Koji Kamoji
Jacek Sempoliński

Still Life

December 10 2022  –  February 11, 2023

The exhibition is accompanied by a text and a poem written by Jarosław Mikołajewski – poet, writer, and translator:

→ Jarosław Mikołajewski | Text accompanying the exhibition | Tea Route poem


Still Life is a presentation of works by Koji Kamoji and Jacek Sempoliński. Although the artists knew each other in person and their works have already been displayed together at group exhibitions, this is the first time their creations have been juxtaposed as a duo, on the initiative of Koji Kamoji. Jacek Sempoliński was an artist belonging to the “Arsenal 55” generation, a painter and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Koji Kamoji is a Japanese artist who has lived in Poland since 1959 and has been associated with the Foksal Gallery since 1967. The circumstances of the debuts of both artists mark turning points in Polish art history. The exhibition Against War, Against Fascism at the Arsenal was a manifestation of new forms of painting that reverberated with post-war traumas, and broke with the doctrine of socialist realism prevailing in art at the same time. The Foksal Gallery is the place of creating conceptual art, the first happenings and the processes of dematerialisation.

The work of both artists, trained as painters, is devoted to exploring and developing an abstract visual language. Their artistic practice can be defined by the slogan: minimum expression, maximum emotion. Koji Kamoji’s works are translations of nature, the elements, life and death into minimalist installations, spatial forms and reliefs. Jacek Sempoliński’s painting is based on the power and intensity of the painter’s gesture, expressing pain and existential dilemmas.

The Still Life exhibition presents the works by Koji Kamoji from the Air and Still Life series, created over the past two years. The selection of pictures by Jacek Sempoliński has also been narrowed down mainly to those painted in the last years of the artist’s life. In the late works of Kamoji and Sempoliński, means of expression are reduced to the most sparing form possible: straight lines and placing pebbles in the right place (Kamoji), delicate brushstrokes, tiny hand gestures or squeezing paints straight out of tubes (Sempoliński). The modes of artistic expression start to create a form of dialogue between the works on display, resounding like elaborate assumptions that have been underpinning the artists’ work from the very beginning.

Franciszek Smoręda

The exhibition was realized in collaboration with the Jacek Sempoliński Foundation.