In this permanent exhibition the Regional Contemporary Art Gallery offers ample opportunity to acquaint oneself with the local artistic community from the end of the Second World War to date. Owing to the limited space available to the exhibition and the particular nature of the collections, it is not possible for the gallery to display the works of all the artists in this region. The works were chosen in such a way as to depict a mosaic of existing approaches, styles and tendencies in broadly defined Bielsko-Biała circles. Visitors are able to evaluate the paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, artistic fabrics and installations of fifty-three artists associated with Bielsko-Biała and the local area. In this instance it is difficult to talk about any coherent artistic group or homogeneous community or even a specific propensity. The painters, graphic designers and sculptors living in this region and creating art represent various artistic trends and styles present in Polish art in the second half of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. Their work is a perfect illustration of all the modern trends, ranging from organic and geometric abstraction, through realism, colourism, metaphysical and symbolic art, to historical hyperrealism, neo-expressionism and minimalism. There are several reasons for such a broad variety of artistic approaches. When one considers the time frame, this is the result of a natural generation gap and differences in artistic orientations adopted at universities. The second and most important factor is, on the other hand, the individual, uninhibited artistic fantasy of the artists themselves. The multitude of trends and heterogeneity of the achievements presented raises one’s awareness of the enormous artistic potential represented by the modern artists in the Bielsko-Biała region. We can even observe certain family traditions of “practising art” within this milieu, as in the case of three generations of painters in the Kwaśny family or the two generations in the Kliś family.
An important part of the exhibition has been given over to the works of members of the Beskid Group, founded at the end of 1961, and the only formal artistic grouping established in Bielsko-Biała. It was formed by some friends who shared similar sensibilities, but who had never previously really expressed their artistic agenda. It comprised six artists for whom the most essential artistic theme and task was to promote the beauty of the Beskid landscape. The common feature of their paintings is a love of colour, which, as the main means of conveying the concept, subordinates the content of the artwork being displayed.