Jakub Julian Ziolkowski

Photo: Jakub Julian Ziolkowski

Polish artist Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’s phantasmagorical paintings roil with colorful mutant life: plants sprout eyeballs, bodies slough off limbs and disgorge organs, and dense vegetal landscapes transform into visceral surgical tableaux.

Vibrant and perverse, anthropomorphic and surreal, Ziolkowski’s private language is the symbolic expression of a highly concerted imagination that was shaped by life in a very small town: Zamosc, where the artist was born in 1980, is a remote Renaissance city that began as a fortress in the middle of the lush Roztocze plateau in southeast Poland.

Here, wild nature penetrates the edges of an idealized urban microcosm that was once a center of intellectual life and seat of Eastern Europe’s Chasidic Jewish community, later stained by Nazi atrocities, and today is home to a concentration of food factories. Influenced by Zamosc’s dream-like intersection of preserved history and encroaching modernity, Ziolkowski has nurtured an inner world where poetry and ornament, religiosity and eschatology, flourishing life and decay intertwine. This is the universe of Ziolkowski’s art.

His is a world in which recurrent themes – of flames, entrails and skulls – combine in a cacophony of forms, the source of which is the artist’s own imagination. Visceral motifs are interwoven in highly intricate, repetitive configurations. The imagery reveals the artist’s ongoing fascination in presenting the body through its component parts and, by doing so, referencing transcendental states of being.

His work is obsessive in its level of detail and the artist adds further skeins of white paint across the surface of the canvas as if the painting itself is capable of delivering an electrical charge. Viewers of his work are invited to enter an emotional realm in which obsessions and desires, fears and doubts, and passions and anxieties collide. Individually compelling, when seen together, his works create a transgressive mindscape, bristling with narrative and detail.


Born Zamosc, Poland, 1980


Jan Matejko Academy Of Fine Arts, Faculty for Painting and Drawing, Cracow, Poland, 2005

Resides Lives and works in Cracow, Poland and Zamosc, Poland

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, 'Holy Nothing w/ Hyon Gyon', Warsaw, Poland

2017 Hauser & Wirth London, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Ian Moon’, London England
Neues Museum, ‘Das Leben selbst’, Nuremberg, Germany
MAN – Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro, ‘Nasellini’, Nuoro, Italy
Foksal Gallery Foundation, ‘Glimpses’, Warsaw, Poland
BWA Zamosc Gallery, ‘Kosmos’, Zamosc, Poland

2016 Café Nhà Sàn, ‘Sick Of Love’, Hanoi, Vietnam

2014 Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Imagorea’, Warsaw, Poland
BWA, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Imagorea’, Zielona Góra, Poland

2013 Hauser & Wirth, ‘Raw Thoughts’, Zurich, Switzerland

2012 Hydra Workshop, ‘Hydra 2012’, Hydra, Greece
Foksal Gallery Foundation, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Skin and Bread‘‚ Warsaw, Poland

2011 Parasol Unit, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski: In Utero’, London, England

2010 Zacheta National Gallery of Art, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Hokaina’, Warsaw, Poland
Hauser & Wirth, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Timothy Galoty & The Dead Brains’, New York, NY
BWA Wroclaw – Gallery of Contemporary Art, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Wroclaw, Poland

2009 Centre d’Art Contemporain, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Geneva, Switzerland

2008 Hauser & Wirth, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Zurich, Switzerland

2007 F.A.I.T. Gallery, ‘Demi Volte’, Cracow, Poland

2006 Hauser & Wirth, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, London, England

2005 Foksal Gallery Foundation, ‘Stuffed knee, limp color’, Warsaw, Poland
Galerie Martin Janda, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’ , Vienna, Austria

2004 Pod Schodami Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Cracow, Poland
Gallery ‘1’, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Lublin, Poland
BWA Gallery, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Zamosc, Poland

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 The Manggha Museum, 'The Culture Collider: Post Exotic Art', Cracow, Poland
The Silesian Museum, 'The Spirit of Nature and Other Fairy Tales. 20-years of ING Polish Art Foundation Collection', Katowice, Poland

2017 Simon Lee, ‘An Uncanny Likeness’, New York NY

2016 Marian Goodman Gallery, ‘Animality’ , London, England
Gdańsk City Gallery 2, ‘Why are we afraid of sunsets’, Gdansk, Poland
Fundacja Galerii Foksal, ‘Krew-Werk’, Warsaw, Poland
Hauser & Wirth, ‘A Modest Proposal’, New York NY

2015 MOCAK – Museum of Contemporar Art, ‘Artists from Krakow 1980-1990’, Krakow, Poland
Panstwowa Galeria Sztuki, ‘Palindrom’, Sopot, Poland
Museum Benaki, ‘Ametria’, Athens, Greece
James Fuentes, ‘These Are Not My Horses’, New York NY
National Art Museum of China, ‘State of Life’, Beijing, China
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, ‘Fobofilia’, Turin, Italy
Kunsthalle Bratislava, Operations for the Head. Polish Art Today, Bratislava, Slovakia

2014 Palazzo Cavour, ‘shit and die’, Turin, Italy
The Box, ‘Painters of Modern Life’, Los Angeles CA
Kunsthalle Mulhouse, ‘Tired of Reality’, Mulhouse, France
MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, ‘As You Can See. Polish Art Today’, Warsaw, Poland

2013 Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, ‘The Circle Walked Casually’, Berlin, Germany
Istituto Svizzero di Roma, ‘Cattedrale’, Rome, Italy
CCA | Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, ‘British British Polish Polish: Art from Europe’s Edges in the Long ’90s and Today’, Warsaw, Poland
Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, ‘The Circle Walked Casually’, Berlin, Germany
55th Venice Biennial, ‘Il Palazzo Enciclopedico’, Venice, Italy

2012 Deste Foundation, ‘Pawel Althamer with Urs Fischer, Jacob Kassay & Jakub Julian
Ziolkowski, Athens, Greece

2011 CCA Wattis Institute, ‘Painting Between the Lines’, San Francisco CA
Blum & Poe, ‘Glee’, Los Angeles CA
BOZAR, ‘The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Polish Art’, Brussels, Belgium

2010 Marc Jancou Contemporary, ‘Private Future’, New York NY
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, ‘Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art’, Ghent, Belgium
Gwangju Biennale Hall, ‘Gwangju Biennale 2010’, Gwangju, Korea
Contemporary Art Center, ‘14th Vilnius Painting Triennial’, Vilnius, Lithuania
Contemporary Art Gallery Bunkier Sztuki, ‘Przeklenstwa Wyobrazni (Damnations of Imagination)’, Cracow, Poland
White Cube, ‘Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action’, London, England
176 / Zabludowicz Collection, ‘The Library of Babel / In and Out of Place’, London, England

2009 Gallery Leto/ING Polish Arts Foundation, ‘Blue Almost White’, Warsaw, Poland
The New Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘The Generational: Younger Than Jesus’, New York NY
2nd Athens Biennale 2009, ‘Heaven’, Athens, Greece
Camden Arts Centre, ‘Head-Wig’, London, England

2008 Cheim & Read, ‘I Won’t Grow Up’, New York NY
Galerie Dennis Kimmerich, ‘psych. Ned Vena, Jonas Wood, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Dusseldorf, Germany
Office Baroque Gallery, ‘Schüttelreime’, Antwerp, Belgium

2007 303 Gallery, ‘Three for Society’, New York NY
Hauser & Wirth Colnaghi, ‘Old School’, London, England (Travelling Exhibition)
Zwirner & Wirth New York, ‘Old School’, New York NY (Travelling Exhibition)
Thomas Dane Gallery, ‘Very Abstract and Hyper Figurative’ (cur. Jens Hoffmann), London, England
Galerie Martin Janda, ‘Who remembers where they are from?’, Vienna, Austria

2006 Galerie Patrick Seguin, ‘Galerie Patrick Seguin invites Hauser & Wirth’, Paris, France
Bielefelder Kunstverein, ‘Skulptur, Installation und Malerei aus Polen’, Bielefeld, Germany (Travelling Exhibition)
Kunstverein Nürnberg, ‘Skulptur, Installation und Malerei aus Polen’, Nuremberg, Germany (Travelling Exhibition)
Zacheta National Gallery of Art, ‘Polish Painting of the 21st Century’, Warsaw, Poland
F.A.I.T. Foundation, ‘East’s Desires’, Cracow, Poland (Travelling Exhibition)
Outpost Gallery, ‘East’s Desires’, Norwich, England (Travelling Exhibition)
Zderzak Gallery, ‘No Landscapes’, Cracow, Poland
Kronika Gallery, ‘Sztuka w służbie lewakow?’, Bytom, Poland
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, ‘Robert Barta, Ross Chisholm, Mindaugas Lukosaitis, Djordje Ozbolt, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Munich, Germany

2005 Galerie Martin Janda, ‘Silent Stories’, Vienna, Austria
BWA Awangarda, ‘6th Exhibition of Young Painters, 7th Eugeniusz Geppert Competition’, Wroclaw, Poland

2004 Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland
Dom Olimpii, Project ‘Home Atmosphere’, Cracow, Poland

2003 Academy of Fine Arts, Lodz, Poland



2011 Ardalan, Ziba (ed.), ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski: In Utero’, London: Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art/Koenig Books, 2011

2010 ___, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Hokaina’, Warsaw: Zacheta National Gallery of Art, 2010 (exh. cat.)
Banasiak, Jakub (ed.), ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Zrob to sam / D.I.Y. ‘, Warsaw: 40 000 Malarza, Wroclaw: BWA Wroclaw, 2010

2009 García-Antón, Katya (ed.), ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, Geneva: Centre d’art contemporain Genève, Zurich: JRP Ringier, 2009

2006 ___, ‘Radio empfiehlt. Budny Elsner Ziolkowski’, Bielefeld: Bielefelder Kunstverein / Nuremberg: Kunstverein Nürnberg, 2006

Artist's Books and Writings

2014 Ziolkowski, Jakub Julian, ’2000 Words’, Athens: DESTE Foundation for Contemporray Art, 2014


2017 Paolo Do, Salvatore Lacagnina, Lorenzo Micheli Gigotti (eds.), ‘Cattedrale’, Rome: Nero, 2017

2016 Hoffmann, Jens (ed.), ‘Animality. A Fairy Story’, New York/Hoek van Holland: Marian Goodman Gallery/Unicum, 2016
Tomasz Macios, Mariusz Sobczynski (eds.), ‘Artis from Krakow. The Generation 1980-1990’, Krakow: Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK, 2016, pp. 189-190, ill.
Cattelan, Maurizio, Ben Salah, Myriam, ‘FAQ’, Milan: Le Dictateur, 2016

2013 Deutsche Bank AG (ed.), ‘The Circle Walked Casually’, Dortmund: Verlag Kettler, 2013
Unterdörfer, Michaela (ed.), ‘Hauser & Wirth.20 Years’, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2013

2011 Schwabsky, Barry, ‘Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting’, London: Phaidon Press, 2011, pp. 334-335, ill.
David Crowley, Zafia Machnicka, Andrzej Szczerski (eds.), ‘The Power of Fantasy’, 2011, Munich: Bazar Books & Prestel Verlag, pp. 164-165, ill.
von Alphen, Ernst + [et al.], ‘Polish! Contemporary Art From Poland’, Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011, pp. 272-277, ill.

2010 Canning, Susan, ‘Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art’, Ghent: S.M.A.K, 2010, p. 127, ill.

2009 Cornell, Lauren, Gioni, Massimiliano + [et al.], ‘Younger Than Jesus. The Generation Book’, Goettingen: Steidl, New York: New Museum New York, 2009
___, ‘Younger Than Jesus. Artist Directory’, Berlin: Phaidon Press, 2009


2018 Davies, Katie, ‘Sick of love? This Polish artist is creating vomit vases for your next break-up’, on:, London, UK, 2 January 2018, ill.

2017 ___, ‘Hauser & Wirth opens exhibition of new works by Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, on:, 17 December 2017, ill.
___, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, on:, New York/NY, 5 December 2017, ill.
Rose, Steve, J Davies, Hannah, Clements, Andrew + [et al.], ‘Culture highliths of the week’, on:, 4 December 2017, ill.
Steer, Emily, ‘Studio Visit: Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, on:, London/UK, 29 November 2017, ill.
Clark, Robert, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: The Guardian Guide, London, 25 November 2017, p. 33, ill.
___, ‘Ian Moon’ by Jakub Julian Ziolkowski at Hauser & Wirth, London’, on:, New York/NY, 5 November 2017, ill.
Colin, Gianluigi, ‘Sick of love, malato d’amore’, in: laLettura, Milan/IT, #305, October 2017, ill.
Stefano Mudo, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski – Nasellini / MAN, Nuoro’, on:, Milan, 22 August 2017, ill.

2014 Catherine Martinez, Christina, ‘Living Inside-Out’, on:, Los Angeles, May 2014, ill.

2013 Cembalest, Robin, ‘The 55th Venice Biennale’, in: Art News, New York, Summer 2013, pp. 123-124, ill.
Cembalest, Robin, ‘Vision Quest: Exploring the Venice Biennale’, on:, New York, 18 June 2013, ill.
Bullock, Clifton,’ Art: Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, on:, 12 April 2013, ill.

2011 ___, ‘It’s just really personal, says Ziolkovski, more than once’, in: Ten Magazine – Men’s Issue, London, Autumn/Winter 2011, p. 88, ill.
Cuprych, Filip, ‘Jestem takim glonojadem lekow’, in: Polish Weekly Magazine Cooltura, 23 July 2011, pp. 52-53, ill.
Wullschlager, Jackie, ‘Poles apart’, in: FT Weekend, London, 25/26 June 2011, p. 13
Sherwin, Skye, ‘Artist of the week special: Paulina Olowska, Anna Molska and Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: The Guardian Online, London, 06 April 2011

2010 Kosiewski, Piotr, ‘Hokaina, czyli szalenstwo malarstwa’, in: Tygodnik Powszechny, Krakau, 21 November 2010, ill.
___, ‘aktualia’ in: Arteon, 01 November 2010
Kuspit, Donald, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Artforum, New York, October 2010, pp. 276-277, ill.
Chodan, Przemyslaw, ‘Nowy Polski Surrealizm’, in: Art Business, Arnold, 01 October 2010, ill.
Malkowska, Monika, ‘Horror fascynuje’, in: Rzeczpospolita, Warsaw, 30 September 2010, ill.
Szablowski, Stach, ‘Niezle ziólko’, in: Przekroj, Krakau, 28 September 2010, ill.
Kowalska, Agnieszka, ‘Pejzaz po hokainie’, in: Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw, 17 September 2010, ill.
Krasny, Marcin, ‘Malowanie z glowy’, in: Wprost, Warsaw, 13 September 2010, ill.
Smith, Roberta, ‘The Body, Whole or in Parts’, in: New York Times, 6 July 2010, C1/C7
Bagley, Christopher, ‘dark star’, in: W Magazine, Wilmington, July 2010, pp. 94-99, ill.
Smith, Roberta, ‘Whence 21st-century painting?’, in: International Herald Tribune, New York, 27 March 2010, p. 17
Kazanjian, Dodie, ‘The Body’, in: Vogue, New York, February 2010

2009 Geldard, Rebecca, ‘Head-Wig (Portrait of an Exhibition)’, in: ArtReview, London, December 2009, p. 116
___, ‘Picks for Art Basel Miami Beach’, on:, New York, December 2009, ill.
Shaw, Anny, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski: Travelling without maps into the heart of Vietnam’, in: The Art News Paper Art Miami Beach Edition, London, 4 December 2009, p. 12, ill.
___, ‘ABMB VIP Buys’, in: Art Market Monitor, London, 3 December 2009
___, ‘Hauser & Wirth to Present Works by Jakub Julian Ziolkowski at Art Basel Miami’, on:, Madrid, 4 December 2009, ill.
Staple, Polly, ‘What to see this month’, in: ArtReview, London, November 2009, p. 42
Marcus, J. S., ‘Polish art, on tour’, in: The Wall Street Journal, London, 13 November 2009, pp. 6-7
Krienke, Mary, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Centre d`Art Contemporain, Geneve’, in: ARTnews, New York, September 2009, p. 123, ill.
mmv., ‘Meisterhaft sonderbar’, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Zurich, 11 August 2009, p. 40
___, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Vanity Fair Espagne, Barcelona, August 2009, p. 39, ill.
MM, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Kunst Bulletin, Zurich, July – August 2009, p. 47, ill.
Völzke, Daniel, ‘Wege der Malerei: Josh Smith und Jakub Julian Ziolkowski in Genf’, in: Monopol, Berlin, July 2009, p. 98
Falconer, Morgan, ‘The Generational, Younger Than Jesus’, in: Art Monthly, London, July 2009, ill.
Cattin, Séverine, ‘Centre d`Art Contemporain Genève, Deux approches prolifiques et ludiques’, in: Accrochages, Montreux, 1 June 2009, p. 13, ill.
Schjeldahl, Peter, ‘Their Generation’, in: The New York Magazine, New York, 20 April 2009, pp. 67-69, ill.
Cashdan, Marina, ‘Younger than thou’, in: Whitewall, New York, Spring 2009, no. 13, p. 42, ill.
___, ‘Contemporary Art’, in: Terra Incognita Art News, 28 April 2009, ill.

2008 Von Burg, Dominique, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Kunstbulletin, Zurich, October 2009, p. 57, ill.
Hess, Ewa, ‘Achtung, die Polen kommen’, in: Sonntagszeitung, Zurich, 24 August 2008, p. 45, ill.

2007 Banasiak, Jakub, ‘Wielka Bitwa. Pod Stolem’, in: Aktivist Exclusive, no. 10, 2007, ill.

2006 Coomer, Martin, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Modern Painters, London, 1 December 2006, ill.
Wullschlager, Jackie, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Financial Times, London, 14 October 2006, p. 39
___, ‘Capitall has abundance of exhibitions for art lovers’, in: Dundee Courier & Advertiser, Dundee, 14 October 2006, p. 12
Herbert, Martin, ‘Jakub Julian Ziolkowski’, in: Time Out, London, 11-18 October 2006, p. 39, ill.

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