16 09 2022
– 13 11 2022

Günter Grass. The Collection

Opening: 16.09.2022, 18.00-20.00
Date: 16.09-13.11.2022
Venue: 4G, ul. Szeroka 37
Curator: Maria Sasin
Visual identification: Anna Witkowska
Opening hours: Tue-Sun Noon-6 PM

This year marks the 95th birth anniversary of Günter Grass, once a resident of Gdańsk and a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. We are now remembering this outstanding figure by presenting a selection of his visual works from the collection of the Gdańsk City Gallery. His artistic prints and sculptures, so well-known to Gdańsk art viewers, will be joined by two watercolours, unknown to a wider audience, created in the 1990s. One of them features a field of yellow rapeseed, stretching to the horizon, similar to that which blooms in Kashubia and Żuławy regions in May.  The other, depicting „blue” herrings, accompanied a volume of poems written by Grass.


At his exhibition, we will find familiar motifs, recurring in his literary and artistic works – there is a turbot, there are mushrooms and mice, a fire-bellied toad and a snail, there are women and fairy tales. In the notebook/notepad accompanying the exhibition, Andrzej Fac writes about what inspired Grass: „It was his strong passion for the things of this world, suffused by a feeling that what is simple and natural is both extraordinary and fascinating, or – at least – can become so through an act of artistic creation”.


On the occasion of Grass’s birth anniversary, a versatile artist whose works have received numerous scholarly studies, one could say a monumental figure, we want to bring him closer from a slightly different, more personal side. As President Pawel Adamowicz saw him in the introduction to the collection catalogue, published by GGM in 2016: When I enter the Gallery and look at Grass’s graphics and drawings, when I touch his sculptures, I can see his hand and the inseparable pipe with the wisp of smoke floating around it, I can see his face, born on our land, I can hear his voice, building up tales from which a world seen in a unique way, characteristic for him, revealing that which others fail to see, emerges.


We will be able to hear Günter’s voice can be heard in Małgorzata Żerwe’s documentary radio play „Mr. Grass Gdańsk (Re)Visits to Gdańsk” when, among other things, he mentions the Nobel Prize he received with his characteristic distance and irony. The radio play was created from audio materials collected by Malgorzata Żerwe during Günter Grass’ visits to Gdańsk, which he made over the course of a dozen or so years, starting in 2000. A different perspective on Grass can be read in Marcin Dymiter’s sound work entitled „Three Places” which reminds us that what played a key role for Grass in his work, next to the „richness of this world”, was his birthplace, namely  Gdańsk. Dymiter created compilations of sounds from Grass’ beloved Wrzeszcz, Lübeck and Behlendorf where he lived until the end of his life. The exhibition of Grass’ original works will be complemented by archival materials collected during the Grassomania festival, which took place in Gdańsk for many years, and of which its hero was, actually, a frequent guest.


Stowarzyszenie Güntera Grassa w Gdańsku, Dom Güntera Grassa w Lubece, Gdańsk Miasto Literatury


Honorary Patronage:

Konsulat Generalny Niemiec w Gdańsku


Media Partners:

Notes Na 6 Tygodni, Magazyn Linia, Prestiż Magazyn Trójmiejski, gdansk.pl, trójmiasto.pl