Katarzyna Kozyra is one of the most well known female artists in Poland. In the 1990s she joined Artur Żmijewski and Paweł Althamer in initiating the critical art movement. From the very outset, Kozyra has broken social taboos, such as nudity, old age, and death, for which the conservative Polish society regards her as controversial.
Katarzyna Kozyra was born in Warsaw in 1963. Sculptor, photographer, author of performances, films, video installations and artistic actions. A graduate of the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 1998, she completed post-graduate studies at the Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, in the New Media studio under prof. Helmut Marek. Kozyra’s actions contributed to the creation of the so-called critical art, and had a significant impact on the shape of contemporary culture, often being the starting point for a wider discussion. Laureate of, among others awards of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (Warsaw 2011) and the Passport of Polityka (Warsaw 1997). A DAAD scholarship holder (Berlin 2003) and the Kościuszko Foundation (New York 2000). In 1999, she received an honorary mention at the 48th Venice Biennale for the video installation “Men’s Bath” presented at the Polish Pavilion. In 2011, she obtained a doctoral degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 2013, the “Huffington Post” included Katarzyna Kozyra among the ten most important artists of the new millennium. In 2014, she won the fourth edition of the Film Award of the Polish Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw for the idea of the experimental film “Project X”. Katarzyna Kozyra’s art has been moving public opinion for many years, often provoking sharp polemics. The artist consistently challenges the prevailing stereotypes and critically revises socio-political discourses. In her works, she deals with the area of cultural taboos and clichés of behavior encoded in everyday life. Formally, Kozyra is the closest art of new media, however, the artist uses many techniques, which makes it difficult to classify her work. Kozyra’s diverse ouvre includes works as different as her diploma thesis from 1993 – “The Pyramid of Animals”, the video installation “The Rite of Spring”, or the wide-ranging project from 2003-2008 “In Art Dreams Come True”. Since 2012, the artist has been working on a project in Israel – “Looking for Jesus” – in which, assuming the position of a researcher, she asks important questions. It is a work about ways of realizing faith, its place and role in today’s world and the values around which we build our reality.
Over the past decades, Kozyra’s works have been exhibited in museums and institutions around the world, including: Venice Biennale, São Paulo Biennale, Sidney Biennale, Busan Biennale, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen (Düsseldorf), Kulturhuset (Stockholm), Museum Voor Moderne Kunst (Arnhem), Carnegie International (Pittsburg), Barbican Art Center (London), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (Vienna), Brooklyn Museum (New York), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), CCA (Tel-Aviv), Three Shadows Photography Art Center (Beijing) and others.
In 2012, the artist opened the Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation, which stands out from other foundations dealing with contemporary art by focusing its activities on supporting women’s activity in the field of culture and art, undertaking projects with a significant social and artistic dimension.
Katarzyna Kozyra cooperates with the galleries: Zak Branicka (Berlin), Postmasters (New York), Capsule (Shanghai) and Christophe Galliard Gallery (Paris).