Installation view of NGV Triennial on display from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

Paulina Ołowska

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Paulina Ołowska
Poland born 1976

Level 2
NGV International
View on map

Paulina Ołowska’s Principia and her pet, from her series Haus Proud, is informed by Ołowska’s research into women-run exhibition spaces and schools. Borrowing imagery from the artist’s collection of vintage fashion advertisements and photographs, the series continues the artist’s ongoing exploration into the representation of women archetypes in art history. Ołowska depicts the titular character, a glamorous school principal, holding her pet dragon on a leash and surrounded by other representations of dragons, including a European fresco and an East Asian ivory carving. Presenting the mythological alongside the contemporary, the work also includes the subtle pop culture reference of a vegan Kit Kat.

Paulina Ołowska’s multifarious practice spans painting, collage, sculpture, video, installation and performance. Born in Gdańsk, Poland, her work is deeply engaged with the political and social histories of Eastern Europe, American consumerism and pop culture, feminism and the aesthetics of fashion advertisements. Ołowska’s figurative paintings often feature women in a wide range of environments, from offices and shops to farms and jungles, challenging art historical conventions as well as traditional notions of femininity. She has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw.

Purchased with funds donated by NGV Foundation, and Anne Ross, 2022