Katarzyna Perlak - Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon: Charity Online Auction London Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | Phillips

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  • Katarzyna Perlak is a Polish-born artist, based in London whose practice employs video, performance, textiles, sculpture and installation. Perlak creates ‘tender crafts’, exploring how traditional practices can be re-imagined from contemporary feminist, Queer and diasporic perspectives.  Perlak deals in dreams, desires, folklore and ideas of collective memory to problematise how history is written and traditions are represented. 


    For the collage Uprooted, 2023, Perlak’s tender and tenacious crafting is applied to found imagery depicting an Eastern European folk costume. It is an image reclaimed from its specific and ethnographic context through the artist’s application of embroidered, beaded and unlikely elements. The figure, displaying a curious number of crosses, is further garlanded with a disco ball and a head-dress of glossy lips.  A nocturnal urban fox and dried dandelion introduces ideas of resilience and a connection to the mystic.

     'Consider and experience history as an overlaying of multiple, overlapping and contesting narratives rather than as a single, fixed entity.'
    —Katarzyna Perlak

     The interplay of Catholic, folk and Queer aesthetics form an enduring concern in Perlak’s work; for the 2022 Brent Biennial, a series of embellished tablecloths and Pajaki sculptures, paper chandeliers hung to protect the home, were installed in St Matthew’s Church, Willesden. Perlak’s sculptures were subsequently acquired by the Arts Council Collection.


    The Left Hand Doesn't Know What The Right One Is Doing, Bated Breath series. Photo: Courtesy of Katarzyna Perlak

    Katarzyna Perlak (b. 1979, Chorzów, Poland) has been based in London since 2004. She has studied Philosophy in Poland and Fine Art Media in London, at Camberwell College of Arts, 2008  and Slade School of Fine Art, 2017. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2023;   Remote Intimacies, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York & ONE Archives, Los Angeles, 2021; Young Curators New Ideas V, Detroit Art Week, Detroit; I was, but just awake, Art Night, London, 2019; Tighten Throat and Butterflies, Metal, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, 2018; A Day of Learning, Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2017 and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, London, 2017.

    • Provenance

      Donated by the artist



signed with the artist’s initials ‘KP’ lower left
collage, embroidery and beads on paper
32 x 42 x 2 cm (12 5/8 x 16 1/2 x 0 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2023.

Full Cataloguing

£1,000 - 2,000 


Contact Specialist

Olivia Taylor
Head of Sale
+44 7823 791 633

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon: Charity Online Auction

12 - 19 March 2024