Michał Smandek is a visual artist dealing with the interdependence of human activities and nature. He undertakes a critical reflection on anthropocentrism and materialism, and draws attention to the degradation of the natural environment. His practice is based on the experiences of traveling. He invites and engages local communities to take part in joint activities, introduces spatial modifications of the landscape, translates the dependencies observed in nature into the language of art. The philosophy of moving with a backpack and a tent determines the strategies and methods of his work, in which he blurs the boundary between making and appropriating existing situations into finished artworks for his own purposes. He creates sculptures, installations, photographs, and initiates collective and performative activities. Michał Smandek is a scholarship holder of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Marshal of Silesian Voivodeship, laureate of the ShowOff section of the Krakow Photomonth (2015), participant of the International Land Art LAM 360° Biennale in Mongolia (2014), the International Bangla Biennale in India (2019) and Backlight Photo Festival in Finland (2020). He collaborates with the Rodríguez Gallery. Smandek obtained PhD in the Department of Sculpture and Spatial Activities at the University of Arts in Poznan and holds the position of adjunct professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.

 

Solo exhibitions:

2022
About the Inevitable to come – (with Angelika J. Trojnarski), Polish Institute Düsseldorf (Germany)

2021
By eukaryotes – (with Piotr Bosacki), Rodríguez Gallery, Poznan

2019
So Boring – (with Dalila Gonçalves), Warsaw Gallery Weekend, Rodríguez Gallery, Nowe Miejsce, Warszawa

2018
The Horizon –
(music performance/concert with Patryk Piłasiewicz), Centrum Kultury Zamek, Poznan
Recognizing Patterns –
(PhD exhibition) Rodríguez Gallery, Poznan
The Danger of Approaching the Limits
– Rodríguez Gallery, Poznan
Arte Santander 2018
– Santander (Spain)
Plant Care. “Wujek” Coal Mine – Silesian Freedom and Solidarity Centre, Katowice
Conjuring up Sculpture – (with Dorota Buczkowska), Galeria Miejska BWA, Bydgoszcz

2017   
Plant Care. “Wujek” Coal Mine
 – Interventions: Space/Time/Memory – Ars Cameralis, Silesian Museum, Katowice

2016
Overremembering
 – Rodríguez Gallery, Poznan
The Sun Extinguished – Wozownia Art Gallery, Torun
Drawings – Starter Gallery, Warsaw

2015
Prognostic
 – ShowOff, Krakow Photomonth, Cracow

2014
Men & Animals – 3rd International Biennial Land Art Mongolia LAM 360°, Orkhon Valley (Mongolia)
The Vanishing Ability to Rest – BWA Tarnow Contemporary Art Gallery, Tarnow

2013
Heavy Metal – Wozownia Art Gallery, Torun
Teleport Process (Modern Tourists) – BWA Sokol Contemporary Art Gallery, Nowy Sacz

2012
Fatigue of Materials
 – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice

2011
Romantic Distress
 – BWA Design Gallery, Wroclaw

2010
Discovery – Kronika Centre for Contemporary Art, Bytom

 

Group exhibitions:

2022
Wild Culture Galeria Nueva, Madrid (Spain)
From Peripheries Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Slupsk, Ustka

2021
Parallel Universes XXX Festival Ars Cameralis, Rondo Sztuki, Katowice
Cool Down #2 The Pipe Factory, COP26, Glasgow (Scotland)
Changing structures. The future has already begun – about life in the industrial landscape – Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst, Cottbus (Germany)
20 years means 5 running meter – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice

2020
The Life of Humans – Kronika Centre for Contemporary Art, Bytom
Persistence – Warsaw Gallery Weekend 2020, Rodríguez Gallery, Warszawa
Visual Catalyst Backlight Photo Festival 2020, Tampere (Finland)
Beautiful Times International Sculpture Symposium, Wroclaw
Komorebi – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
Simple Gestures – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
Spaces of Interspaces (Hommage à Otto Freundlich) Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice

2019
Spaces of Interspaces (Hommage à Otto Freundlich) Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Slupsk, Ustka
ARCO Lisboa – Lisbon (Portugal)
Shadow of Freedom – Galeria Miejska BWA, Bydgoszcz
Spacetime – (with Olga Smandek) Sculpture workshops based on the Spatial Compositions of Katarzyna Kobro, Komdhara village, Bangla Biennale, West Bengal (India)

2018
Cool DownUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP24, Katowice
Estampa 2018 – Madrid (Spain)
Shadow of Freedom Ars Cameralis Festival, BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
Heart of the Island – BWA Olsztyn Contemporary Art Gallery, Olsztyn
It was, It is and It will be International Sculpture Symposium at the Morawa Palace, Morawa

2017
Line and Chaos – the World in Spatial Compositions – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
D / I / S / R / U / P / T (part 2) – Warsaw Gallery Weekend, Rodríguez Gallery, Warsaw
Mirror + Light + Shadow – I International Land Art Symposium, India, West Bengal (India)
Jego białe pióra, oświecone słońcem, błyszczały jak samo słońce – Henryk Gallery, Cracow
Imperfect Future Tense – Rondo Sztuki, Katowice

2016
SWAB Art Fair – Barcelona (Spain)
Secret Meanings – Maison 44 Gallery, Basel (Switzerland)

2015
Keep Both Feet on the Ground
 – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice

2014
Men & Animals
– 3rd International Biennial Land Art Mongolia LAM 360°, Union of Mongolian Artists National Art Gallery, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
Instructors’ Room – Grolsch ArtBoom Festival, Cracow
Cold, Warm and Nonhuman – BWA Sokol Contemporary Art Gallery, Nowy Sacz

2013
Positive/Negative
– XVII Art Moscow, Central House of Artists, Moscow (Russia)
Survival 11 – Wroclaw
Arteria – 3 Shot, Czestochowa
Milk Teeth – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice

2012
Cabinet – Zbiornik Kultury, Cracow
Recognition the nature is not the nature – Henryk Jordan Park, Cracow
Apoptosis – BWA Studio, Wroclaw

2011
Fear of the Darkness – CKK Centre of Culture, Katowice
Hommage to Kantor – Program Gallery, Warsaw

2010
Survival 8
 – Art Review, Strzegomski Shelter, Wroclaw

2009
Octopus – D-light Studios, Dublin (Ireland)
Polish Alphabet – BWA Gallery, Tarnow
Survival 7 – Young Art in Extreme Conditions Review, Four Domes Pavilion, Wroclaw
Accidental Pleasures – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice

 

Publications, reviews:

2020
Beautiful Times catalog of the It was, it is and it will be – the International Symposium of Art, ASP Wroclaw
Visual Catalysts Backlight Photo Festival, Tampere, Finland
Spaces of Interspaces – ASP Katowice, Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Slupsk

2019
Be present in the Space Kukbuk Magazine (special edition: Travel and Design 1/2019), Anna Lorens, Warsaw

2018
It was, it is and it will be vol.2 International Art Symposium, The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design, Wroclaw
Tensions and Other Emotions Aktivist 208/2018, Valkea Media, Warsaw
Conjuring up Sculpture – Szum Magazine 21/2018, Fundacja Kultura Miejsca, Warsaw
Conjuring up Sculpture –
Galeria Miejska BWA, Bydgoszcz

2017
Line and Chaos – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
Secret Meanings, Marked Secrets – UAP, Poznan

2016
Midnight Show IV in 9 epizodes
– BWA Wrocław, Galleries of Contemporary Art, Wroclaw
Revange on Nature – interviewer Aleksander Hudzik, NN6T

2015
Keep Both Feet on the Ground
 – BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
Savages. New Art form Silesia – Marta Lisok, Fine Arts Academy in Katowice
North and South – catalog of the exhibition, Fine Arts Academy in Katowice

2014
Constant Co-operation with Nature
– interviewer Magdalena Ujma, catalog Grolsch ArtBoom Festival, Cracow Festival Office, Cracow
Men & Animals – catalog of the 3rd International Biennial Land Art Mongolia LAM 360°, UMA Union of Mongolian Artists, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

2013
Nothing More, Nothing Less
 – catalog Survival 11, Contemporary Art Fundation ArtTransparent, Wroclaw
Heavy Metal – rec. Maria Niemyjska, catalog Nie[po]rozumienie, Art Gallery Wozownia, Torun
Trapper and Hunter – rec. Marta Lisok, catalog Milk Teeth, BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice

2012
A Cowboy, in other words – a Shepherd
 – rec. Łukasz Białkowski, catalog Drobnostki, BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Katowice
Romantic Distress – catalog Black Briefcase, BWA Wroclaw – Galleries fo Contemporary Art, Wroclaw
A white tongue as a sign of dehydration – Punkt 8, Contemporary Art Gallery Arsenal in Poznan

2011
Boundary Conditions
– rec. Marta Lisok, Fragile, Krakow

2010
Black Escape
 – catalog Survival 8 Art Review, Contemporary Art Fundation ArtTransparent, Wroclaw

2009
In the Dust
 – about Ośmiornica group, rec. Marta Lisok, catalog Alfabet polski, BWA Tarnow Contemporary Art Gallery, Tarnow
Reconstructions – catalog Survival 7 Art In Extreme Conditions, Contemporary Art Fundation ArtTransparent, Wroclaw
There are no waves inside the Smithson’s Jetty Spiral – catalog Accidental Pleasures, rec. Marta Lisok, Contemporary Art Gallery BWA, Katowice

 

Scholarships

Scholarship of the Voivodship Marshal of Silesia (Handicraft)
Scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (Plant Care. “Wujek” Coal Mine)
Scholarship of the Voivodship Marshal of Silesia (Manual Rest)
Programme Polish Culture Around the World, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Bangla Biennale, West Bengal, India
Programme Polish Culture Around the World, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Mirror + Light + Shadow, I International Land Art Symposium, West Bengal, India
Programme Polish Culture Around the World, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, LAM 360°, The Herd, Orkhon Valley, Mongolia3rd International Biennial Land Art Mongolia