Wacław Szpakowski – born in Warsaw in 1883; died in Wrocław in 1973, where he was based since 1945. He authored a collection of drawings “Rhythmical lines”, created between 1900-1951, partly in Bydgoszcz, where Szpakowski lived from 1931 through to 1934. He is a pioneer of geometrical abstraction in art. Even though he is not widely known in Poland, he deserves a permanent place in the history of modern art, as he is highly valued by 20th-century art experts as one of the pioneers of the movement.
The first exhibition of his works was hosted after his death, in 1978, in the Museum of Art in Łódź, while his first monographic exhibition was presented in Brussels (Atelier 340) in 1992. Szpakowski’s artwork has featured in numerous exhibitions of Polish art abroad (Presences Polonaises, Pompidou Center, Paris 1983; Europa, Europa, Bonn 1994). It was also displayed at "Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925” in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2012/2013), which presented an overview of the early abstract art movement worldwide. A monographic exhibition dedicated to the life and works of Wacław Szpakowski was organized in 2016 by the Centre for Culture and Art in Wrocław and held in the Royal Palace – the City Museum of Wrocław. This project was part of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 programme. In January and February 2017, Abreu Gallery in NYC held the first extensive presentation of Szpakowski’s drawings in the United States, which comprised of 25 works earlier displayed in Wrocław and was entitled “Grounding Vision: Wacław Szpakowski”.
This monographic exhibition of Wacław Szpakowski's works will be next exhibited in the Modern Art Gallery of the Leon Wyczółkowski Distric Museum in Bydgoszcz,. The exhibitions provides a comprehensive view of the artist’s works, intentionally designed to oscillate between art and science, visual arts and music. Wacław Szpakowski introduced an original concept of image – his works can be described as “temporal images”. What is the most appealing to the spectators is following the continuous line that produces each pattern and exploring its visual and temporal structure composing those beautiful, rhythmical and labyrinth-like forms.
Apart from drawings, photographs and sketches by Wacław Szpakowski, the exhibition will also present contemporary animations of his “Rhythmical Lines” aiming to demonstrate the complex and surprising trajectories of the lines running through his drawings, which is difficult to trace in the original pieces.
The works presented at the exhibition come from his family’s collection, from the Museum of Art in Łódź, the National Museum in Warsaw, the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, the Berinson Gallery in Berlin, as well as from private collections of Dariusz and Krzysztof Bieńkowski from Łódź, Marii Rokosz-Rosiak from Poznań, Grażyna and Jacek Łozowscy from Wrocław and Irena Kain from Potsdam. Apart from these collections, other Szpakowski’s drawings remain in the possession of, among others, the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a monograph dedicated to Wacław Szpakowski’s artwork, issued by the Center for Culture and Art in Wrocław.
Curator: Elżbieta Łubowicz
Coordinators from MOB: Monika Kosteczko-Grajek
Exhibition arrangement: Elżbieta Łubowicz, Łukasz Kujawski
Musical compositions: Barbara Konopka
Promotional materials: Franciszek Otto
Promotion: Natalia Szczerbińska
Education: Dominika Raduńska-Pacholska
Organizers: The Leon Wyczółkowski District Museum in Bydgoszcz
Co-organizers: The Centre for Culture and Art in Wrocław – Cultural Institution of the Lower Silesian Voivodship