“Twenty Twenty” Wanda Michalak, Pete Purnell, Pim Vlug 25.01 – 22.02.2020

January 1, 2020 4:17 pm Published by

“Twenty Twenty”

20ste Jubileum van Gallery WM!

Wanda Michalak, Pete Purnell, Pim Vlug / fotografie, video-montage, schilderij.

24.01 t/m 22.02.2020

opening:  Vrijdag 24 januari 2020 van 17:30 – 19:30 uur

Retrospectief van bijna 30 jaar fotografie van Wanda Michalak, aangevuld met video-montages van resident-fotograaf Pete Purnell en mega-schilderij van Pim Vlug

Wanda in the air                                                 © Basia Lautman

Gallery WM viert haar 20ste verjaardag. We zullen dat doen door een retrospectief te presenteren van de oprichter en naamgenoot van de Gallery; Wanda Michalak. Deze tentoonstelling toont bekende en iconische foto’s van Michalak, evenals eerder ongezien werk. Dit wordt aangevuld met videomontages door de resident-fotograaf Pete Purnell van WM en een mega-schilderij van Pim Vlug.

Toen Wanda Michalak en Paul Schäublin deze eigenzinnige ruimte in januari van het jaar 2000 openden, beschouwden ze Gallery WM als ruimte voor fotografie voor echte fotografen; afbeeldingen die gewaardeerd zouden worden door professionals in het veld. In de twintig jaar sinds, is dat veld exponentieel geëvolueerd. Met deze voortdurende tektonische herdefiniëring van het fotografische veld, is ook Gallery WM veranderd. Van analoog tot digitaal, zwart-wit tot sterke verzadiging, klassiek ingelijste vintage prints tot hangende installaties, een focus op esthetiek tot conceptgestuurde deconstructies, WM heeft het allemaal gezien en getoond.

Wij nodigen u uit om samen te komen en ons jubileum met ons te vieren! Want we waren er in 2000 en we zijn hier nog steeds twintig jaar later; tonend, exposerend en presenterend. Zonder twijfel zullen we hier over twintig jaar nog steeds zijn. Dus kom en geniet en hef een glas op en proost op de volgende twintig jaar! De verjaardagsopening en -viering van Gallery WM vindt plaats op vrijdag 24 januari 2020 tussen 17:30 en 19:30 uur in Gallery WM, Elandsgracht 35, 1016 TN Amsterdam.

Beide oprichters Wanda Michalak en Paul Schäublin zullen aanwezig zijn bij de opening, evenals de huidige curator Sebastian Rypson van Gallery WM, zij het via een videolink uit Varanasi, India

© Wanda Michalak

© Wanda Michalak






“Twenty Twenty”

Celebrating the 20 years anniversary  of Gallery WM.

January 24th  thru February 22nd, 2020

Gallery WM is celebrating it’s 20 year anniversary. We will do that by presenting a retrospective by the Gallery’s founder and namesake; Wanda Michalak. This exhibition will show known and iconic photographs by Michalak, as well as previously unseen work. This will be complemented by video-montages by WM’s resident photographer Pete Purnell as well as a mega-painting by Pim Vlug.

When Wanda Michalak and Paul Schäublin opened this quirky space in January of the year 2000, Gallery WM was envisioned to be a space showing true photographer’s photography; images that would be appreciated by professionals in the field. In the twenty years since, that field has evolved exponentially. With this continuing tectonic redefinition of the photographic field, so too Gallery WM has changed with it. From analogue to digital, black & white to enhanced saturation, classically framed vintage prints to hanging installations, a focus on aesthetics to concept-driven deconstructions, WM has seen and shown it all and more.

We invite you to come together and celebrate our anniversary with us! For we were there in 2000 and we are still here twenty years later, showing, exposing, presenting and exhibiting. Doubtlessly, we will be here twenty years hence! So please come, and make merry, and raise a glass, and make a toast to the next twenty years. Gallery WM cordially invites you all!

Pinnacles Desert, Australia 1994. From the series World Watching © Wanda Michalak


“Protect me from what I want” © Wanda Michalak

“Twenty Twenty” Opening 24 January 2020

Opening speech by Jaap Bijsterbosch, 24 January 2020 © Pete Purnell


Sebastian Rypson live from Varanasi (India) 24 January 2020 © Pete Purnell

Video Sebastian Rypson live from Varanasi (uncut version): https://vimeo.com/389196019

Opening Speech by Jaap Bisjterbosch

Once upon a time there was that girl in Poland who walked around in the magical darkroom of the photograhic shop of her mother. She smelled the mysterious odors of the chemicals and became fascinated by the photograghic image. At her 9th she got her first photo camera and grew up. She became a lover, a mother, a world traveller, a wife. She often took her camera with her so at first & at last she became a photographer. As a photograher she got interrested in portraits, landscapes, nudes. And long before people invented the stupid selfies she made beautiful selfportraits.

When a photographer is doing so many things, building up such a rich oeuvre, I always tend to search for a central theme, an important detail that al the pictures have in common.  Looking for a word or expression that describes the real meaning of Wanda’s work the following came into my mind: Strength from being vulnerable . Her subjects often are vulnerable, almost fragile & and the same time strong, almost powerful. Think for instance of her series about men twenty years ago.  Twenty years ago I wrote about these Men About: (quote) You photographed them in the nude: mostly strong and confident, but sometimes also vulnerable, even with a trace of innocence.(end of quote)

Her photographs of landscapes for instance in the series “Bon Soir Madame La lune”. The nightly landscapes are fragile, but at the same time they give in a romantic way a feeling of timeless power of the moonlight.

Or her photos of the Australian Magpies. She became friends with them, because she had an open eye for the power and the fragility of these feathered beings at the same time.

In 1991, 29 years ago, I invited Wanda into a special  project of 4  photographers with the theme of the 4 elements. Wanda was working on the wind. She made the beautiful photo of herself standing on the top of a sand dune with a long sheet in her hand. The greater part of the sheet carried by the wind. Wanda Wind was her nickname. You can see this photo today. I think it is a precursor of her later series World Watching.

“Fish” from Wanda Wind series ©  Wanda Michalak

This combination and at the same time this paradox of strength and vulnerability is very visible in what I think is her key work:

“World watching”. In this series made on the spot in beautiful landscapes in the entire world her naked body becomes the landscape. Or the landscape becomes a naked body. Anyway her presence in the sheer beauty of the scene is of an overwhelming fragility and endless strength at the same time. She started this series in 1992 and I wonder if it will ever end. Frankly I don’t hope so.

We are also here today because 20 years ago this gallery started. The idea was Wanda’s I think. Twenty years ago she told me in this very room about the dreams she had. I wrote in a letter to her: (quote) So I think it’s good that you are starting a gallery of your own. An international  photographer’s photo gallery. Where you want to show photo’s, which are real photographic. I’m convinced that it’s very necessary such an exhibition room came up.

It’s also good to hear that you want to organize special projects: Photographers working together at one theme, photography combined with other forms of art.(unquote)

Looking back twenty years later I must say you succeeded. It is international, although a bit Polish, it is photographic, sometimes you do give way to other forms of art. There have been many, many group projects, and this place grew into a vivid meeting place of photographers and lovers of the photographic art from all over the world.

Of course you did not run this gallery on your own. Let’s thank Paul for his endless support and logistic genius. He’s often here and always spreads his personal atmosphere of friendly hospitality. He deserves great thanks and admiration for all that.

When I was having my show of self-portraits here some three years ago I was impressed by the team work between Wanda, Paul and of course Sebastian. Who also is very important for the 20 years of this gallery. Together with Nahuel Blaton he continued the firm as two Anthropologists in Art when Paul and Wanda went to live in Australia. Those guys have put an extra dimension of content in the gallery.

And let’s not forget the silent cooperation of Pete (Purnell). I think of his practical work and his beautiful portraits of all the artists. He is not to be missed in the next twenty years.

Well Wanda, Paul, Sebastian (all the way in India), and not to forget Pete, from the deepest of my heart congratulations with this fantastic place in the photographic world. A big hug for you all!

Jaap Bijsterbosch 2020/01/24.

Brazil 1999 from the series World Watching © Wanda Michalak


©  Wanda Michalak



Interview for Cult TV door Patricia Monika Jordense-Michalski


Fototapeta (Poland)


Vade Retro 

22 January 2000 – official opening of the gallery by Wanda Michalak

22 January 2000, here we go…


Wanda by Pete ©Pete Purnell

Flitsend door de jaren heen / Flying through the Year

video montage by Harrie Blommesteijn and Paul Schaublin


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