Paulina Olowska - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Phillips

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  • “It was a question of how to negotiate the past – not only how to destroy it, but how to learn from it. I loved working around the themes of modernism and historical utopias. I still work with the idea of a utopia, but now from a psychological reference; it is more about memory, trauma and the inner intuition.”—Paulina Olowska


    Polish artist Paulina Olowska’s realist paintings, drawings and collages engage with the cross-cultural concepts of consumerism and feminism. Olowska establishes a dialogue with the past, contrasting Eastern European socialist symbolism and Western popular culture.




    The flagship Tati store in Barbès, Paris

    Photograph: Richard Frieman-Phelps/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images


    The iconic French discount fashion chain Tati was founded by a Tunisian immigrant at the end of the Second World War in Barbès, a mainly immigrant west African district at the foot of Montmartre in Paris. It closed its last store in 2020, the victim of changing consumer tastes and the emergence of more aggressive rivals with the same bulk-purchase, high-volume business model. Branded with the simplest possible slogan, ‘Tati, les plus bas prix’ (‘Tati, the lowest prices’), it spawned more than 100 outlets around France, its pink-and-white chequered carrier bags becoming an ironic style statement for film stars and celebrities. Olowska’s nostalgic rendering of a bygone institution plays into a larger exploration of representation of female bodies, and their relationship to clothing and fashion:


    “Fashion can play a strong role in political and gender statements. I think it is doing so, actually, more and more. I like to use fashion in artworks as a tool to speak about past ideologies and allude to different movements and moments in history.” [1]


    [1] Francesca Gavin, ‘Talking Fashion and Femininity with Artist Paulina Olowska’, AnOther Magazine, 23 June 2017, online

    • Provenance

      Metro Pictures, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Tati 2

signed, titled and dated 'Paulina Olowska "Tati I" 2017' on the reverse
oil and acrylic on canvas
220 x 149.7 cm. (86 5/8 x 58 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2017, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Metro Pictures.

Full Cataloguing

HK$380,000 - 480,000 

Sold for HK$693,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 7 June 2021