Bunkier’s history dates back to 1950.It was then that the Krakow branch of the CBWA (Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions) was established.
The Bunkier Building
The originator of the construction of the new Gallery headquarters was Bolesław Drobner, a member of parliament and a communist activist.He suggested that the area between Szewska 25 and Szczepańska 3 should be allocated for this purpose.Here, Bolesław Drobner’s father, Roman, opened an Art Nouveau café in 1907 that, after a turbulent history, fire, and multiple name changes, more than 50 years later, became Krakow’s first strip club, called “Esplanade”.In this area there was also an 18th-century granary, which in the end became integral to the new plan and can be seen to this day composed into the concrete.
The new building was officially opened on 11 October, 1965.The architect was Krystyna Różyska-Tołłoczko, and the sculpting of the facade (imprinted concrete formwork) was designed by Stefan Borzęcki and Antoni Hajdecki.This building is unique – one of Poland’s few examples of brutalist architecture (the name “brutalism” has no connection with brutality, but comes from the French word “brut”, or “raw”).Its interesting location in the historical context is a beautiful example of successful late modernist architecture.Until the 1990s, the building was the only modern architectural building within Krakow’s Old Town.
For years, the gallery went under the name BWA.The name “Bunkier Sztuki” was only officially adopted in 1994.
The Gallery’s Current Activity
At the end of 2013, Bunkier Sztuki published its strategy for development until 2019.The document sets out the mission:
We are a place for artistic experiment.
We provide the opportunity to experience the diversity of contemporary art.
Bunkier is more than a gallery.Most of the exhibitions are accompanied by meetings with artists and critics and extensive catalogues; and we host intriguing lectures and conferences.
The Gallery is also active in publishing, beyond editing catalogues for exhibitions.It has a good bookshop with publications broadly covering art.
Works exhibited within Bunkier Sztuki’s walls include pieces by:Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jerzy Nowosielski, Tadeusz Kantor, Katarzyna Kozyra, Rafał Bujnowski, Wilhelm Sasnal, and Leon Tarasiewicz (and of course many other very famous artists)
Exhibitions can be visited from 12 to 20 from Tuesday to Sunday.
After visiting the exhibition, come and join us in our cafe for a coffee and cake and to rest and talk about what you’ve seen.
- 5 zł reduced,
- 10 zł normal,
- 18 zł family.
More information and current programme are available on the official “Bunkier Sztuki” Gallery website.