April 2010

Roni Horn at the exhibition opening at the Center of Contemporary Art in Warsaw

An exhibition of the works of Roni Horn, a distinguished American female artist, opened on April 29 at 18:00 at the Center for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.  The exhibition presents a series of her most recent works, including You  are the Weather  (1994-1995), Cabinet of (2001), Bird &nbs p;(2008) and  a.k.a. (2008/2009).  To see the photo gallery from the exhibit opening click here.

A series of educational events and curatorial tours will accompany the show. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and the Trust for Mutual Understanding are among the sponsors of the exhibition.

Roni Horn received the CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, several NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim fellowship. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Dia Center for the Arts,  New York;  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Tate Modern, London (2009). Her group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial (1991, 2004); Documenta (1992); and Venice Biennale (1997) among others.

The President released a statement on his regret that he cannot make it to Poland.

“I spoke with acting President Komorowski and told him that I regret that I will not be able to make it to Poland due to the volcanic ash that is disrupting air travel over Europe. Michelle and I continue to have the Polish people in our thoughts and prayers, and will support them in any way I can as they recover from this terrible tragedy. President Kaczynski was a patriot and close friend and ally of the United States, as were those who died alongside him, and the American people will never forget the lives they led.”

Ambassador Lee Feinstein bows his head during a vigil prior to the funeral mass of Polish Deputy Minister of Defense Stanislaw Komorowski in the Military Field Cathedral April 16, 2010. (U.S. Embassy photo by Capt. John Ross)

Ambassador Feinstein attended the funeral of Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski in Warsaw today, accompanied by Kurt Amend, Senior Advisor on Security Negotiations and Agreements at the U.S. Department of State, Colonel Tim Burke, Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation, and Colonel Mary Peterson, Air Attaché. Speaking about Komorowski, Ambassador Feinstein said, “Minister Komorowski was our invaluable partner on bilateral defense issues of vital importance to both countries, including Missile Defense and the upcoming rotation of Patriot Missiles in Poland. With Minister Komorowski seated across the table from our negotiators during U.S.-Polish talks on a Status of Forces Agreement, we knew we would come up with an agreement that met both sides’ needs, and we did. His energy, his leadership and his mastery of security issues will be sorely missed by his American colleagues at the United States Departments of State and Defense. America mourns a true friend.”

Wojciech Seweryn, 70, an artist and influential member of Chicago’s Polish community, was among those killed en route to Katyn in the plane crash on April 10.  Seweryn designed and constructed the Katyn Memorial Sculpture at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Nile, Illinois, which was inaugurated in 2009.  Seweryn’s father was a Polish POW who was killed at Katyn.  Born in Poland, Seweryn was trained at the Krakow Academy of Art, and emigrated to the United States in the 1970s.  Local residents laid flowers and candles at the monument in Seweryn’s honor. 

There are several memorials to the victims of Katyn throughout the United States.  A golden statue, known as the National Katyn Massacre Memorial, is located in Baltimore, Maryland.  Detroit has a monument at St. Albertus Roman Catholic Church in the form of a small white stone cross with a plaque, erected by Polish-Americans in the area.  In Jersey City, New Jersey, there is a statue at Exchange Place near the Hudson River.  Another memorial is located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, at the Veteran’s Cemetery of the National Shrine of our Lady of Czestochowa.

On April 14, Vice President Biden visited the Polish Embassy in Washington, DC, to sign the condolence book for President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynska and all those who lost their lives in the tragic plane crash last Saturday in Russia.

Below is the text of the Vice President’s condolence note:

“It is with a heavy heart that I write these words. I had the honor and privilege of knowing President Kaczynski – recently having been with him in Poland as we worked out the new missile defense agreement.

His loss and the loss of Mrs. Kaczynski along with so many dedicated servants of the Polish people is almost too much to ask the Polish people to endure – but endure you will as you always have.

Please know that I am an admirer of all that is Polish – and that you can count on my country and all Americans to continue to stand with you.

With deep sympathy.

Joe Biden”

 W sobotę wieczorem Prezydent Obama uda się do Krakowa, by wziąć udział w niedzielnych uroczystościach związanych z pogrzebem Prezydenta Lecha Kaczyńskiego i Pierwszej Damy Pani Marii Kaczyńskiej. Prezydent Obama w Krakowie ponowi płynące z głębi serca kondolencje pod adresem ważnego, zaufanego sojusznika oraz przekaże słowa wsparcia dla narodu polskiego w imieniu Amerykanów.

Wypowiadając się na temat wizyty prezydenta Obama, ambasador Feinstein powiedział: „Poprzez wizytę w Polsce Prezydent Obama pragnie wyrazić szacunek wszystkim tym, którzy ponieśli śmierć w tragicznym wypadku, a zarazem oddać cześć przywódcom i narodowi polskiemu w uznaniu okazywanej siły i hartu ducha. Spotykając się z przedstawicielami polskich władz i polskimi obywatelami widzę, że znajdują wielką pociechę w niezliczonych słowach wsparcia, jakie napływają ze Stanów Zjednoczonych i całego świata. Polacy są pogrążeni w bólu, ale jednocześnie dają jasny dowód, że są zjednoczeni i kierują swe myśli ku przyszłości.”

Komunikat Białego Domu

On Saturday evening, the President will travel to Krakow, Poland to attend the State Funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria Kaczynska on Sunday, April 18th. The President will travel to Krakow to express the depth of our condolences to an important and trusted ally, and our support for the Polish people, on behalf of the American people.

Speaking on Obama’s visit, Ambassador Feinstein said, “In visiting Poland, President Obama will pay respect to those who perished in last week’s tragic accident and will pay tribute to the leaders and people of Poland for their resilience and resolve.  I’ve been meeting with the Polish leadership and the Polish people.  They are finding great comfort in the outpouring of support from the United States and the world.  Poles are grieving, but they are also sending a clear message that they are united and moving forward.”

White House Statement

Several members of the U.S. Congress have made statements offering condolences to the people of Poland in honor of the victims of Saturday’s air crash.  Chairman Berman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee noted, “The timing of this loss is particularly poignant, as these officials were travelling to honor the Polish POWs who were massacred at Katyn Forest 70 years ago during World War II.”  Senator Lugar, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “Together with the Polish nation and friends of Poland worldwide, I mourn this unbelievably tragic loss.”  Senator Lugar introduced a resolution honoring the lives of the victims of the crash, as well as the lives and legacies of the more than 22,000 Polish government officials, military officers and civilians who were executed in the Katyn massacre.  Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said, “Our community, our state, and our nation grieve today with the people of Poland and all people of Polish heritage.”  Congressman Dan Lipinski said, “Poland has been a true friend and ally of the United States. And although Poland and the Polish people have endured great suffering throughout history, they have always proven to be resilient.”  Senator Barbara Mikulski said, “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Poland.  U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released a joint statement, in which they said, “The memory of President Kaczynski’s life and his commitment to peaceful regional and international relations should serve as an inspiration to us all.”

Read the Full Text of their Statements Here:

  • Statement by the U.S. Helsinki Commission
  • Statement by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard L. Berman
  • Statement by Senator Barbara Mikulski
  • Statement by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
  • Statement by Congressman Dan Lipinski 
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