On June 2, 2022 at 7.00 p.m., the Molski Gallery & Collection was officially opened – a new gallery of contemporary art in Poznań. Michał Molski – the owner of the gallery and the great collection of contemporary art, gave an interview especially for Retroavangarda.
Anna Kłos: Tell us about your beginnings. When and in what circumstances did you come up with the idea of creating a collection of contemporary art. What was the first step?
Michał Molski: My journey with art started over 10 years ago. I bought my first painting then – by Krzysztof Musiał, an artist from Poznań (back then I didn’t know yet, that he shared the same name with one of the biggest art collectors in Poland). At the same time, in R gallery I bought a serigraphy by Fangor. Ever since these artworks appeared in our house, I felt that it was the beginning of something bigger.
Moreover, thanks to my father I met Mr Wojciech Fibak, for whom my dad worked for many years. Thanks to this relationship, I often visited his houses and FIBAK Gallery, which were filled with contemporary Polish art of the best sort. I see the possibility of being around art on regular basis as an amazing and unforgettable experience, which undoubtedly had its (positive) toll on me. And so my passion started moving at full speed.
AK: Your collection holds impressive paintings by most renowned Polish artists, mainly from abstract and geometrical art areas. What are your criteria when choosing the artworks?
MM: My adventure (apart from those first purchases) started from visiting galleries, museums and auction houses. That was the time when I was learning to browse the Polish contemporary art “resources” more consciously. There are many great collections in Poland and getting to know them allowed me to get better oriented in the subject. Moreover, accumulating catalogs and broadening my knowledge about art, as well as interesting talks with experts, allowed me later to make more conscious choices when creating my collection.
During the aforementioned meetings in galleries or during exhibition openings I talked with many great Polish artists such as Berdowska, Mlącki, Wiktor, with whom I developed a closer, friendly relation.
As you noticed, abstract geometric paintings prevail in my collection, but there are also many figurative compositions. I have pieces of such artists as: Berdyszak, Fijałkowski, Kałucki, Gostomski, Janikowski, Tarasin, Tarasewicz, Lenica, as well as artists from younger generation, like the aforementioned Berdowska, Tadeusz Gustaw Wiktor or, lately, Michał Misiak.
On this occasion, I would like to share with you something I have discovered when arranging the exhibition of my collection. Namely, it’s about how strongly the pieces by renowned avant-garde classics compose, correspond and react to the pieces by the younger generation artists – it is amazing and I believe in the future it will influence the direction of the collection’s growth.
I also think that after all, everything that I collect is a reflection of my and my wife’s inner feelings, and so the collection that I managed to create is so differentiated. I noticed that often the happenings from my private life influence my choices when buying art. Sometimes it is calm paintings of Jachtoma or Wiktor, another time it is vibrating and energetic compositions of Berdowska, Misiak, Tarasewicz, and sometimes it is vital and monumental pieces by Dobkowski.
AK: In June 2022 you opened your gallery in Poznań. What are your further plans for this space?
MM: In the end I managed to do this at the beginning of June and this inspires me to take further action. I waited a long time for this and I think the effort I put into organizing this venture will bear its fruit. A few years ago when I was buying the plot, I had already known that when a modern building is risen there, its first part would surely be dedicated to art collection. Most people who came to the vernissage were delighted with the architecture – modern exposition space with open, bright corridor and big windows. Modern architecture of a building gives great exposition possibilities and I want to fully take advantage of that. We are preparing another exhibition for the beginning of September and I think it will be very interesting not only for audience from Poznań. We would also like to show ourselves in fall at the Art Fair in Warsaw.
AK: In what direction are you planning to further grow your collection? Are you open to foreign art? Other techniques?
MM: Such wonderful vernissages and interesting exhibitions, I would like to organize often. These are beautiful and inspiring moments. We will further complement the collection, I already have new discoveries, but for now I don’t want to talk about it yet.
We have certain plans to widen our operations and show our collection abroad. I believe that Polish art is on a very high level in comparison with Western Europe and the rest of the world. All that is needed is a lot of work to make it more known. Events such as biennale, art fairs abroad or even private art museum established by Mrs Grażyna Kulczyk are the best places for that.
AK: Thank you very much for the interview. Taking into account your creativity and determination, I am convinced that we are witnessing the birth of something great. I keep my fingers crossed for the further development of the collection and your gallery.
Molski Gallery & Collection
Aleja Wielkopolska 65a, Poznań