: Galeria Piekary
Św. Marcin 80/82 Street, Poznań
CK Zamek, Rose Courtyard


Galeria Piekary


media patronage:

The 9/11 Art Space Foundation and the Piekary Gallery are pleased to invite you to The Pleasure of Communing with Colour, an exhibition of works by Jan Pamuła. Inspired by digital techniques, the artist quickly became a Polish pioneer of computer art. The artist’s legacy manifests deep fascination with mathematics, the language of order, as well as reflection on the choice of colour, bringing the art of Robert Delaunay or Paul Klee to mind.

The first encounter with Pamuła’s oeuvre evokes an inner sense of harmony that nurtures gratifying peace. It is a precise order, a stricture of the form, an anointing experience of symmetry revealed before the viewer. Impeccable perfection. A stable, geometric matter that boldly outlines its ideal domain. These impressions readily dovetail with the code inherent in the work of the Polish painter, graphic artist, former rector of the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, and art theorist who explored both traditional techniques and digital media. His oeuvre also includes lithographs, etchings, serigraphs, woodcuts, graphic works, multi-format prints, digital prints, computer animations or lightboxes. The premises of his art drew on the Pythagorean “number”, an instrument for ordering reality; “an artist is one who is able to subsume the chaotic within a certain structuralist pattern: they are capable—as Arnheim puts it Art and Visual Perception—to create perceptual notions”, the artist observed in the authorial Visual Notebook (p. 115).

Exhibited here, the works by Jan Pamuła from the 1970s show the outcomes of his fascination with the logical order of the world. The series Arrangement with a Triangle captures the consistency of colour variation, the geometric diversity of a minimalist form. However, this asceticism does not imply paucity of substance; the mathematical order in the works is informed by the principles that govern reality, which interlock just as the depicted shapes. The conceptual layer plays the pivotal role in this case, exposing the essence of symmetry, systematicity, the harmonious perfection of proportion. Pamuła also noted that the visual study of geometry can bring out the true power of colour, whereby “(…) In principle, all painting is colour. I find it particularly important. (…) I feel the pleasure of communing with colour.” (Conversation with Andrzej Szczepaniak)

Jan Pamuła (born January 16th, 1944 in Spytkowice, died June 24th, 2022) began his studies in painting and graphic arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in 1961. He remained affiliated with his alma mater for a long time afterwards, obtaining the title of professor at the Department of Visual Arts in 1996. A vice-rector of the academy from 1996 to 2002, he was elected its rector for two consecutive terms (2002 – 2008).

The exhibition is an encounter with an extraordinary personality whose works have been appreciated by numerous museum institutions. Pamuła’s oeuvre has been displayed at e.g. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Albertina in Vienna, the National Museum in Warsaw and the National Museum in Krakow. He received accolades at the 10th Biennale internationale d’estampe contemporaine de Trois-Rivières, Canada, the International Exhibition of Small Graphic Forms in Łódź, the Norwegian International Graphic Triennial in Fredrikstad; also, one cannot fail to note the international context of Pamuła’s computer drawings, as Computer Series I and Computer Series II were created at the Atelier de Recherches et Techniques Avancées at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Image and NY series are the result of the residency at the New York Institute of Technology (exhibited at the NY Digital Salon). His name features in the catalogue of the Tama International Print Exhibition Poland & Japan in Tokyo. Guanlan, the fruit of the artist’s stay in China, was created at the Guanlan Printmaking Centre; meanwhile, Ostrava originates from the International Serigraphy Symposium at the University of Ostrava. A broad selection of his works was also shown in 2018 at the Abstrakce.PL held at the Museum of Art in Olomouc, whereas the MUO showed Pamuła’s solo retrospective two years later.

Co-financed with the funds of Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund – state special fund