An ongoing theme in Piotr Uklański’s practice is the role of photography in establishing commonality, in making and challenging group identity. Uklański’s series Eastern Promises draws on historical links between Poland and the Islamic world. In the nineteenth century, projections of the ‘Orient’ contributed to a nationalising sentiment within Poland, where Muslim Tatar settlers have existed since the fourteenth century. Uklański’s series explores masculinity, the sitting portrait and iconography, while explicitly targeting the Islamophobia spreading today in the West and contemporary Poland’s suppression of its own history.

Piotr Uklański (b. 1968, Warsaw, Poland) has constructed a diverse body of work that exploits as many types of media (sculpture, photography, collage, performance, and film) as it promiscuously absorbs cultural references. Uklański’s work often draws polemical reactions since the artist does not shy away from potentially controversial subjects. Recent solo exhibition include Polska, The National Museum in Krakow (2018); Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015); Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Selects from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2015). Recent group exhibitions include A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, Muzeum Susch, Susch (2018); Shouting: Poland! Independence 1918, National Museum, Warsaw (2018); Learning from Athens, documenta14, Neue Gallery, Kassel, and EMST-National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2017).

EXHIBITED WORKS

Untitled (Richard Salwey), 2018
Ink and acrylic on cotton velvet over canvas
167.6 × 129.8 cm

Untitled (Martin van Meytens), 2019
Ink and acrylic on cotton velvet over canvas
167 × 134.9 × 5 cm

Untitled (Eastern Promises IV), 2019
Ink and acrylic on viscose velvet over canvas
76.5 × 55.8 cm

Untitled (Balthasar Klossowski), 2019
Ink and acrylic on mohair velvet over canvas
177.8 × 130.1 cm

Untitled (Félicité d’Arberg, Countess of Lobau), 2018
Ink and acrylic on mohair velvet over canvas
177.8 × 129.5 cm

Untitled (Nicolas François Gillet), 2019
Ink and acrylic on polyester velvet over canvas
228.6 × 130 cm

Untitled (Thomas Phillips), 2019
Ink and acrylic on mohair velvet over canvas
130.8 × 190.8 cm

Untitled (Eastern Promises I), 2018
Ink, acrylic and oil on cotton velvet over canvas
152.7 × 123.5 × 2.5 cm

Untitled (Roustam Raza), 2018
Ink and acrylic on cotton velvet over canvas
152.7 × 121.9 cm

Untitled (Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine), 2018
Ink, acrylic and oil on mohair velvet over canvas
179 × 129.8 cm

Courtesy the artist and MDC S.p.A — Massimo De Carlo.
Presented with the support of Şebnem & Mahmut Ünlü and Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Yukarı