Collection of Joanna and Krzysztof Madelski
is a harmony of contrasts

From the perspective of academic categorisations, the collection of Joanna and Krzysztof Madelski is the composition combining painting, photography and video, sculpture and installation. In creation for more than two decades, it has grown over the years - it was first built around painting, then expanded to photography, and finally interest in video art joint in. It is completed with works on paper and objects. The collectors focused on the works of artists crucial to the Polish art of the second half of the 20th century, and after some time they became more open to young artists.

Despite this evolution, the collection has not lost its revolutionary spirit. It still contains the works of prominent representatives of the contemporary avant-garde. It is courageous in raising issues related to gender identity, equality or breaking stereotypes. It shows proudly the works which documented the political and social changes, crucial to the specific time when they were created.

Madelski Collection is a harmony of contrasts. As Adam Mazur said, the collection confronts male and female artists but also the “old painting” with the “new media”. It brings out the tension present in contemporary art between painting’s abstractness and photographic concreteness, between "pure form" and "dirty politics". It gives an opportunity to view the art of men and women through the lenses of dialectical perception, but also of renowned masters and artists of the young generation. It has the ability to combine seemingly mismatched elements, which at closer cognition, show the collectors' idea and the thought-out coherence of the collection.

Madelski Collection gives an opportunity for a new way of looking at art. Compiling works representing different artistic approaches is a chance to show interesting correspondence, and to see them in a new context which explores additional meanings. As a result, well-known works can be read differently, the untypical connections encourage reflection and stimulate imagination. The collection often connects what is incongruent, asks questions and looks for new relations. It shows that passion is hard to enclose within strict limits, and going beyond the pattern restores independence.

Openness to change is one of the factors of development. Works in different techniques or periods functioning side by side are the result of the desire to break away from the linear, chronological conception of art history (with the division into media or currents). In opposition to museum collections, defined and finite, the Madelski Collection is like a living, organic formation. On one hand, it appreciates important achievements of Polish art such as abstract painting, gender photography or critical video art. On the other, it is constantly interested in new phenomena.

The act of collecting is a source of many emotions. It is a pleasure to seek out and make non-standard decisions that are a commendation of freedom and intuition. It is also the result of subtle negotiations, the expression of sensitivity, and the passionate clash of collectors' characters, ambitions and visions. The certain convergence lies in the mutual desire to show personal findings and surprise the recipient. Reaching out to the audience in order to share the experience of art. 

Madelski Collection is a result of looking into one’s inner self. It is not only the collector’s insightful approach to their own interests, but also the desire to discover and re-discover their own culture. The collection is a private assemblage of Polish contemporary art created in Poland, which constitutes a multilevel interpretation of the specificity of their country - mentality, visual language or collective experiences. It is a reflection of Polish identity, which gives the Poles the opportunity to self-reflect, but also provides a cognitive value for spectators from all over the world.