Contemporary art venue springs up at waterside Warsaw site

A new contemporary art space has opened in Warsaw on the banks of the Vistula River, which will host exhibitions and events organised by the city’s Museum of Modern Art. The 1,000 sq. m structure, loaned for free by the Vienna-based Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) foundation, will remain in situ until the museum’s new headquarters open in Plac Defilad in 2020. The new venue, located next to the University of Warsaw library, is called The Museum by the Vistula.

The temporary structure, designed by the Austrian architect Adolf Krischanitz, was installed in the Palast der Republik site in Berlin from 2008 to 2010. The Berlin venue, known as the Temporäre Kunsthalle, hosted 17 exhibitions dedicated to artists such as Simon Starling and Candice Breitz.  

The launch show, The Beguiling Siren is Thy Crest (until 18 June), includes works by Wolfgang Tillmans, Ellen Gallagher, and Łukasz Korolkiewicz, among others. “This exhibition, the first ever on this scale to discuss the siren, aims to portray and activate her potential as a symbol. It combines different takes on hybridity, national identity and mythology,” says a museum statement. Meanwhile, the façade of the venue, which also houses a small education centre, has been designed by the Polish artist Slawomir Pawszak.

A new complex housing the Museum of Modern Art and the TR Warszawa Theatre is due to open in Plac Defilad in 2020. The new building, estimated to cost $86m, will be designed by the New York-based architectural practice Thomas Phifer and Partners. The temporary museum was previously located on Panska street in central Warsaw.

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