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Object of the month: Jerzy Nowosielski, Landscape with a Tram, 1964, tempera, canvas

Jerzy Nowosielski (1923–2011) – an easel and polychrome painter, graphic artist, stenographer, author of theoretical texts on modern painting and icons.

After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts, Nowosielski and his wife moved to Łódź, where he began to paint industrial cityscapes. He continued this theme for years, even after he returned to Kraków in 1962. He would watch trams, trains and tracks from his flat on Lubicz Street and paint them on canvas.

This type of presentation can be called a topographical view. A high horizon, depth practically limited to a single plane, schematically presented roads and succinctly painted architecture follow a map-making approach. Landscapes in this style seldom have a place for residents.

The artist uses two perspectives: the ground is seen from a bird's-eye view (hence the high horizon and aerial depiction of roads), while buildings are presented as if the viewer was stood in front of them. It can be assumed that this casual handling of optical rules was largely inspired by the development of Cubism. It uses two positions of the viewer relative to the presented objects: internal and external.

A similar solution is common in icon painting, with the resulting distortion meant to express the painter's subjective approach to reality.

“Landscape with a Tram” is available for viewing as part of the permanent exhibition in the Modern Art Gallery.

Designed: Jimpenny / Programmed: FreshData