Zbigniew Warpechowski

Performance in III Parts
Plasy Monastery 1995

Entarctic Shelf Festival: 23 June – 3 July, 1995


Zbigniew Warpechovski was born on October 10th, 1938, in Płoski in Wołyń (USSR). He is a performer, painter, poet, and author of numerous books about theories of contemporary art, and a doyen of Polish performance art who calls himself ‘an avant-guard traditionalist’.

Between 1956 and 1962, he studied architecture at Kraków University of Technology, and from 1964 until 1965 he was a student of the faculty of industrial forms at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Since 1985, he has been a member of Grupa Krakowska (the Kraków Group), and since 1986 – of the legendary Black Market, an international group of eight performers staging performances together twice a year on different continents.
Up until now (2015), Warpechowski has presented over 320 performances in many European, Asian, and North American countries. His paintings are in collections of the Museum of Art in Łódź, the National Museums in Warszawa and Wrocław, the Leon Wyczółkowski Museum in Bydgoszcz, and the Museum in Koszalin. He designed film sets for eight feature films, out of which four were directed by Gregorz Królikiewicz. Since 1992, Warpechowski has been collaborating with Zderzak gallery in Kraków. He lives and works in Sandomierz.

In 1997, Warpechowski received the Minister of Arts and Culture Award in recognition of his 30-year-long activity in the realm of performance art. In 2003, he received Father Józef Sadzik’s Award for ‘non-conformity, unpretentiousness, and uniqueness, for opposition to the ephemeral, the superficial, the for-sale-only.

Selected performances:

  • 1967 – Kwadrans poetycki / Poetical quarter, Kwadrans poetycki z towarzyszeniem fortepianu / Poetical quarter accompanied by a piano (with Tomasz Stańko), Klub SAiW, Kraków
  • 1974 – Piłka nożna / Football, BWA Gallery, Wrocław
  • 1975 – Dialog z rybą / Dialogue with Fish, Marseilles, Kazimierz nad Wisłą, Sopot, Lublin
  • 1976 – Dialog z rybą / Dialogue with Fish, Amsterdam
  • 1979 – Men’s Only Champion, Glasgow, Agreement, Leeds, Liverpool
  • 1987 – Documenta 8, Kassel
  • 1988 – Artystę, który się starzeje, należy dobić / An artist getting old should be put down, Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
  • 1990 – Performance Art Festival, Chicago
  • 1990 – Studio of Performance Art, Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
  • 1991 – Performance Art Festival, Nowy Jork
  • 1994 – Performance Art Festival, Quebec
  • 1995 – Performance Art Festival, Cleveland, Meridian Crossing festival, Plasy Czech Republic
  • 1999 – Wobec Apokalipsy / On Apocalypse, Bielska BWA Gallery, Bielsko-Biała
  • 2000 – ARTKONTAKT Performance Art Festival, Lublin
  • 2003 – BROŃORBlin, czyli od WARhola to WARpechowskiego / BROŃORBlin, from WARhol to WARpechowski, former Fabryka Norlina, Warsaw
  • 2004 – Towards the Present, Towards the Future, EPAF, Centrum Kultury, Lublin
  • 2006 – European Performance Art Festival, EPAF, Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
  • 2004 – Wariant nadrzędny / Superordinate variant, Galeria XX1, Warsaw
  • 2004 – Palec Nerona / Neron's Finger, Galeria Grodzka BWA, Lublin
  • 2008 – Performance Intermedia Festival, Szczecin
  • 2008 – W służbie sztuki. Przegląd twórczości z lat 1963-2008 / In the service of art. Selected works 1963-2008, BWA Gallery, Lublin, Performance Art Centre, The Centre for Culture in Lublin.
  • 2008 – lokal_30, Warsaw
  • 2009 – Polish Contemporary Plays Festival R@Port, Ucho, Gdynia
  • 2011 – Poematki / Petty Poetry, Labirynt Gallery, Lublin
  • 2013 – Performance Platform Festival, Lublin
  • 2013 – Contexts 2013 - The 3rd International Sokolovsko Festival of Ephemeral Art w Sokołowsku
  • 2014 – Poematki / Petty Poetry, lokal_30, Warsaw
  • 2014 – Poematki / Petty Poetry, the opening of the exhibition Polish radical performers 1967-1989, Bielska BWA Gallery, Bielsko-Biała
  • 2014 – performance referring to the action Mandala during the exhibition Zbigniew Warpechowski. It, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw
  • 2015 – performance Poeja Poeza, Galeria Monopol, Warsaw