Mirosław Bałka

Miroslaw Balka (born 1958) is a contemporary Polish sculptor and video artist. He graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in 1985.[1] He currently works in Otwock and Warsaw, Poland.

Mirosław Bałka
Born (1958-12-16) 16 December 1958 (age 63)
EducationWarsaw Academy of Fine Arts
Known forsculptor, video artist

Balka was born in Warsaw. From 1986 to 1989, Balka worked in the group Consciousnes Neue Bieriemiennost.

He was the 1991 winner of the Mies van der Rohe Stipendium from the Kunstmuseum Krefeld[2] and he is a member of Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Balka runs the Spatial Activities Studio at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

In 2009, Balka installed How It Is, the 10th Unilever Series commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, which opened on 13 October of that year.[3][4][5]


The work of Mirosław Bałka is interdisciplinary but centres around sculpture and installation. The sculptor's work is influenced by family background: his grandfather was a gravestone cutter while his father engraved names on tombstones. The themes of many works revolve around historical traumatic events and memories, particularly the memory of World War II.[6][7]

Initially Bałka created figurative works; later the artist shifted towards more abstract, monumental forms. These remained related to the subject of the human existence - the body in life, death and decay, personal and collective memory.[8] The artist frequently uses steel, cement, salt, foam rubber and felt in his sculptures.[6]

He designed the scenery for Paweł Mykietyn's composition: The Magic Mountain (opera, 2015[9]) and Herr Thaddäus (2017).[10]


Mirosław Bałka; St. Wojciech, 1987, Museum of Art in Łódź


  1. ^ 'The Shadow of Life's Mechanisms: A Conversation with Miroslaw Balka', Sculpture magazine, November 2004.
  2. ^ Stanisławski, Ryszard; Brockhaus, Christoph; Deutschland, Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik; Nordrhein-Westfalen, Stiftung Kunst und Kultur des Landes (26 April 1994). "Europa, Europa: das Jahrhundert der Avantgarde in Mittel- und Osteuropa : Bonn, 27. Mai-16. Oktober 1994, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland". Stiftung Kunst und Kultur des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen.
  3. ^ "BBC News: Polish artist chosen to fill Tate". BBC. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  4. ^ Tate Modern website. 'The Unilever Series: Miroslaw Balka'. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  5. ^ Lewis, Rebecca. 'Miroslaw Balka, How it is', this is tomorrow, 18 November 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Mirosław Bałka | Artist | Culture.pl". Culture.pl. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  7. ^ Prince, Mark. "Miroslaw Balka" – via frieze.com.
  8. ^ "Miroslaw Balka – The Art of Darkness". Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  9. ^ "The Magic Mountain by Mykietyn, Sikorska-Miszczuk, Chyra and Bałka – Image Gallery". Culture.pl. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  10. ^ The prapremiere took place in Szczecin, with Łukasz Konieczny and Barbara Sierosławska (voices from the tape), under baton of Wiktor Kociuban.
  11. ^ "Miroslaw Balka | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art.
  12. ^ "Miroslaw Balka · SFMOMA". www.sfmoma.org.
  13. ^ "'Fire Place', Miroslaw Balka, 1986". Tate.

External linksEdit