Avant-Garde Institute
Al. Solidarności 64, apt. # 118, 11th floor

In the corridor of the studio at Aleja Solidarności 64 in Warsaw hangs a small-format painting by
Maria Ewa ‘Mewa’ Łunkiewicz-Rogoyska, the only trace of the artist’s presence in the legendary
avant-garde space. She spent five years of her life living there with her husband Jan Rogoyski
and friend Henryk Stażewski.

‘Mewa’ Łunkiewicz-Rogoyska (1895-1967) was Poland’s sole representative of Amédée
Ozenfant’s and Charles-Edouard Jeanneret’s Purist painting. She was associated with the
Cercle et Carré and Abstraction-Création international art movements. A member of the Club of
Young Artists and Scientists, she participated in the activities of collectives such as Plastycy
Nowocześni, Blok or Praesens, though she was never formally their member. Throughout
almost her entire life she shared a studio with Henryk Stażewski, always maintaining an
autonomy of artistic choices.

An erudite and mentor, she was at the very centre of the life of Warsaw’s literary and artistic
elites. For those visiting her at the studio, she was a substitute of Paris and the world. ‘It was
Mewa, with her perfect French, her books, and omelettes de la mére Poulard that let us taste a
flavour of France’, remembers Anka Ptaszkowska. ‘She had a particular gift for love, like a living
antenna, receiving, especially among the young, their creative talents’. Mariusz Tchorek, art
critic and the studio’s regular guest, remembered her as a ‘woman liberated from the common
attributes of femininity’. ‘In her turpentine-smelling room’, he wrote, ‘she had nothing in herself of
household enslavement and over-protectiveness, being instead majestic like a queen and, to
my eye at least, perfectly at ease’.

The show, set in a pavilion adjoining Stażewski’s and Krasiński’s former studio, features
Łunkiewicz-Rogoyska’s Purist compositions, gouaches of athletes, as well as, never previously
shown, cityscapes of ruined post-war Warsaw.

curator Katarzyna Kucharska-Hornung


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