Born on 30 September 1967 in Třinec, František Kowolowski is generally included within the Ostrava art scene that grew up during the mid-90s. In 1986 he began his studies at the painting studio headed by Jan Tarasin and Ryszard Winiarski at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, from which he graduated in 1991 with a work entitled Myths and Elements. In 2000, a milestone year for the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, he was one of its finalists. While in Brno, where he lives, he is best known for his outstanding curatorial activities at the Moravian Gallery (1994 – 1996) and the Brno House of Art (since 2000) and his theoretical work, in Ostrava he is one of the pillars of the local creative art scene. As well as his teaching work at the Faculty of Art of Ostrava University as head of the Painting Studio II, along with Jiří Surůvka and Petr Lysáček he one of the members of the group František Lozinski, o.p.s.
A typical feature of Kowolowski’s action art, which is an important part of his work, is the investigation of the role of the artist through his own physical engagement. On the Ostrava scene he is known for his model of socially critical and ironic subversion, whose gestures are delegated to the actual person of the artist in the form of a mirror, while at the same time remaining an inseparable part of him. Consequently, his performances feature silence as an important motif and communication itself by means of brief, well aimed mottos. This can be well illustrated by the video This Body Belongs to Art from 2002, in which he had this inscription cut into his back as a demonstration of his physical involvement in art. In another event held in Beijing entitled Nomadic Strategy (2009) he held a silent demonstration in a public place using small cardboard signs on which slogans were written such as ‘The World is our Image’, ‘This Reality was Captured by Art’, and ‘Time is Composed of Nothing’.
A particular temporality, procedure and a kind of instability are typical of his works of, let us say, a tangible character. An example would be the installations entitled Local Entropy (2008) or Depositories. The first such depository was Office (2000, Finalists of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, Veletržní palác), which was a mathematical deconstruction of the inventory of a curatorial workplace. His second Depository (2002, Moravian Gallery in Brno) was an installation of the genuine depository of the collection of the gallery with filing cabinet and a table for its administrator. The last depository to date was an exhibition entitled Depositum at the Gallery of Fine Art in Ostrava (2012), in which Kowolowski used exclusively his own works for the first time.
Jiří Ptáček, Performer z depozitáře (Performer from Depository), Art & Antiques, 2012, No. 5, 7.5., pp. 42-43.
Mikolášek, M.: Kowolowského fata morgana, A2 3/2009 (recenze výstavy Mirage, Ostrava, Výstavní síň Sokolská 26).
Laboratory, 1999 – katalog výstavy, I. – II. Zlínský salon Mladých - 1999 a 2001, katalog, Ateliér, 2000, AKT I. – II., katalog, Wek-end - 2002,,katalog. Texty k autorským výstavám – Barbora Přidalová, Cezary Bodzianowski, David Možný, Jan Stolín, Robert Maciejuk atd…Revolver Revue 2004, Jan Mikulčík, Four roses – mezinárodní projekt – Galerie Arsenal v Bialymstoku (Polsko) – text do katalogu, Mezinárodní projekt FRISBEE – text do katalogu – 2004, Barbora Přidalová – text do katalogu 2005 (Galerie J. Sudka v Praze), Alena Kotzmannová – text k výstavě (Galerie G99, Brno), Cena J. Chalupeckého 2005 – Text do katalogu (Dům umění města Brna), Prostor Zlín – text frisbee 2/2006, Médium kurátor – (nakladatlství FRA) 2006, Fotograf 7/2006 – Nová inscenace, Mezi námi skupinami II – sborník výstavy (Dům umění města Brna /2006), Flash Art (č.1/2007, česko-slovenské vydání)