Mirosław Bałka

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Mirosław Bałka
Born (1958-12-16) December 16, 1958 (age 59)
Warsaw, Poland
Nationality Polish
Education Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts
Known for sculptor, video artist

Miroslaw Balka (born 1958, Warsaw, Poland), is a contemporary Polish sculptor and video artist. He graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1985.[1] He currently works in Otwock and Warsaw, Poland.

From 1986 to 1989, Balka worked in the group Consciousnes Neue Bieriemiennost.

He was the 1991 winner of the Mies van der Rohe Stipendium from the Kunstmuseum Krefeld and he is a member of Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Balka runs the Spatial Activities Studio at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

In 2009, Balka installed How It Is, the 10th Unilever Series commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, which opened on 13 October of that year.[2][3][4]


The work of Mirosław Bałka is interdisciplinary but centres round sculpture and installation. The sculptor's work is influenced by family background: his grandfather was a gravestone cutter while his father engraved names on tombstones. The themes of many works revolve around historical traumatic events and memories, particularly the memory of World War II.[5]

Initially Bałka created figurative works; later the artist shifted towards more abstract, monumental forms. These remained related to the subject of the human body, experience and memory. The artist frequently uses steel, cement, salt, foam rubber and felt in his sculptures.[5]


Solo exhibitions of Balka's work include: De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam; Foksal Gallery, Warsaw; Haus Lange and Haus Esters, Krefeld; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź; Tate Gallery, London; Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; IVAM, Valencia; National Museum of Art, Osaka, Osaka; Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; SMAK, Ghent; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee; The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg; K21, Düsseldorf; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford; Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; CCA, Warsaw; Akademie der Kunste, Berlin.

Balka is represented by Dvir Gallery in Tel Aviv, Galería Juana de Aizpuru in Madrid, Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin, Gladstone Gallery in New York, Raffaella Cortese Gallery in Milano, White Cube in London.


Mirosław Bałka; St. Wojciech, 1987

Balka's works are owned by museums worldwide including: Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; Moderna Galerija, Ljubliana; MOCA, Los Angeles; MOMA, New York; Museu Serralves, Porto; Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Tate Modern, London; The Art Institute, Chicago; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Center of Contemporary Art, Warsaw and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'The Shadow of Life's Mechanisms: A Conversation with Miroslaw Balka', Sculpture magazine, November 2004.
  2. ^ "BBC News: Polish artist chosen to fill Tate". BBC. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  3. ^ Tate Modern website. 'The Unilever Series: Miroslaw Balka'. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  4. ^ Lewis, Rebecca. 'Miroslaw Balka, How it is', this is tomorrow, 18 November 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Mirosław Bałka | Artist | Culture.pl". Culture.pl. Retrieved 2018-02-21.