Graves Gallery
Surrey Street 
S1 1XZ
(Above the Central Library)
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Pole Position: Polish Art in Britain 1939–1989

Marian Kratochwil, The Puppeteer, 1955 © Courtesy of Tim and Joyce Jeal
Saturday 11 January 2014 - Saturday 28 June 2014

Pole Position is a brand new exhibition which will shed light on a neglected chapter in the story of British art.

Created from the private collection of Matthew Bateson, the exhibition showcases 60 works by Polish artists, many of whom were forced to flee mainland Europe during the Second World War. Some of these artists journeyed through many countries before settling in the UK, while others were captured and imprisoned before finding their way to British shores.

The artists’ transitory experiences are reflected in the subject of their work; from powerful depictions of their lost homeland and the horrors of war, to the landscapes and luminaries they encountered in their new lives in Britain. The striking works on show are a testament to the great adversity the artists faced, but also to the wealth of new ideas and approaches they brought with them across the channel.

Going on public display for the first time at the Graves Gallery, this remarkable collection provides an illuminating parallel to Sheffield’s significant collection of 20th century modern British art.


Pole Position is supported by the supported by the Polish Heritage Society (UK)

Pole Position exhibition catalogue supported by the Polish Cultural Institute