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Biography - Andrzej Wełmiński

 

Andrzej Wełmiński – Graduate of the Faculty of Graphic Art of Cracow Academy of Fine Arts  (degree at professor Kunz, 1977). He deals with drawing, painting, photography, creates objects and installations. Participation in the following exhibitions, a./o.: „Painters of Cricot 2 Theatre”, Palazzo delle Espozitioni, Roma 1979; „Artists of the Gallery”, Foksal Gallery, Warsaw 1984; and individual exhibitions, a./o. in Foksal Gallery, Krzysztofory Gallery, Starmach Gallery, Warsaw-Cracow 1990; „ChaOs”, Municipal Gallery of Fine Arts – Czestochowa, 2002; „…silence, nobody's calling”, Krzysztofory Gallery, Cracow 2004, Arsenal Gallery, Poznan 2004, „VITRIOL”, BWA Gallery, Rzeszow 2006; „and so all the stories will pass by” individual exhibition –Tadeusz Kantor Museum - Wielopole Skrzyńskie, 2007; „draughts” – individual exhibition, Decius Villa – Cracow, 2008; „ and so all the stories will pass by” - individual exhibition – Olkusz, 2009;  Fotografieren verboten! – Spoleto, 2011.

1952 -1970

Andrzej Wełmiński was born on April 30th, 1952 in Cracow. In 1968 he enter Fine Arts College in Cracow. Gets accustomed with various graphic art techniques and experiments with them. He studies in class French horn and trumpet then in School of Music. With a group of colleagues (a./o. Stefan Sendecki, Antoni Mroczek, Roman Siwulak) starts a jazz band. Together with Romek Siwulak he discovers new occurrences in contemporary art and their joint actions begin to focus on this right field.

1970 -1972

In 1970 he meets Tadeusz Kantor. Together with Romek Siwulak he makes "Morning Happening or The Yellow Suitcase" on Cracow's Blonia. Shortly afterwards Tadeusz Kantor wrote an account on that event. In the very same year he organizes Pop Graphics exhibition in apartment at Czysta Str. The exhibition was a response to International Biennale of Graphic Arts and exhibited various industrial printings. In 1971 joint exhibition in Foksal Gallery in Warsaw, with R. Siwulak. Among the other works there were exhibited: Window (the view through that window is shown on the photo below), Landscape Strictly Forbidden, Emergency Brake, To Crumple. They exhibit their works unnamed. He has a hand in the cycle of exhibitions organized by the Foksal Gallery. Participates in the critics and artists session in Kuźnica on Hel Peninsula.

1972 -1975

2nd anonymous exhibition (joint w. R. Siwulak) Foksal Gallery. The exhibition was arranged as an installation consisting of three works: Glorification, Antimanifestation, 2-Floor Poem. He enters the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow at the Faculty of Graphics. In 1973 gets an invitation to participate at 8th Biennale de Paris. Together with R. Siwulak they prepare the new works. Ministry of Arts & Culture does not approve and refuses to support their participation in that event. He becomes a member of Cricot-2 Theatre. From that moment on he participates in all realizations and spectacles of the theatre. Trip to Edinburgh and Glasgow with Cricot-2 Theatre as an actor playing role of the Gipsy in Dainty Shapes and Hairy Apes, or the Green Pill.

1975 -1978

He works on objects being percepted not only with sense of sight. Ideas of hiding, peeping and specific contact with reality are the major questions he focuses his artistic activity around. In Tadeusz Kantor's spectacle Dead Class he creates The Old Man with a Bicycle. In January 1976 within the scope of the joint with R. Siwulak exhibition Behind the Wardrobe he exhibits his works: Behind the Wardrobe, Under the Doormat, ...and a cane, Pilgrim. All these installations connects the idea of the exhibiting negation, exploration of unofficial areas, change of the status of a viewer from a watching one into a peeping one, use of poor materials (tar, dirty water, gray soap) and references to Bruno Schultz's poetics of the dark corners, mouse holes, mouldy spaces under the floor and chimney ducts. Trips to Edinburgh, Cardiff and London with Cricot-w Theatre. Meets Teresa and marries her. Teresa soon becomes an actress of Cricot-2. 1977 – graduation at lithography studio of professor Wlodzimierz Kunz. Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Dead Class to Amsterdam, Nuremberg, Nancy, Paris, Shiraz, Belgrade, Brussels, Gent, Lion, Lille.

1978-1980

He gets a scholarship from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Foundation. Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Dead Class to Florence, Milano, Adelaide, Zurich, Geneva, Caracas, Rome, Berlin, Stuttgart and Graz. In 1979 "temporary" paintings are created – Cartonnages; participation in "Polish Avant Garde 1910-78" exhibition, Palazzo delle Espozitioni in Rome. Participation in "Painters of Cricot 2 Theatre" exhibition, Palazzo Reale in Milano. Trip to Rome with a spectacle – cricotage Where are the Snows of Yesteryear? Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Dead Class to New York, Mexico, Milano, Stockholm. In October 1979 in Florence begin works on Tadeusz Kantor's spectacle Wielopole, Wielopole. He creates the character of the Recruit – Father Marian (father of Tadeusz Kantor); 1980 - Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Dead Class to Prato and with the new performance Wielopole, Wielopole to Edinburgh, London, Paris. September 18th, 1980 his son, Mateusz is born.

1981 - 1984

Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Wielopole, Wielopole to Milano, Rome. October 10th 1981his daughter Kasia is born. 1982 – trips to Toge Muro and Tokyo in Japan and to London with Dead Class. Paris and London with spectacle Where are the Snows of Yesteryear? 1983 - Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Dead Class to Barcelona, Cagliari, Madrid and to Paris, Geneva with Where are the Snows of Yesteryear? Trip to Palma de Mallorca with Wielopole, Wielopole. 1984 – participation in exhibition "Artists of the Gallery", Foksal Gallery PSP Warsaw. Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre's spectacle Dead Class to Murcia, Las Palmas, Sevilla, Pamplona, Los Angeles and to Paris with Wielopole, Wielopole.

1985 – 1990

Paintings on silk come into being. Participation in "The Foksal Gallery Artists", Warsaw. Work on Tadeusz Kantor's spectacle Let the Artists Die where he takes the part of The Waiter and Veit Stoss. The rehearsals are in Cracow in Nurnberg where the premiere takes place. Trips with this spectacle to Milano, Paris, New York. 1986 - Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre to Spain, Italy, West Berlin, Holland. 1987 - Tournée with Cricot 2 Theatre around Spain, France, Austria, and Italy and Argentina as well. 1988 – work on Tadeusz Kantor's spectacle I Shall Never Return where he takes part of the Pub Tender and Odysseus. Trips with Cricot-2 Theatre to West Berlin, USA, Italy, France, Spain. 1989 - Tournée with Cricot 2 Theatre around France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany. 1990 – he paints the Black Stove and the White Stove. Individual exhibition at Foksal Gallery, Warsaw. Individual exhibition at Krzysztofory Gallery, Cracow. Rehearsals to the next Tadeusz Kantor's spectacle Today is My Birthday, where he creates the role of Kantor's Self-Portrait and Meyerchold. On December 8th Tadeusz Kantor passes away. Actors decide to bring the spectacle to its premiere.

1991 – 1993

Premiere of the spectacle Today is My Birthday in Toulouse. Tournée with this spectacle to Paris, Maubeuge, Nimes, Berlin, Milano, New York, Venice, Munich, Edinbourgh, Madrid, Brest, Antwerp, Genua, Cagliarii. 'Votive Tablets' individual exhibition, Starmach Gallery Cracow. Designs and gets ready the theatre action Anatomy Lesson according to T. Kantor – Debate. The performance was put on with a part of the Cricot-2 Theatre troupe and with participation of the critics invited, as a homage on the first anniversary of his death – Krzysztofory Gallery, Kraków, 1991. 1992 – individual exhibition Cieszyn University Gallery. "... Wełmiński's votive paintings are built on the contradiction rule: endurance and fragility. Glass cliché's, on which the characters from the last spectacle are appearing – like ghosts, are fixed to heavy plates, covered with cold zinc steel. The following characters are recalled by the artist: Self Portrait, My Mother, Infanta according to... They feature delicacy and impermanence of the "mnemonic forms". Are easy destructible, may break into pieces, vanish like a recollection. Massive, metal frame seems to be a porta mortis....” - Anna Baranowa. In 1993 together with a group of actors of Cricot-2 Theatre he starts working on the next spectacle Maniacs or Their Master's Voice. Maniacs' premiere in "Solvay", Cracow. "Ruins" individual exhibition, "Solvay", Cracow. "Apocrypha" – individual exhibition, Krzysztofory Gallery, Cracow. Spectacle Maniacs shown in Cracor, Jelenia Gora, Valladolid, Cagliari.

1994 - 1996

Paintings – individual exhibition, Popper Synagogue, Cracow. Trips with the spectacle Maniacs to Warsaw, Lodz, Katowice, participation Festival Internacional de Artes Cenicas - Sao Paulo and festival ETI Romaeuropa Prosa 94 - Rome. 1995 -"Amadeus ex Machina" – an object for Mozart's opera Zaide directed by Gerald Thomas. Drawings – individual exhibition – Jewish Culture Centre, Cracow. Together with part of the Cricot-2 troupe starts work on the new spectacle, titled Amerika or Don't Look Behind You. Premiere on December 15th, 1995 “Solvay” Cracow. Presence of the spectacle Maniacs at d’Avignon, Verbier Festival, XX Festival Internacional de Teatro de Vitoria-Gasteiz. Together with his wife Teresa is occupied with directing and scenography for the consecutive theatre spectacles. Spectacle Motion Demon - Teatr Polski, Bydgoszcz 1996. He works with German actors from Rampe Theatre, what gives in the result the theatre action Schmelzpunkt, Stuttgart. Cooperation with Swiss actors in Romainmotier results in the theatre action Anagramma. Participates in the jubilee exhibition of the 50th anniversary of PLSP – Palace of Fine Arts TPSP, Cracow. V.I.T.R.O.L. individual exhibition - Solvay, Cracow. Tournée with performances Maniacs and Amerika to Stuttgart.

1997 - 2004

The Slaughterhouse according to Sl. Mrozek - spectacle, Teatr Polski, Bydgoszcz, 1997. Recording of the spectacle Amerika on request of ARTE program. Fragments of Amerika on Polsat TV. Da liegt der Hund begraben - Germanias Halluzinationen spectacle, Theater Rampe, Stuttgart 1997. Tournée with the spectacle Amerika to Sevilla and Santander. 1999 – keeps working on the scenography for the music spactacle De Dolende Ney, Amsterdam. CHaOs individual exhibition – Solvay – Kraków, 2001, CHaOs individual exhibition – Municipal Art Gallery – Czestochowa, 2001 participation in IV Self-Portrait Triennale – Radom, 2003 participation in Triennale of Contemporary Painting - Vilnus, 2004 participation in „Creative Process” – Solvay – Cracow, 2004 conducts international theatrical workshops Rote Fabrik, Zurich, Scuola Teatro Dimitri Verscio, 2004 „Silence, nobody is calling…” individual exhibition, Krzysztofory Gallery – Cracow, 2004 „Silence, nobody is calling…” individual exhibition, Municipal Gallery Arsenal – Poznan, 2004

2005 - 2008

Participation in exhibition "Facts and Mystifications" Albert Gallery – Cracow; "Glass Photographs" individual exhibition, Green Gallery – Warsaw; Designs „trumpf, trumpf…” album, puppets, dummies and objects from Tadeusz Kantor's spectacle Dead Class; „trumpf, trumpf…” individual exhibition, Tadeusz Kantor's studio-gallery, Cricoteka – Cracow; „Hydromaschinen Prozession” open air theatre action within the scope of „Stadt im Fluss” event, ordered by authorities of the town of Esslingen – Esslingen, September 2005. 2006 – participation in exhibition „Plays & Games” Albert Gallery – Cracow; „VITRIOL” individual exhibition, BWA Gallery Rzeszow, 2006. 2007 – participation in exhibition „Patterns & Models” Zejście Gallery – Cracow, Institute of Arts of Pedagogical Academy; together with wife Teresa they conduct the theatre workshops at Loughborough University, UK; „it's gone, past gone, and so all the stories will go by…”, spectacle – actors of Cricot 2 Theatre and actors of MIST Theatre, Cracow, 2007. "And all the stories will go by", individual exhibition – Tadeusz Kantor Museum in Stara Plebania, Wielopole Skrzynskie, 2007. Drawings – individual exhibition gallery BP Atelier – Opole; 2008 "Draughts" – individual exhibition, Decius Villa – Cracow (the exhibition was accompanied by theatrical action of the same title); "And all the stories will go by", individual exhibition – Olkusz, 2008.

2009 - 2011

Pontlevoy Procession – outdoor theatrical action put on together with students of University of Washington, Pontlevoy France; 2010 "…and the ravens have not returned to their nests" - spectacle worked out with 15 students of the Drama Faculty of Tehran University within the scope of symposium on Tadeusz Kantor. Persian tale became the canvas for a half hour performance, Tehran, 2011. Traumatikon, Rose Bruford College, London. Spectacle put on with 45 students. Drawing called Café Europe was an inspiration – T. Kantor in a spiral form wrote the names of the greatest artists – look only who is included there… But in this case it was for the student to suggest the characters, to populate the café, or a shabby tavern rather, together with its stories and episodes. One of the stories grows up to enormous sizes and overwhelms the café reality, like a coelenterate… Flammarion The spectacle made with an international group of artists, became an homage paid to Ellen Steward (1919 - 2011). The spectacle was put on in a desacralized church Chiesa di San Simone within the scope of La MaMa Spoleto Open Festival and Festival del 2 Mondi in Spoleto. Exhibition of drawings Fotografieren Verboten Largo Oberdan, Spoleto, 2011.

 

Actor, director. Used to cooperate with Tadeusz Kantor, in 1973-1990 was present in all realizations and tournée of Cricot 2 Theatre. Creator of the following shows: „Maniacs”, Actors of Cricot 2 Theatre, 1993; „Amerika or Don't Look Behind You”, Actors of Cricot 2 Theatre, 1995; „Motion Demon”, Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz, 1996; “The Slaughterhouse” according to Sl. Mrozek - spectacle - Teatr Polski, Bydgoszcz, 1997 ; “Da liegt der Hund begraben - Germanias Halluzinationen” spectacle - Theater Rampe, Stuttgart, 1997; scenography to music spectacle „De Dolende Ney“ – Amsterdam 1999. „Hydromaschinen Prozession” theatre outdoor action within the scope of  „Stadt im Fluss” event ordered by authorities of the town of  Esslingen – Esslingen, 2005; „it's gone, past gone, and so all the stories will go by…”, Actors of Cricot 2 Theatre, 2007; „Draughts” theatrical action – Decius Villa– Cracow 2009; „Traumatikon” Rose Bruford College, Londyn, 2011;  "Flammarion" La MaMa Spoleto, 2011.

Conducts lectures and workshops on the history, theory (philosophy) and stage practices of Croct-2 Theatre.  A./o.: Stuttgart, Romainmotier, Rote Fabrik Zurich, Scuola Teatro Dimitri Verscio, Loughborough University UK, University of Washington USA, Rose Bruford College UK.