“Bownik. Undercoat” book


This English-language publication covers Paweł Bownik’s work from its very beginnings, with such series as Gamers (2010) on teenage esport enthusiasts, through one of his most well-known projects, Disassembly (2011–12), in which he dismantled and reassembled exotic flowers, the abstract Colors of Lost Time (2018–19), up to his latest works, created in 2021 for the purposes of the exhibition at the Central Museum of Textiles: Remnants, Chamber, Ceiling and photographs of clothing from the museum collections, as an extension of the Reverse series. Apart from the extensive visual materials, also exploring behind the scenes of the photo sessions and the artist’s careful notes and sketches, Bownik’s photographs are accompanied by the voices of authors and visual culture scholars. Their comments have been inspired by the various series and their subject matter.

248 pages, color, hardcover

4 in stock


Ernst van Alphen’s essay looks at The Urn (2014), investigating themes of memory and ashes, and the frailty of matter faced with the Holocaust. Roma Sendyka looks at the sacred and the profane with reference to the Wafers series (2019), which focuses on a monumental collection of Christmas wafers treated like private notebooks for everyday doodles and jottings. Zośka Papużanka has created a monologue of the mother of a gamer, a teenager glued to his computer screen for hours. Soren Gauger’s literary mockumentary takes on one of Bownik’s black-and-white photographs—“Grid” from the Boys and Girls I Know series (2012)—to show its numerous ties with cinema. The abstract forms concealed in the colors of extinct bird species are the topic of Michał Książek’s poetic essay. Magdalena Ziółkowska’s piece considers the titular undercoat and hidden meanings of everyday clothing in the Reverse series, while Andrew Berardini looks at the temptation to manipulate nature and the longing to control it.

Concept and editor: Magdalena Ziółkowska

Essay authors: Ernst van Alphen, Andrew Berardini, Soren Gauger, Michał Książek, Zośka Papużanka, Roma Sendyka, Magdalena Ziółkowska

Translations: Soren Gauger

Publishing coordinator: Karolina Melon, Paulina Kowalczyk

Design and layout: Honza Zamojski [rh.plus]

Co-publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag

ISBN: 978–83–60146–86–6

Publishing partners: Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology in Krakow and the National Film School in Łódź

Additional information

Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 19 × 20 cm



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