July 26, 2021

The Sopot school - a new Gdańsk school

Three extraordinary exhibitions and exceptional guests. An auction at the Sofitel Grand Hotel Sopot will feature works by Zdzisław Beksiński, Rafał Olbiński, Teresa Pągowska, Michał Szlaga and Dorota Nieznalska and many others.


The first part of the exhibition will be devoted to the most interesting young artists, the second to artists working in the trend of surrealism and magical realism, and the last part to the creators of the Sopot school and the new Gdańsk school. Among them, three works by Teresa Pągowska, an artist who is extremely popular today and is recently breaking all the records. Last year, one of her works was sold for over half a million zlotys. Among many others, her painting entitled "Intermezzo" from 1984, will be presented at the exhibiton in Sopot. The exhibition will also comprise of outstanding works by artists such as Piotr Potoworowski, Artur Nacht-Samborski, Jan Cybis, Henryk Cześnik, as well as the works of the founders and creators of the new Gdańsk school, headed by Grzegorz Klaman. There will also be works by artists of the new generation, including Dorota Nieznalska or Michał Szlaga.

In total, over 170 works will be exhibited.
See the auction offer
See the auction offer
See the auction offer


All exhibitions can be viewed at Sofitel Grand Hotel Sopot from the 1st to the 7th of August from 10am to 7pm. They will be auctioned off on August 5th, 6th and 7th.


We would like to invite you to a vernissage and a discussion panel devoted to the creators of the Sopot School and the New Gdańsk School, as well as the history of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts on the 1st August, at 5:30 p.m in Sofitel Grand Sopot, we invite you to the vernissage and discussion panel devoted to the creators of the Sopot School and the New Gdańsk School, as well as the history of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts.


Guest speakers:


Dorota Nieznalska - A Polish visual artist identified with the critical art movement. The author of the controversial work "Passion", which accused the artist of offending religious feelings.


Henryk Cześnik - A Polish painter, draftsman, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. Winner of the Mayor of Gdańsk Award in the Field of Culture in 2009.


Grzegorz Klaman - A Polish contemporary artist. He creates installations and works in public space. He is also a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.

The panel discussion will be conducted by Julia Materna from DESA Unicum.
Admission is free of charge
The theme of the vernissage will be the history of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk and the artists working on the coast.


The decision to establish an art school in Gdańsk with its seat in Sopot, together with the local branch of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, was made in Kraków in August 1945. The founders were Janusz Strzałecki, Krystyna Łada-Studnicka and Juliusz Studnicki, Marian Wnuk and Józefa Wnukowa, Hanna Żuławska and Jacek Żuławski. They arrived at the coast in September and in no time managed to organize recruitment and start educational activities. Gdańsk, lying in ruins, could not become the home of a new art school. That is why the founders chose the surviving Sopot, which in the next decade became a true center of cultural life in the Tri-City.



After the collapse of the doctrine of socialist realism, the capist traditions of the Sopot school shook in its foundations. This was due to the short but intense stay of Piotr Potworowski in Sopot. Within four years, the artist, enjoying enormous authority, showed a conflict-free way to move to the position of modern painting.


The turn of the 1950s and the 1960s was also a period of fascination with matter-painting and tachism - commonly regarded as a weapon against colorism. Once monolithic, with the passage of time, the Tri-City environment has become a place of work for many artists who work outside all currents. The most unusual of them are Kiejstut Bereźnicki and Hugon Lasecki. In view of the feast of various artistic phenomena that took place over several decades after socialist realism, it was only the 1980s that brought a real revolution. The change, which at that time was the participation of young students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, changed the conservative image of the Tri-City community. The new Gdańsk school was established in opposition not only to the conservative traditions of the Sopot school, but also to the entire institutional and university model, assuming the primacy of painting. Young artists from the generation that grew up in the period of intense opposition activities of "Solidarity" opposed art that was not politically engaged. They strived to emphasize Gdańsk identity in search of alternative spaces and expressions that combined artistic forms with literary, theatrical, landart, video, new media and performance. The area of ​​the most intense activity has become Wyspa Spichrzów - a space in the center of Gdańsk with only the ruins of granaries and vegetation. It is here that Grzegorz Klaman and Kazimierz Kowalczyk, while still students, undertook activities as part of the Rotary Gallery.