Piotr Kowalski, between knowledge and imagination
Piotr Kowalski was a mathematician, an engineer and an architect. He came from Poland, but studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, then lived in Paris. He collaborated with Ieoh Ming Pei, Marcel Breuer and Jean Prouvé, and designed buildings. However, Piotr Kowalski chose to be an artist and to devote himself to what interested him most: the knowledge of reality. His work, innovative, willingly changing, based on research and experimentation, always seeking to innovate, immediately met with great interest. In 1963, he had his first solo exhibition in a cultural institution organized by Harald Szeemann at the Kunsthalle In Bern. In the following decade, he exhibited again in Bern, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Paris and Kassel following the invitation of Pontus Hulten, Eddy de Wilde, Frank Popper, Pierre Gaudibert, Gilbert Brownstone, François Mathey and always Harald Szeeman. He conceived numerous projects and carried out many commissions in the field of architecture and urban planning, in France and throughout the world, such as in Orleans, La Défense in Paris and in new cities. From 1978 to 1985, Piotr Kowalski was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he set up a studio. In 1987 he was nominated professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. Piotr Kowalski has had an exceptional career, exhibiting in the most renowned instituions and events such as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and Documenta.
Piotr Kowlaski’s position is unique, combining art and science, and inscribed in his time like those of Leonardo and Dürer in their time. His art has often been compared to the lumino-kinetic movement, with which he shares certain concepts: in reality, it is closer to that of Takis or Jean Dupuy, technological and experimental, very defined and non-formal, situated between the material and the virtual and always in search of the new. Each of his works responds to precise specifications, is realized by means of calculation and can take on various forms that always leave their elaboration process and the elements of their fabrication apparent. In his exploration of reality, Piotr Kowalski is interested in space, distance, displacement, speed, light, mass and transformation. He has given himself the means to show them in a simple and concise way with the help of drawings, figures, signs and words that make the phenomena visible and translate the obvious. Piotr Kowalski wanted to understand, know, show and share.
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