Exhibition: Irena Jarosińska’s „Portraits”

Irena Jarosińska was born in 1924 in the Hutsul village of Shybene, and died in Warsaw in 1996. Her professional career began in the 1950s. She published photo features, often self-contained pieces, on daily life in the Polish People’s Republic for famous illustrated magazines such as „Świat” and „Polska”.

Privately, she was closely affiliated with many artistic groups. She portrayed painters, writers, and musicians who were outside the mainstream. She created photomontages and organised happenings and debates. In the mid-1970s, she ran an open house and a studio which served as a hub for cultural activity.

Her photographic legacy is a one-of-a-kind  chronicle of the lives of artists and their circles, as well as trends in contemporary art and culture, social phenomena, and historical events. In the 1970s, Jarosińska formed an informal „photographic university” with a group of young photographers. She also inspired many artistic events, with artists from various fields of art gathering in her studio to show their work.

The photographs on display present artists who remain Polish cultural icons. The personalities Jarosińska photographed include the poet Miron Białoszewski, the painter Henryk Stażewski, the playwright Sławomir Mrożek, and the composer Krzysztof Komeda, to name a few.

After years of obscurity, the vast photographic legacy of Irena Jarosińska, consisting of more than 60,000 objects, found its way into the Karta Centre’s Photo Archive. From 2013 to 2016, the entire collection was digitised, catalogued, secured, and made available online with funding from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

This exhibition has been organised in partnership with the KARTA Centre and made possible courtesy of Andrzej Pieniążek, heir to the rights to Irena Jarosińska’s photographs.

1-31.07 | outdoor exhibition available at all times | The Hartwig Alley, Kowalska 3