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FACES OF FIGURATION. Polish painting and graphic art from the collection of the Leon Wyczółkowski Regional Museum in Bydgoszcz.

The exhibition prepared for the Michał Farysej Gallery A of the Starogard Culture Center is a display of selected, most recognized artworks in the museum collection, made by artists whose concepts blend in the assumptions of performance art. From among a myriad of “varieties” of figuration, its four visions have been separated, which had a major impact on the Polish history of art.

The 1960s marked development of “new figuration,” which was a direct reaction to abstraction. This trend comprises works of art made by members of the Wprost Group, including Maciej Bieniasz, Zbylut Grzywacz, Jacek Waltoś and Leszek Sobocki, shaped by the Krakow studio of Adam Hoffmann. Subjects undertaken by the artists have been closely tied with the topic of man’s existence and his daily work. Painters, wanting to express themselves directly ("wprost" in Polish), promoted figurativeness, anti-aesthetics and anti-formalism. In their works, they were undertaking social and political topics, expressing symbolically anxieties of today’s existence. The person in the foreground was frequently shown in solitude, despite being in a crowd. Poetic mood used in paintings, brings closer their expression and message to metaphor. Andrzej Nowacki, Teresa Pągowska, Janusz Przybylski, Wiesław Szamborski and Mieczysław Wejman created their works in a similar spirit.

Development of images was frequently supported by photography art. This style shows works made by representatives of photorealism - Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Andrzej A. Sadowski, Andrzej M. Łubowski, as well as Antoni Fałat and Jana Świtka.

Performance art also includes surrealist and metaphorical works made by Zdzisław Beksiński, Anna Güntner, Jerzy Krawczyk, Bronisław Wojciech Linke and Kazimierz Mikulski, bringing the spectator with their oneiric mood to the mystery of existence.

On the other hand, an ironic commentary to reality is provided by artists creating under the influence of Neo-Expressionism and Neue Wilde, members of Gruppa: Ryszard Grzyb, Paweł Kowalewski, Jarosław Modzelewski, Marek Sobczyk and Ryszard Woźniak, combining the sense of seriousness with grotesque, realistic scenes with imagined situations. Emotional perception of the world is also reflected in artworks made by Jacek Sroka, whose paintings and graphic artworks take an expressive, almost decorative form. 

Inga Kopciewicz


Designed: Jimpenny / Programmed: FreshData