For over half a century the life-sized public sculptures by Polish artist Jerzy Jotka Kędziora have expressed his firm conviction that “Art must get out of museums and reach the people.” The Friends of Schiller Park, in association with the Art & Balance Foundation of Poland, is pleased to present the exhibition, Suspension: Balancing Art, Nature, and Culture, in Schiller Park, with pieces on display in three additional locations, from October 27, 2019 to March 1, 2020.
This exhibit features Kędziora’s world-acclaimed series of gravity-defying sculptures. The landscapes of Schiller Park, Livingston Park, Thurber Park, and the atrium of main Library will be populated with figures balancing on slender wires suspended in midair. They poise on hoops, balance on their toes and freeze in an inverted split.
Suspension: Balancing Art, Nature and Culture will feature 23 figurative sculptures scattered throughout the 4 sites. “People are astounded and mesmerized by them,” Paul Soehnlen, a trustee of the Friends’ board said. “We knew Schiller Park could be a beautiful location, and then others were anxious to participate, so we will have a 2-mile trail of suspended art for guests to explore. We couldn’t be more grateful to the Department of Recreation and Parks for making this all possible.”
Kedzidora works are found in museums, galleries and governmental institutions, including the Presidential Palace in Warsaw. The artist has been a special guest at American events including Art Basel Miami, Art Expo New York, Art San Diego, and Art Palm Beach. The balancing figures have become a phenomenon on a global scale, from London to Dubai – and now Columbus.
The artist has always been fascinated by movement in sculptures. But it was politics that propelled him to start making figures balanced on wires. His inspiration was the Solidarity trade union movement of the 1980s that led to the fall of Communism in Poland. “The tight rope symbolizes the threshold we stood on as we were transforming from one political system to another,” Kedziora said. As time passed and demand for the balancing figures grew, Kedziora drew on other sources, such as the circus, art history and mythology. The balancing metaphor extends far beyond a moment in Poland’s history, the artist said. “Life is a balancing act for everyone.”
Born in Częstochowa, Poland in 1947, Jerzy Kędziora attended the Fine Arts Secondary School in Częstochowa. He then continued his education and completed his arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Danzig, Poland. His relishes in art manifestation not only in carving but also in drawing, painting, advertising graphics, ceramics, metal art, spatial composition, theatrical scenography as well as applied arts.