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Stefan Gierowski. The Ten Commandments Paintings



„The Ten Commandments Paintings” cycle was created by the author in honour of the 15th century Gdansk Master, the anonymous creator of the „Ten Commandments Tablet” at the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Gdansk.

Stefan Gierowski in his series of paintings seeks such forms of artistic expression that could serve as verbal concepts that express an idea. Concepts that are impossible to imagine using words may be presented in the tension of forms and colours. The author carries out painted contemplation on the content of Biblical orders and prohibitions, on virtues and sins, translating them into his own feelings and emotions.

Gierowski’s interpretation of the Decalogue consists of interplay of colours and geometrical shapes. The artist gradually saturates the colours and matches them into some theoretically non-matching sets - he discovers and communicates their interdependence. The colours correspond to each other - sometimes by means of a contrast, sometimes through complementarity. Some paintings are almost entirely monochromatic and constructed solely with the intensity of colour saturation. Sometimes, through the harmony of the canvas a visible dissonance and disruptions of visual harmony sneak in, which is the painter’s way of symbolizing sin - violation of a commandment. The relationship between the message and its reception, as well as its visual perception encourage the viewer to adopt wider mental representations and imprint universal concepts in in his memory. The revision of the Decalogue by Gierowski, his wide interpretation and creative quest for truth have been widely recognised and granted an award by the Independent Culture Committee of NSZZ „Solidarność”.

In the years 1945-1948 Stefan Gierowski (born in 1925) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in the studios of Zbigniew Pronaszka, Karol Frycz and Władysław Jarocki. At the same time, he studied history of art at the Jagiellonian University. In the years 1961-1997 he was affiliated through his pedagogical work with the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw – as Head of the Faculty of Painting; he was also the Dean of the Faculty of Painting and its Rector-Elect. In the period 1957-1960, he contributed to the management of a gallery at the Klub Krzywego Koła (Crooked Circle Club) – an independent gallery presenting modern art where the top Polish modern artists made their debut. As a painter he has been awarded many artistic prizes and distinctions. His works have been shown at many individual exhibitions and at prestigious topical exhibitions both in Poland and abroad. He also held a number of positions within the Association of Polish Artists and Designers. In the early years of his artistic career, which was to the large extent focused on the figurativeness of representations, Stefan Gierowski would seek to achieve expressivity of shapes and colours using the simplest painting forms; he would often apply elements of grotesque and metaphor in his work. The style of his painting was defined in the second half of the 1950s – that is when the artist started using the geometry language. The non figurative paintings which he created since constitute a cycle of the so called numbered paintings that he has continued to paint until today. In this cycle the painter focuses on the issues of colour, light, contrast, space and its divisions. All those values are combined into one painting substance.





Designed: Jimpenny / Programmed: FreshData