The ŻAK | BRANICKA Foundation, based in Krakow, and its Berlin gallery, ŻAK | BRANICKA, are dedicated to the integration of primarily Polish and other Eastern European art into the international art context. As the focus of the art world continues to shift eastwards, ŻAK | BRANICKA stands at the helm of an exciting exploration investigating contemporary Eastern European art. The gallery’s position in Berlin, a city that has always been the axis point between East and West, places it in the optimal position to undertake its goals. ŻAK | BRANICKA is led by Monika Branicka, a critic and historian, and Asia Żak, an artist, and is located on Lindenstr. 34-35 in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district.
ŻAK | BRANICKA is committed to the promotion of those artists maintaining the traditions of the Eastern European avant-garde in the art of the present. Józef Robakowski (12th Sao Paolo Biennial 1973, Documenta VI 1977) and Zofia Kulik (Venice Biennale 1997, Documenta XII 2007) are two of the most prominent figures in the Polish avant-garde movement of the 1970’s. Katarzyna Kozyra (Venice Biennale 1999 – Honorable Mention for Men’s Bathhouse), a well-known Polish video and performance artist, is representative of a groundbreaking shift out of this movement as a generation of Eastern European artists began to delve into critical and political art. Paweł Książek (Art Basel Statements 2009), Agnieszka Polska (Art Cologne 2012), and Yane Calovski (Manifesta 2008) are part of the generation of emerging artists, employing varying art forms, techniques and practices, who recall the history, tradition and language of the Eastern European avant-garde.
The ŻAK | BRANICKA Foundation hopes to decisively increase the visibility of Eastern European art in Europe´s capital of contemporary art, Berlin. The gallery’s activities have helped the ŻAK | BRANICKA Foundation to build a network between Eastern European artists and international cultural institutions: including museums, galleries and art fairs. In addition, the ŻAK | BRANICKA Foundation is engaged in raising funds to provide grants and scholarships for artists, as well as coordinating book projects with international publishing houses. The foundation´s dialogue with curators, art historians and institutions will further advance research and stimulate intercultural exchange. To create a lasting impression in an increasingly globalized world, ŻAK | BRANICKA deems it necessary to highlight the important role of contemporary Eastern European art through dedicated work in publications and journals.