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Wilhelm Sasnal, Gershwin, 2005; ink on paper; 26 x 19 in.; collection of Stephanie & John Rubeli, Los Angeles; courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum &
Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and the Polish Cultural Institute
are proud to present


Wilhelm Sasnal
MATRIX 219
acclaimed contemporary polish painter in his first U.S. solo museum exhibition

Sunday, November 20, 2005 - Monday, February 27, 2006

Sun., Nov. 20, 4 PM: Artist's Talk with Wilhelm Sasnal, curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, and Jordan Kantor, artist, associate professor at California College of the Arts and former assistant curator of drawings at MoMA, New York


UC Berkeley Art Museum
2626 Bancroft Way (just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus), Berkeley, CA Tel: 510.642.0808

MATRIX 219: Wilhelm Sasnal features new works by renowned Polish artist Wilhelm Sasnal that draw on Pare Lorentz's film The River, which was awarded Best Documentary at the 1938 Venice Film Festival, and today stands as a paean to the American landscape and its rich history. This classic documentary looked at the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and the havoc wrought on farms and towns by the river's flooding.


Best known as a painter, Sasnal uses mass-media photographs, video, film, and animation as source material for his work. He also incorporates a broad range of art-historical references and different stylistic approaches to create paintings that diffuse and dilute the meaning of the material on which they are based. These references have included works as diverse as Aleksander Rodchenko's 1930 portrait Pioneer Girl, Art Spiegelman's graphic novel MAUS, and concert photographs of Sonic Youth.


For MATRIX 219 Sasnal has created a film based on a book that combined images from The River with Lorentz's free-verse narration (and that was nominated for the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry). Sasnal's film, with a soundtrack of Bay Area bands, is accompanied by the artist's ink drawings that also serve as movie posters.


MATRIX 219: Wilhelm Sasnal was curated by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, former MATRIX Curator and now director and chief curator of the Aspen Art Museum.




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