Joanna Rajkowska

Joanna Rajkowska

Joanna Rajkowska (born in 1968) – Polish contemporary artist, who came on the Polish art scene in the 1990s. Her most famous work is the 15-metre tall (approx. 50-foot) artificial palm tree installed in Warsaw's Aleje Jerozolimskie, called "Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue" ( _pl. Pozdrowienia z Alej Jerozolimskich). The installation was organised by the Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland (December 13 2002 - December 13 2003). Since then, the palm tree became a permanent fixture in Warsaw, as it was not removed at the end of the official exhibition, coming instead under the protection of the President of Warsaw, albeit it went neglected and leafless two years later, until the artist and friends mounted its restoration. It still stands in the centre of the city. In the summer of 2007 the palm underwent a complete makeover, becoming more weatherproof and easier to maintain (unlike natural palms, its fronds require periodic manual replacement).


Born in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Joanna Rajkowska studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland (1988-1993), and art history at Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland (1988-1993. She also completed the Studio Semester Program at the State University of New York, U.S. (1994-1995) [] .


Rajkowska describes the sense of her activity as building relationships with other people. She often only sets up the context of a meeting, allowing it to be an open experience. She usually engages a number of people as participants, and she also uses herself in her work. For example, in "Satisfaction Guaranteed", her body was being symbolically consumed by other people [] .

Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue

"Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue" - the 15-meter (50-foot) tall artificial palm tree installed in the centre of Warsaw - an installation created by Rajkowska after her trip with Artur Żmijewski to Israel in the spring of 2001. It is an attempt to infuse with Israel's scenery Warsaw's Aleje Jerozolimskie - a street whose name and history, in return, sends the observer back to Israel. In another way, the palm tree refers to a popular idiomatic expression in the Polish language ( _pl. palma odbija - literally: "the palm tree sprouts/bounces back") that indicates something unthinkable, outside common understanding, escaping the usual way of reasoning, simply - something idiotic. On the other hand, through the very presence of the palm tree in the middle of Warsaw's centre, it may signify that the commonly accepted way of reasoning does not fit the real world [] .

Selected exhibitions

* 2007 "Oxygenator" ( _pl. Dotleniacz), (public project), Warsaw, Poland
* 2005 "Twenty-Two Tasks", Program Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
* 2004 "Only Love", (public project), Warsaw, Poland
* 2003 "Formal Promise. Artist For Rent", Mullerdechiara Gallery, Berlin, Germany
* 2002 "Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue", (public project), Warsaw, Poland
* 2002 "My Great-Grandmother Rosa Stern", (Photofestival), Skulpturen Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
* 2001 Stockholm International Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden
* 2000 "The Diary of Dreams", XX1 Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
* 2000 "Satisfaction Guaranteed", Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
* 2000 "Satisfaction Guaranteed", AMS - Outdoor Gallery, 400 billboards all over Poland
* 1999 "On Saturday I Eat Sweets and I Masturbate", Open Gallery, Kraków, Poland
* 1999 "Things I Do In the Evenings", Manhattan Gallery, Łódź, Poland
* 1998 "Menu of Desires", Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, Kraków, Poland
* 1998 "The Love of a Man Named Dog", Contemporary Art Gallery Zachęta, Warsaw, Poland
* 1997 "Lobster Lovers", Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo, New York, USA
* 1996 "Trio for Skin, Voice and the Madman", Bucklein Theatre, Kraków, Poland
* 1996 "Water-Tower. Headache", Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
* 1995 "No Sign of Dying Soon. The Past - the Physical Presence", State University of NY, NYC, USA
* 1995 "Irritation", Zderzak Gallery, Kraków, Poland
* 1994 "Fluids", Zderzak Gallery, Kraków, Poland

Awards and fellowships

* 2001 The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship, Poland
* 1998 The Civitella Ranieri Fellowship
* 1997 The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship
* 1996 The ArtsLink Partnership, Buffalo, USA
* President's Award of the City of Kraków, Kraków, Poland


* [ "Satisfaction Guaranteed"] exhibition in The Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
* [ "A WATER-TOWER. A HEADACHE."] exhibition in Laboratorium Gallery, The Centre for Conterporary Art, Warsaw, Poland
* [ Official website of Joanna Rajkowska] en icon pl icon
* [ Official website of the "Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue" palm tree (Palma)] en icon pl icon

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