"Polish Individualities" Portrait Portfolio and a promotional exhibition

Indywidualności Polskie

In 2009, at the initiative of the Museum of History of Photography in Cracow and under the patronage of the National Library in Warsaw, I created a collection of 44 b/w signed and numbered portraits covering the period of 1972-1995, accompanied by my commentaries in Polish, English, German and French.

Professor Andrzej Rottermund, director of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, who has recently been presented with the Portfolio by the Association of Authors ZAiKS, is the author of the foreword.

The Portfolio is a cardboard box in A3+ format imcluding the photos inserted into folded sheets of paper and commentaries and it meets all the criteria of an archival museum object and - as an artistic book - has its ISBN code.

It may serve as a prestigious gift.
Should this Portfolio be transmitted to a culture organization or the buyer’s guest there is a possibility to print an additional Donor’s Card in A3+ format with an agreed text.
To those interested in the purchase of the Portfolio I am ready to present the original within the agreed time.

Indywidualności Polskie

President Bronisław Komorowski donated the Portfolio to the Museum of Europe in Brussels, Orange Polska S.A. provided one copy to the Bibliothèque Polonaise, B.P.P. Paris and the Museum of History of Photography in Cracow, PKO Bank Polski - to the National Library, Poznań International Fair purchased one Portfolio for the National Museum in Poznań, Kulczyk Investments - for the Jagiellonian University Library and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Polish Association of Authors ZAiKS - for the Royal Castle and Warsaw University Library, Mazowieckie Province Governor - for Museum Moritzburg in Halle, and recently Dolnośląskie Province Governor purchased one Portfolio for PLN 30,000 for the National Museum of Ukraine in Lviv.

  • Photos 14 horizontal and 30 vertical, from Portfolio promotional exhibition come in two formats, depending on the size of the exhibition hall:

  • Small exhibition - 44 photos 23.5x36cm and 6 information boards, in aluminium frames protected with plexiglass 26.5x 37.5cm in a transport box 77x120xh68cm.

  • Bigger exhibition - 44 photos 40x60cm and 6 information boards, in aluminium glazed frames 50x70cm transported in 4 professional boxes measuring
    70x80x h70cm.

Portfolio promotional exhibitions have been shown in, among other, Internationales Zeitungsmuseum, Aachen. Bibliothèque Polonaise, B.P.P. Paris. Polish Institute in Prague. Lietuvos Mokslų Akademijos Vrublevskių Bibliotekoje, Vilnius, National Museum in Gdańsk, National Library in Warsaw and Cracow Jagiellonian and Warsaw University libraries.
The small format Polish Individualities exhibition was presented in Ślędzińskis’ Gallery in Białystok and the maxi open-air version of the exhibition was shown in Galeria na Płocie of Saski Garden in Lublin where the photos were devastated.
In autumn 2015 the Portfolio exhibition was presented by the Museum Moritzburg in Halle. In 2016 Portfolio exhibition was presented by arteko gallery in San Sebastian and Sala de Exposiciones Auditorio y Centro de Congresos « Victor Villegas » in Murcia.

The National Museum in Gdańsk published a 52 page catalogue for the Polish Individualities exhibition, which presents the whole project in the 23.5cm x 33cm format which can be purchased at PLN 100 plus PLN 13 p&p as per data at the end of the text.


"A portrait without a face" Exhibition and album

Portret bez twarzy

In September and November 2013 the Royal Castle in Warsaw presented the premiere of a 150 black and white and colour photos of the retrospective exhibition entitled "A portrait without a face". It sums up my 40-year-long attempts of creating a subjective portrait of the Polish intelligentsia.

From the Royal Castle in Warsaw the exhibition continued to the National Museum in Wrocław, then to the Museum of History of Photography in Cracow and Artistic Exhibitions Office in Rzeszów, the National Museum in Lviv and Nacionalinis M.K. Čiurlionio dailės muziejus in Kaunas.

The exhibition portraits are contrary to the identifying anthropometric photos commonly demanded in the today's globalised world.
Faces formed with a lens, sunk in the darkness, extremely brightened, portraits created by putting one negative over another or showing just the silhouettes - all of them giving a picture of a modern human being; even though their faces are sometimes out of focus, screened or replaced with hands. Even a fragment of a face can, as per the "Pars pr toto" rule, stand for the portrait. Some of the portraits are supplemented with multi-symbolic props that allow individual viewers to interpret the pictures according to their own imagination.

For the idea and preparation of both the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, in Polish and English, I received the Annual Award in Visual Arts from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

  • The exhibition comprises of 67 b/w photos, 25 horizontal and 42 vertical,
    in 40x 60cm format, in aluminium frames 50x70cm covered with glass, transported in 5 professional transport boxes measuring 70x80x h70cm;

  • 49 vertical colour photos measuring 50x 60cm, in aluminium frames 80x 90cm protected with plexiglass, transported in 3 professional transport boxes measuring 60x 85x h110cm;

  • 34 b/w and colour photos, 11 horizontal and 23 vertical measuring 23x37.5cm in aluminium frames 33.5x 46cm protected with plexiglass and 14 title and information boards of the same size as previously, transported together in a professional box measuring 77x115x h68cm;

  • 5 vertical posters in 70x100cm in aluminium frames protected with plexiglass 72x105cm in transport cardboard box.

The exhibition organiser and catalogue publisher is Photography Development Foundation, whose chairman is Mariusz Klonowski. The organisation of the exhibition and catalogue publication were also supported by the National Center for Culture and also a grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Orange Polska S.A.

The 160 pages Polish-English album/catalogue contains all 150 exhibition photos with my comments and problem texts on portrait photography as well as the photographer’s situation.
The publication may be purchased at PLN 140 plus PLN 16.60 p&p as per the information at the end of the text.


"Face to Face" Exhibition

Twarzą w twarz

A portraitist has one social obligation - to show models' faces in a clear and obvious manner. And this is exactly what I want to get away from with my subjective portraits. People love to recognise the important and outstanding personalities and identify with them and that is why it is commonly believed that a photo where models are clearly visible is a good photo. Idealised tradition of palace galleries of ancestors shaped the needs and preferences of the public distating traditional ways of perceiving a portrait.
I have made a lot of such photos in my studio that lure with their appearance and are therefore considered as good.
As I lacked any better idea, I created rather primitive situations hoping that the face of the portrayed person will charm the audience. These are the pictures I used to create Face to Face, which is an exhibition complementary to A portrait without a face.

  • The exhibition comprises of 38 vertical 50x60cm colour photos and 2 information boards all in aluminium frames 80x 90cm protected with plexiglass, travelling in two 60x 85x h110cm professional transport boxes.

After Town Hall Gallery in Rzeszów the exhibition was presented in Municipal Culture Centre Gallery in Olsztyn in spring 2015.
No catalogue has been printed for this exhibition yet but it can be viewed on my website www.gieraltowski.pl


"Ring" Exhibition

Ring - plakat wystawy

The exhibition has been created in the cooperation with the art advisor Adam Mazur at the commission of the Centre of Contemporary Art "Znaki czasu" in Toruń, the city where it was presented in spring 2015, after that in Galeria PAcamera in Suwalki. In 2017 it was presented by Polsky Inštitút in Bratislava.

I have searched through over 100,000 black and white negatives from my archives, covering the years 1975-1985, to finally choose 110 portraits made mainly to press interviews. The journalist and the photographer met their interviewer independently, like the two fighters in a boxing ring ("Ring" was the title of one of the columns of the itd weekly), to finally have the joint report published.

I prepared lists of the people I wanted to portray and searched for journalists who would want to talk to them or we worked together on the people as commissioned by the magazine.

I show my favourite artists, meritorious scientists, peasant activists, workmen and socialist managers. Incidentally I also portrayed the oppositionists for my own archives. A more substantial group include the government pro-communist advisors, Marxist experts, tending towards communism writers and communist ideologists as commissioned by the editorial office.

This is who we were at the time. As a rule I will write a short comment to each portrait and will endeavour to issue the evidence of the times captured in the faces of my contemporaries.

  • The exhibition comprises of 22 horizontal and 88 vertical photos, total 110,
    all copied in Didigraphy technology on the Traditional Photo Paper.

  • The photos are bordered with the 5cm black passe-partout, shielded with the 2mm plexiglass and framed with the narrow black mat aluminium frames 33,5x46cm.

  • The exhibition is transported in two professional cases with diameters of 77x115xh68cm.

As there is no catalogue to this exhibition yet it may be seen at my website www.gieraltowski.pl


"REMAKE" Exhibition

Remake - plakat wystawy

I dedicate this exhibition to the memory of Kees Broos,
deceased today in Arnhem, who was a friend of mine,
art historian and connoisseur of photography.

In the 80s, the exhibition showing my portraits of Poles swept through distinguished museums of Milan, Munich, Baden-Baden, Oslo, Finnish Iyvaskyla and had its end at the Royal Castle in Warsaw in 1988. As part of this tournée, it was also presented in 1984 in the Dutch Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem and Museum voor Moderne Kunst in Arnhem.

So when the "Passage Oost-Europa" Culture Festival was organized in Arnhem, the director of the Museum Liesbeth Brandt Corstius and her husband Kees Broos invited me to portray the participants of the Festival. In autumn 1990, for 2 weeks I was taking photographs of Russians, GDR-men, Polish and Dutch people. Painters, actresses and directors, composers and conductors, jazz musicians, historians, writers, sculptors, architects and staff organizing the Festival. I was putting up my successively emerging portraits in the Festival Centre, at Schouwburg. It is then thanks to the commission from the Dutch, that I made a portrait, afterwards widely published, of Jerzy Grzegorzewski who visited the Festival with the Studio Theatre.
In Poland, there are no such festivals of people of culture; they lost to Coca-Cola and beer events and therefore this remake as a positive recollection. Thanks to the invitation by Monica Ney, 25 years later, I showed my photographs for the first time in Poland.
In 2017 it was presented during Budapest Photo Festival by Lengyel Intezet.


  • The exhibition comprises of 17 vertical and 12 horizontal, total of 29 b/w 40x60cm photos printed with Digigraphie technology on archival Epson Traditional Photo Paper with a 5cm passe-partout and a 2mm glass in black mat aluminium 50x70cm frames.

As there is no catalogue to this exhibition yet it may be seen at my website www.gieraltowski.pl




Earlier publications are available


Krzysztof Gierłtowski, Portrety

Krzysztof Gierałtowski. Portraits published by Artistic and Film Publisher (Wydawnictwo Artystyczne i Filmowe WAiF), Warsaw 1998.
On its 120 pages you will find 50 b/w portraits (23cm x30cm) with my commentaries in Polish. Foreword of the book was written by Olgierd Budrewicz and Dariusz Karłowicz, and I added a few personal thoughts to it.

Publication price: PLN 60 plus PLN 13 p&p.



Gry z portretem

Playing with portraits, published in 2005 by Gierałtowski Gallery/Studio, is a documentation of my activities. It contains reviews of my exhibitions, both in Poland and abroad, as well as essays by Stefan Morawski, Ryszard Kapuściński, Jan Szczepański, Jacek Żakowski and others on portrait photography and my photos, interviews with me and my texts about photography, those funny and more official ones.

Price of this didactic publication, that will appeal especially to younger readers,
is PLN 27 plus PLN 13 p&p.



Gierałtowski - okładka katalogu

In September 2005 Gierałtowski Gallery/Studio published the Gierałtowski, album, accompanying my exhibition in Królikarnia/ National Museum in Warsaw, summing up my 30 years of portreying. This 120-page book in 23cm x 31.5cm format contains 64 b/w and 60 colour photos with my subjective commentaries. Additionally the album contains Polish and German versions of essays by Krzysztof Pomian, Director of Museum of Europe in Brussels, Hans-Ulrich Lechmann, Senior Conservator of Old Prints in Dresden Gallery and Dorota Folga-Januszewska, Science and Education Director at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Publication price: PLN 120 plus PLN 16.50 p&p.



Warszawiacy i inni - okładka katalogu

In December 2008 Old-Town Culture House (Staromiejski Dom Kultury) in Warsaw published a 26-page large-format (32cm x 46.5 cm) catalogue accompanying my exhibition entitled Varsovians and others. The publication includes 18 portraits, 30 x 36cm, my commentaries and the essay written by Joanna Tokarska-Bakir, a culture anthropologist from the University of Warsaw, in Polish and English.

Catalogue price: PLN 80 plus PLN 13 p&p.



All publications can be ordered at krzysztof@gieraltowski.pl
Please include your address and invoice details in your order.
Details of the bank account for payments are as follows:
mBank
97 1140 2004 0000 3702 4861 7519
Galeria/Studio Gierałtowskiego,
03-704 Warszawa,
ul. Panieńska 9 m. 7

All six catalogues presented here can also be purchased in Galeria Leica at ul. Mysia 3 or Ney Gallery&Prints at ul. Spokojna 5 in Warsaw.

All copyrights to the photos and texts included on the web site are reserved to Krzysztof Gierałtowski © krzysztof@gierałtowski.pl
Wszystkie prawa zastrzeżone © Copyright Krzysztof Gierałtowski