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Bolesławiec artistic community – Krystyna Gay-Kutschenreiter

I have always been fascinated by the question of transience, of a kind of insignificance, of states that are difficult to grasp, especially in clay, which by its very nature is cohesive.
Krystyna Gay-Kutschenreiter

This post from the series “Boleslawiec artistic community” was prepared within the framework of the project “Boleslawiec – 30 years of local government” implemented by the Museum of Ceramics and the Boleslawiec Cultural Center – International Ceramics Center

Krystyna Gay-Kutschenreiter was born in Łódź. As a result of the turmoil of war, she ended up with her family in the Borderlands, only to find a shelter in Malopolska and Lower Silesia after the country’s liberation. After graduating from high school in Wrocław, she took up studies at the Faculty of Arts at M. Kopernik University in Toruń. At the time, she never imagined that her future life would be closely connected with ceramics. As she confessed in an interview with Katarzyna Żak (“Rocznik Bolesławiecki 2008”), she even felt “physical repulsion towards clay, which dried on her hands”. However, when she decided to move to the State Higher School of Visual Arts in Wrocław (now the E. Geppert Academy of Fine Arts), she chose the Faculty of Ceramics and Glass – primarily because of the outstanding personalities who made up the faculty. Initially, she was fascinated by industrial design and, towards the end of her studies, by sculpture. Ceramics as a sculptural material therefore became a natural direction of artistic exploration for her. She obtained her diploma in 1961 in the atelier of Prof. Rudolf Krzywec and became a member of the Association of Polish Artists already in 1962.

In 1964, persuaded by friends, she came to Bolesławiec and settled here permanently. For more than 30 years, she taught ceramics at the Basic Vocational School in Bolesławiec (now the Major H. Sucharski General and Vocational School Complex in Bolesławiec). Today, her alumni can be found in almost every Bolesławiec ceramics factory. She was awarded the Golden Cross of Merit for her achievements in teaching. During this period she actively participated in workshops and open-air meetings.

In 1990, Krystyna Gay-Kutschenreiter opened a new, extremely fruitful chapter in her life by taking on the role of artistic commissioner of the All-Polish Ceramics and Sculpture Plein-Air, held in Bolesławiec since 1964. She faced a very difficult task, as the period of political transformation proved to be extremely unfavourable for culture and art. However, thanks to her commitment, ingenuity and perseverance, she coped admirably. Under her guidance, the plein-air exhibition was transformed into an event of international stature, with the participation of artists from all over the world. On her initiative, post-exhibitions were presented in many Polish cities, as well as in Germany and the Czech Republic, becoming a showpiece of Bolesławiec as a ceramics capital. She was the organiser and curator of 55 post-exhibitions. As commissioner, she ensured that each exhibition was accompanied by a professionally prepared catalogue. The last plein-air under her supervision took place in 2005.

Despite her numerous professional duties, the artist has always managed to find time for her own work, which consists of ceramic sculptures and unique ceramics. All of her works show clear inspiration from nature – fluid, dynamic shapes made up of wavy, intertwining lines testify to a strong fascination with the world of plants. However, the organic form is not an end in itself, but merely a starting point, a stimulus to reflect on the phenomenon of life, on its strength and fragility at the same time.

Krystyna Gay-Kutschenreiter’s works can be found in the collections of: Museum of Ceramics in Bolesławiec, Bolesławiec Cultural Centre – International Centre for Ceramics in Bolesławiec, National Museum in Wrocław and Poznań, Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, BWA in Jelenia Góra, Kunstforum Piaristen in Vienna and in private collections.

We invite you to watch a composite of archival footage prepared by Television Bolesławiec on the occasion of the award of the medal ‘Meritorious for Culture Gloria Artis’ to the artist.


1983 Award of the Head of the City of Bolesławiec

1994 Badge of the Minister of Culture and Art for “Meritorious Service to Culture”.

1998 Award of Jelenia Góra Governor

1999 Gold Decoration of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers

1999, 2004, 2010 Award of the Mayor of Bolesławiec

2012 Placing a plaque with the artist’s handprint in the Avenue of the Great Ceramists of Bolesławiec

2016 Bronze Medal for Meritorious Culture Gloria Artis awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage

Honorary Award of the Mayor of Bolesławiec for the Promotion of the City

Honorary Citizenship of the City of Bolesławiec

2017 Award of the Marshal of Lower Silesia for Special Achievements for the Region


1983 Ceramic sculpture, Pomeranian Dukes’ Castle, Szczecin

1984 Ceramic Sculpture, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

1989 „Kuby” and “Ażury”, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

1987 Ceramics, Gallery of Fine Arts, Cracow

1989 „Ceramic Impressions”, Empik Gallery, Jelenia Gora, Poland

1991 Ceramics, Muzeum Okręgowe, Gorzów Wielkopolski

„Interlacing”, BOK Gallery, Boleslawiec

„Interlacing”, Municipal House of Culture, Zgorzelec

1992 Ceramics and sculpture, Vitroart Gallery, Świdnica

2001 „Magic of a Tree I”, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

2002 „Magic of the Tree II”, Jacob Böhme House, Zgorzelec

2005 „Associations”, Promocja Gallery, Jelenia Gora

2006 „A Capriccio”, “Format Gallery”, Bolesławiec

2007 „Yes”, House of Jakub Böhme, Zgorzelec

2008 „Perfect Opposition”, Gallery MM, Chorzow

2009 „Klatki”, Galeria na Piętrze, Zabierzów

„Klatki. Repercussions”, Regional Museum, Myślenice

„Around Structure”, Gallery in Vauxhall Palace, Krzeszowice

2010 „Fluctuations”, BOK-MCC Ceramics Gallery, Bolesławiec

2013 „Gardens” – joint exhibition with Janusz Moniatowicz (photography), Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

2014 „Garden of mysteries” – joint exhibition with Janusz Moniatowicz (photography), Natural History Museum, Jelenia Góra

2016 „Multiplicity”, Town Hall, Bolesławiec

2019 „Duet” – joint exhibition with Stanisława Wojda-Pytlińska (painting), BOK-MCC, Bolesławiec


1965 Exhibition of Sculpture – Second Lower Silesian Plein-Air (Ziębice), Silesian Museum, Wrocław

1966 Exhibition of Sculpture and Ceramic Forms – III Lower Silesia Plein-air (Bolesławiec), Museum of Architecture and Reconstruction, Wrocław

1967 Exhibition of Sculpture and Ceramic Forms – IV Lower Silesia Plein-air (Bolesławiec), BWA Salon, Wrocław

Exhibition of purchases of the Silesian Museum in Wrocław

„Polish Applied Art”, Archaeological Museum, Wroclaw

1968 District exhibition – painting, sculpture, graphics, Silesian Museum, Wrocław

Sculpture exhibition – V Lower Silesian Plein-air (Boleslawiec), BWA Salon, Wroclaw, Poland

„Polish Ceramics and Glass”, Silesian Museum, Wroclaw, Poland

1969, 1970 VI Lower Silesia Sculpture Plein-air, Museum of Architecture and Reconstruction, Wrocław

1969 „Polish Applied Art”, Silesian Museum, Wrocław

1972, 1973 „The Art of Copper Belt”, City Museum, Legnica

1972,1973, 1992, 1993 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Exhibition of Bolesławiec Visual Artists, Bolesławiec

1973 International ceramics exhibition, Abbots’ Palace, Gdansk Oliwa

1974, 1976 „Presentations”, Museum of Architecture, Wrocław

1976-80, 1984, 1986 „Presentations of the Jelenia Góra milieu”, Salon BWA, Jelenia Góra

1977 „Exhibition of Wroclaw Art”, Gallery of Contemporary Art “Avant-garde”, Wroclaw, Poland

1979, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989 BBiennial of Polish Ceramics, Książ Castle, Wałbrzych

1983 „Panorama of Jelenia Góra Art”, Szczecin

1984 „Panorama of Jelenia Góra Art”, Bolesławiec

1985 „Aktualności plastyki dolnośląskiej”, Wrocław

1985, 1987 „Lower Silesian Sculpture”, Museum of Architecture, Wrocław

1988 „Aktualności plastyki dolnośląskiej”, Wrocław

„District exhibition of fine arts”, Warsaw

1992 „Polish Ceramics of the 20th century”, National Museum, Wrocław

V Triennial of Religious Sculpture, “Propozycje” Gallery, Cracow

„Continuations”, Gallery of Contemporary Art “Awangarda”, Wrocław

1997 „Visual arts of the artists of the Nysa Euroregion”, Regional Museum, Jawor, Poland

1998 „After fifty”, Historical Museum, Wrocław

1999 „After Fifty”, City Museum, Stargard Szczeciński

2001 „Continued – Ceramics 2001″, Historical Museum, Wrocław

2002, 2003 Ceramics, MDK Artistic Salon, Chodzież

2002 „Polish Ceramics from the Thaw 1956-65″, National Museum in Wrocław

2004 „Polish Ceramics and Glass of the 20th century”, National Museum, Wrocław

2008 10th Triennial of Religious Sculpture, Palace of Art, Cracow

2009 „Artists of the Bolesławiec Area”, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

2011 „After 100″ – jubilee exhibition on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of ZPAP, Gallery of Ceramics and Glass, Wrocław

2014 „50 Years of the Ceramic and Sculpture Plein-air – jubilee exhibition”, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

2017 „A cross-section through the International Ceramic and Sculpture Plein-airs in Bolesławiec”, Science and Art Centre “Stara Kopalnia”, Walbrzych

2018 „Pole – Artist – Ceramist”, Bolesławiec Triennial, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec

2020 “Artists of the Bolesławiec Area”, Museum of Ceramics, Bolesławiec


1980, 1986, 2005 Dresden (Germany)

1987 Malmö (Sweden)

1993 Mozyr (Belarus)

1993, 2000 Pirna (Germany)

1994 Siegburg (Germany)

1995 Munich (Germany)

1996 Markersdorf (Germany)

2003-2005 Vienna (Austria)

2005 Český Krumlov (Czech Republic)

Prague (Czech Republic)

2007 Česká Lípa (Czech Republic)

2014 Leipizg (Germany)

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