60 x 20 x 14, 191 x 61 x 54, 191 x 61 x 54, Ø 30 x 44

  • Artist: Miroslaw Balka
  • Creation date: (1992)
  • Object type: Installation


Mirosław Balka completed his studies at the art academy in Warsaw in 1985. He began his artistic career with figurative sculptural compositions, but in the late 1980s he started creating abstract installations in an austere, minimalist style. The human figure has nonetheless remained central to his work, including in this installation from 1992.

In a dimly lit room, the spectator encounters three metal crates, two large ones and a smaller one, with a single lamp as a light source. The artist’s own measurements serve as the yardstick for the objects and provide the piece with its title. The arrangement and the sparse lighting bring to mind a crypt, and the use of rusted iron evokes elapsed time and transience. One of the larger crates is open, and the bottom is covered by a yellow, rubbery material that resembles skin. The upper side of the other, closed crate is covered in terrazzo, a flooring material frequently used in postwar houses and public buildings. It links the symbolism of death to experiences from everyday life.

“My theatre is without actors,” Balka said of his work in 1990. The museum’s installation resembles a tableau, assembling silent props that are highly charged and existential in nature.

Text: Audun Eckhoff

From "Highlights. Art from 1945 to the Present", Nasjonalmuseet 2016, ISBN 978-82-8154-116-0


Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
60 x 20 x 14, 191 x 61 x 54, 191 x 61 x 54, Ø 30 x 44 (NOR)
60 x 20 x 14, 191 x 61 x 54, 191 x 61 x 54, Ø 30 x 44 (POL)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
stål, terrazzo, jernbøtte, tekstil, salt og elektrisk lys
  • Width: 450 cm
  • Depth: 140 cm
Kjøpt 1994
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Complex object/artwork
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Thorkildsen, Morten
© Balka, Miroslaw/BONO