Tadeusz Kantor Exhibition

Tadeusz Kantor  Exhibition
 13 September 2014 – 15 March 2015  


The starting point for the Tadeusz Kantor Exhibition, which will be presented in one of the new exhibition spaces, is the Cricoteka Collection created by the artist himself. It comprises sculptures, objects, stage props, full stage sets from Cricot 2 productions, drawings and archival materials including technical sketches and manuscripts of the artist’s manifestos and other texts as well as materials documenting Kantor’s oeuvre. The exhibition has been put together so as to demonstrate the ideas behind the Cricot 2 Theatre throughout the various stages of Kantor’s artistic progression.


fot. Stormann and Webber


In Cricoteka’s new quarters the viewer will be able to experience the ephemeral magic of the stage objects that, together with the Cricot 2 actors, took part in productions on stages all over the world.

Tadeusz Kantor had been endeavouring to ensure a commensurate status and secure environment for his works since the 1980s, whilst also providing guidelines for the manner of their presentation. In 1984, the artist compiled a list of 24 theatrical objects. These included objects from the earliest stages of his work, the Underground Independent Theatre (1943–44) and the productions based on plays by Witkacy: The Cuttlefish, Country House, The Madman and the Nun, the Water Hen and Lovelies and Dowdies. This list would not have been complete without Kantor’s most acclaimed production – The Dead Class and the artist’s other productions based to a large extent on the reminiscences – memory frames – of the artist himself: Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, Wielopole, Wielopole, Let the Artists Die, I Shall Never Return and Today is My Birthday. These objects, partly reconstructed and renovated, have thus acquired the status of autonomous works of art.


Tadeusz Kantor, Boy at the desk, desk from “The Dead Class”, early 80’s., fot. Cricoteka


The objects, theatrical props, stage sets and archival material from the Cricoteka Collection represent the seven stages of Tadeusz Kantor’s theatrical oeuvre:

1. Underground Independent Theatre

2. Creation of the Cricot 2 Theatre

3. Informel Theatre

4. Zero Theatre

5. Happening Theatre

6. Impossible Theatre

7. Theatre of Death.

The exhibition’s contemporary design emphasises its theatricality. On entering the exhibition hall, viewers will find themselves in an extraordinary space from which the works of Tadeusz Kantor will emerge. The latest multimedia will help to transport us into the world of the author of The Dead Class: the carefully selected audiovisual and photographic materials will provide an informative backdrop for the exhibits and the ideas behind them. Tablets will offer an exciting touch, particularly for younger viewers; they will provide digital access to the collection of the Cricoteka Archives.

The presentation of the Cricoteka Collection will be developed through three scenes; these will deal with Tadeusz Kantor’s childhood and the themes of the marionette and sculpture in his work.

 The concept for the exhibition has been prepared under the management of Natalia Zarzecka – Director of Cricoteka, by Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska, Justyna Michalik and Jan Raczkowski

 Artistic design and stage set: Robert Rumas – Rumas Studio



The project for the construction of the Tadeusz Kantor Museum and CRICOTEKA the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor has been co-financed by the European Union as part of the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for 2007– 2013 together with funds from the Małopolska Voivodeship.



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