Alicja Habisiak-Matczak
FIG Bilbao 2020

26.11.20 14.12.20

Travels are an important part of my private and professional life and they are a very important source of inspiration for my graphic work. I like to observe and experience new spaces, new architecture, new cities. Their constant, dynamic motion, their diverse architecture, are what attracts me to big cities, such as Buenos Aires, Rome, Warsaw or Łódź- my home town.

From many photos taken directly, later I make several charcoal sketches, which in turn become projects for my prints. I use etching, painterly hand-dusted aquatint and salt aquatint to obtain deeply etched grained structures which add another dimension to the image. Light and shade are the main themes of my prints. The predominant inspiration is urban architecture. For me the city is joyful, full of light, movement and energy. In my graphics I transform this impression into the dynamic space which is ordered by light. Although in my images I use selected perspectives to build the construction of space, it is accompanied by shade and light. Once it is the quiet dispersed light of the day, another time they are almost baroque, dramatic shade-and-light contrasts, or nocturne interiors saturated with black.

My works show contrast between majestic fragments of architecture, lasting still in space, and the element of movement suggested by circulation areas, roads, passages, crossed suspension bridges. I am interested in the concept of simultaneity of states of the soul described by Boccioni and the role of recollection in the image creation.


The prints presented in Bilbao were inspired with the architecture of Buenos Aires where in in 2019 I was visiting the unique Proyecto Ace Foundation. I was impressed with the monumental architecture of the city and particularly that of the historical shopping centre Galerias Pacifico. My prints show distorted perspective, combining different vintage points into one view- reflecting in a way the feeling of being overwhelmed by the glittering, dynamic spaces of the multi-floor building.

The prints were created in February and March 2020, when the world was starting the struggle with the pandemic and more and more countries were introducing national lockdowns. In Poland, as in Argentina, Spain and many other corners of the world, all shopping malls were closed and empty for a long time. In a way, my prints anticipate this vision of depopulated centers, which normally are flooded with people. For me, the common spaces where people can meet and socialize, even only while shopping, are sources of positive energy. This positive attitude is expressed with rhythms of lights and shades and rich textures of the salt aquatint technique combined with deep etching.

The participation in the prestigious Bilbao Festival is a great honor for me and a wonderful opportunity to share my impressions with wide audience, and also show solidarity in the difficult times we are all facing.

Alicja Habsiak-Matczak
1978 | Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
Lives and works in xŁódź, poland

Head of the Intaglio Techniques Studio at the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts Łódź
PATA – Interantional Summer Courses Printmaking and Textile Art coordinator

2015 | Post PhD Title of habilitated doctor (postdoctoral degree)
2009 | PhD in Fine Arts at the Academy in Łódź
2004 | Postgraduate Printmaking course. Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino and the International Art Centre KAUS Urbino, Italy
2002 |  Faculty of Graphics and Painting at the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts, Łódź, Poland

2019 | Probable Spaces, Proyecto ´ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Parlando con Jacopo e Lorenzo, Oratorio San Giovanni Battista in Urbino, Italy
Perspektywy helikoidalne, Galeria Centrum Łowicka, Warsaw
Alicja Habisiak-Matczak. University of Alberta, Edmonton
2018 | Polish Interlacing- Alicja Habisiak-Matczak, Headbones Gallery, Vernon, Canada

2019 | 1st Prize, 2nd Mini Print International Cantabria, Santander, Spain
2017 | Honorary Mention, Biennale Internazionale per l’Incisione, Premio Acqui Incisione, Acqui Terme, Italy
2015 | Honorary Mention, XIII Biennal Internacional de Gravat, Josep de Ribera, Spain
2009 | 1st Prize at the 11th edition of the International Small Engraving Salon Carbunari
2006 | Grand Prix at the VI International Print Competition “Premio Bertoni”, Fermignano, Italy

2019 | Proyecto ´ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2019 | International Printmaking Symposium Flash Drawing Tour, International Art Centre Kaus Urbino, Italy

Related Activities

International Projects, Fairs

FIG Bilbao 2020
Artists in dialogue

26.11.20 14.12.20

After the landing of ´ace at FIG Bilbao2019, with Argentina as the guest country and the will of both organizations to expand their international networks, we have signed a collaboration agreement between both institutions: FIG BILBAO and Fundación´ace. Alicia Candiani, director of ´ace, becomes part of the Management Committee of Open Latin America with the aim of giving mobility to artists and their works on an international level. Also, this year we have once again been invited to participate in the fair, for which a prestigious group of international professional artists has been selected.

The International Fair of Printmaking and Art on Paper (FIG Bilbao) has positioned itself as one of the most important in Europe. This year, FIG Bilbao celebrates its 9th edition and, although it cannot aspire to attract more than 11,000 visitors in four days as happened last year, it has not hesitated to reinvent itself in an online format and, furthermore, it does not neglect face-to-face proposals insofar as their possibilities. Today the digital platform will premiere, offering 50 galleries and more than 500 artists that will be active throughout the month of December.

The works cover a wide range of prices and visitors will be able to enjoy the free and personalized advice of expert Elisa Hernando, who is in charge of the Approach online service. Among the creators present in this edition, it will also be possible to pledge on emerging talents such as Juan Escudero and Kepa Garraza, or already established such as Joan Miró and Eduardo Chillida.

Three containers have been installed next to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. Inside, all the works from the fair catalog will be projected on led screens that will change their content every 15 minutes. Until December 14 (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) they will be available to passersby. These are spaces that fulfill the function of the stands of FIG Bilbao, adapted to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, and are complemented by the QR codes of each gallery that will allow access to the digital platform.

Alicja Habsiak-Matczak (Poland)
Guy Langevin (Canada)
Bárbara Madsen (USA)
Cecilia Mandrile (Argentina, lives in New York)
Kestutis Vasilinius (Lithuania)
Zhang MinJie (China)

Alicia Candiani (Argentina)



FIG Bilbao XII
Artists in dialogue

23.11.23 26.11.23

The International Print and Paper Art Fair in Bilbao, FIG Bilbao, celebrated its twelfth edition at the Euskalduna Palace, a venue located in the heart of the city of Bilbao in Spain. The fair took place from November 23 to 26 and featured a comprehensive program of activities related to Paper Art, with Japan being the guest country.

This twelfth edition brought together more than forty national and international print galleries and publishers, as well as over 500 artists. With almost 10,000 visitors, the fair continues to establish itself as a key meeting point for print and paper art. This art event in the Basque Country also becomes one of the main cultural attractions in Bilbao, as recognized by national and international media.

Invited by its organizers and partners at Open Buenos Aires – FIG Bilbao and the ARTHAZI Association – the ´ace Contemporary Art Foundation participated in Stand #10, featuring Polish artists Alicja Habisiak-Matzack, Jolanta Rustka-Habisiak, and Tomasz Matzack from the Academy of Arts and Design in Lodz, Poland. In addition, our director, Alicia Candiani, was invited to participate as a member of the international jury in the “Cubes of Temptations,” a program aimed at Fine Arts students in their final years of education. This year, the cubes featured emerging artists from Kyoto City University of Arts (KCUA) and the University of the Basque Country.

November 23 – 26 , 2023
Palacio Euskalduna
Bilbao, Spain

Artist-in-Residence International Program

View map

International Airport

Ministro Pistarini- Ezeiza (EZE)
Buenos Aires
45' to 60' trip

Domestic Airport

Aeroparque Jorge Newbery
Buenos Aires


38, 39, 41, 42, 59, 63, 65, 67, 68, 151, 152, 161, 184, 194 and 168 (stop in the front door)


D Line (Green)
Olleros Station (4 blocks, 4')


Mitre Line (either to Leon Suarez or Mitre)
Colegiales Station (1 block, 1')

The Latin America's Paris

Buenos Aires is Argentine Republic's capital city. With 15,000,000 inhabitants, it is one of the largest cities in Latin America and one of the 10 most populous urban centers in the world. Its cosmopolitan and urban character vibrates to the rhythm of a great cultural offer that includes monuments, churches, museums, art galleries, opera, music and theaters; squares, parks and gardens with old groves; characteristic neighborhoods; large shopping centers and fairs. Here we also find a very good lodging facilities, with accommodation ranging from hostels to five-star hotels of the main international chains. Buenos Aires also show off about its variety of restaurants with all the cuisines of the world, as well as to have cafes and flower kiosks on every corner.

A neighborhood founded on the Jesuit farms in the 17th century

We are located in Colegiales neighborhood where the tree-lined streets, some of which still have their original cobblestones, invite you to walk. Although the apartment buildings advance, low houses still predominate. It is a district of the city where about 20 TV production companies, design studios, artist workshops and the Rock&Pop radio have been located. The neighborhood also has six squares, one of which pays homage to Mafalda, the Flea Market, shops, restaurants and cafes like its neighboring Barrios de Palermo and Belgrano, with which it limits.

Artist-in-Residence International Program

2024 Open Call #2
Residencies 2024

April 30th, 2024

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