Miroslaw Balka was born in 1958 in Warsaw, Poland. He lives and works in Otwock, Poland, and Oliva, Spain. Balka is a sculptor also active in the field of experimental video and drawing. In 1985 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where since 2011 he has run the Studio of Spatial Activities in the Faculty of Media Art. Between 1986 and 1989 together with Miroslaw Filonik and Marek Kijewski he established the artistic group Consciousness Neue Bieremiennost. Awarded the Mies van der Rohe Stipend by Krefeld Kunstmuseen. He is a member of Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
Miroslaw Balka has participated in major exhibitions worldwide including: Venice Biennale (1990, 2003, 2005, 2013; representing Poland in 1993), documenta IX, Kassel (1992), Sydney Biennale (1992, 2006), The Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (1995), Sao Paulo Biennale (1998), Liverpool Biennial (1999), Santa Fe Biennale (2006). In 2009 he presented the special project How It Is for the Unilever Series, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London. He is the author of the Memorial to the Victims of the Estonia Ferry Disaster in Stockholm (1997), and numerous spatial works including AUSCHWITZWIELICZKA, Cracow (2010), and HEAL, University of California, San Francisco (2009). A series of conversations between Miroslaw Balka and professor Zygmunt Bauman were published in 2012. In 2015 the artist created the stage design for Paweł Mykietyn’s Magic Mountain opera. He has participated in panel discussions with many distinguished speakers including Juan Vicente Aliaga, Julian Heynen, Anda Rottenberg, Kasia Redzisz, Anja Rubik, Joseph Rykwert and Vicente Todoli.
In 2015 the exhibition Nerve. Construction at the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz initiated a series of three large individual exhibitions. They were an attempt at a retrospective of the past thirty years of Balka’s creative work. Subsequent exhibitions have taken place in 2017: CROSSOVER/S in Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan and DIE SPUREN in Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen.
Earlier selected solo shows include: Freud Museum, London (2014); Centre for Contemporary Art, Vinzavod, Moscow (2013); Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (both 2011); Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe (both 2010); Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna Rio de Janeiro (both 2007); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen K21, Düsseldorf (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Strasbourg (2004); Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw and SMAK, Gent (both 2001); National Museum of Art, Osaka (2000); Museu Serralves, Porto (1998); Museet for Samtidskunst, Oslo (1997); Tate Gallery, London (1995); The Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles (1994); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Renaissance Society – University of Chicago (both 1992).
Balka’s works are in numerous institutional collections including: Tate Modern, London; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; MOCA, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; MOMA, New York; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museu Serralves, Porto; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kiasma, Helsinki; Kröller-Müller, Otterlo; EMST The National Museum of Art, Athens; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Collection Lambert, Avignon; Middelheimmuseum, Antwerp; Fundación Botín, Santander; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb. In Poland his works are in the collections of: Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; Centre of Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Zacheta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; The National Museum, Wroclaw; MOCAK, Cracow; Labirynt, Lublin; Arsenał, Bialystok.