Curator, Christian Rattemeyer: For the series of collages, Nova Popolarna, the artists Lucy McKenzie and Paulina Olaska ... responded to ... a small bar that both of them ran for a brief period in Warsaw, Poland. Modeled on ... artists bars and social clubs of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, McKenzie and Olowaska intended it as a place for their friends and colleagues to come together, hang out, drink, discuss ideas and be creative.
Created after the bar was already closed, the set of collages of Nova Popolarna, were meant to provide an idealized scenario of what the influences and ... the context of what such a bar could be. And in turn, McKenzie and Olowaska used visual material that ranged from Edouard Manet’s painting, Bar at the Folies-Bergeres, to vintage reproductions of interiors from furnishing magazines and design catalogs.
By creating the collages after the bar was already closed, the artists meant to depict the spirit, or an idea, of what an artists’ bar could be rather than document the actual locale and tellingly none of the images show actual photographs of the bar as they ran it in Warsaw.