In his early chi1dhood Sosnowski had three alternative interests which weighted on his choice of professional career: mathematics, music and painting. This fact is quite significant for the artist's biography. Although he abandoned playing the cello and never took up studies in the natural sciences - the artist's way of thinking, imagination and sensitivity were shaped under a considerable influence of those unceasing interests.
Moreover, as the years went by, the spheres of his interests in contemporary philosophy and culture grew ever wider and deeper. Being an inquisitive observer and an artist of independent opinions, on both the Polish and not only the Polish ground, Sosnowski was a rare example of a truly contemporary artist. Versatile in his interests, knowledgeable in vicissitudes of the scientific and artistic thought of our time, liberated from any residue of the dead criteria of yesteryear, armed with the tender sensitiveness of painting, music and poetry - he appreciated the leading role of exact sciences in the human present and future.
Sosnowski's characteristic accuracy of observation, bold critical opinions and rational thinking were decisive for the crystallisation of his unconventional world outlook and programme of artistic search that were based on relation's with discoveries made by natural sciences. Sosnowski's theoretical provisions of painting were founded on the idea of co-operation between art and science in order to discover for human imagination new regions of experience and learning.
The already mature and precise strivings of the artist found the fullest expression in the series of Empty Pictures (1963-1965), the post -1967 polyptychs and in the 'stitched' and 'chemical pictures' of the l970s' and 80s. They were also manifested in his spatial arrangements, such as the welded metal form presented during the First Biennial of Spatial Forms in Elbląg, the design of a square with The Column of Remembrance and Dreams in Chełm, asymmetrical axial structures or draft designs of bridges, buildings and monuments, in which the formal treatment was closely coupled with functionality and full respect for the laws of statics.
The origins of Sosnowski's theoretical considerations and artistic achievements could be found in the circle of constructivism and geometrical abstraction. However, this circle would include Malevich and Mondrian, but not Tatlin and Rodchenko, while in Poland - Strzemiński and Stażewski, but not Szczuka and Berlewi.
This is because, despite the artist's longing for the realisation of large spatial projects and entering the realm of architecture and town planning, his works were independent creations, far removed from a directly utilitarian significance.
The process of transformations involving Sosnowski's views, strivings and search, which resulted in out-standing artistic achievements during the last three decades of his life, was neither fast nor easy. And although it revealed a gradual but consistent liberation of individuaf traits in the artist's personality, it was specifitally coupled with the meandering line of Polish art in the pre- and postwae period.
Initially, after abandoning hisstudies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Sosnowski painted in the convention of realism and colorism. Like many other artists, after 1950 he tried,to adaapt himself to requirements of the then binding programme of socialist realism by devoting most of his time to graphic arts and drawing, but those attempts did not obtain the artist's own approval and were never displayed in public.
It was also the time of Sosnowski's intensive thinking about the role and shape of the new art. That general subject matter became pivotal in discussions with his closest friends, among them Marian Bogusz and Zbigniew Dłubak. As a result of common thinking and related attitudes, in 1955 those three painters formed a group which, in August of the same year, staged its first painting exhibition at the 'Desa' Salon in the Warsaw Old Market Place. The show was treated as a programme manifestation and it had a special meaning. Having been held at the'ame time as the famous 'Arsenał' exhibition in Warsaw, it was a voice of objection both to the exuberant expressionism 'and to the post-impressionistic aestheticism which dominated that show. The group, which was named 'Group 55' after the year of its foundation, played a pioneering ideaforming and organisational role in the Polish artistic life of the second half of the 1950s.
The years 1955-1956 saw the creation of the first series of Sosnowski' s works which had a great, if not decisive, importance for the artist's future as a painter. With his Lyrical Diary Sosnowski disengaged himself from the already passing socialist realism, opposed the oncoming offensive of expressive exhibitionism and, simultaneously, liberated himself from the post-impressionistic burden. This does not mean that the series was already a mature artistic statement. Nor was it formally concise enough to be treated as a realisation of a conscious programme. However, it was a formulation of the artist's own standpoint on conflicting attitudes and trends. Moreover, a more careful analysis of those eight pictures, marked by an intimacy and discretion of emotional message, makes it possible to perceive in them those questions which later became the centre of Sosnowski's artistic search.
In the second half of the 1950s Sosnowski's awareness of processes taking place in the contemporary music, poetry, literature and visual arts as well as his growing understanding of painting were still confused with his need of making an intimate, personal statement in art. At times, his general line of disregarding objectiveness edged towards organic forms and then it moved in the direction of geometrical arrangements, while preserving the metaphorical implied meanings. At that time the artist found the starting point for the series of White Paintings of 1958-1959. The conscious reduction of colours to the most difficult one: white - became a self-imposed purist lesson of order, limitation and also of the search for a refined wealth in ascetism.That period of intentional restraint of expression and subordination to the self-rigorous restriction was the time when Kajetan Sosnowski realised that the only artistic road for him was the most risky one: to explore virgin areas. Since then, his search became a patient intellectual and artistic penetration of one selected problem until the simplest and final form of its expression was found. Since then, he needed to follow events in contemporary Polish and world painting only in order to avoid any similarity with the works of other painters. After the ascetic white period, summed up by an exhibition in January 1959, the artist returned to colour in a new painting series which was collectively named Erotics. It was a special come-back, burdened by the entire experience of the raw discipline of restrictions, an exercise for the eye in the nuances of the shades of white and subtle texture variations. This short series reflected the wealth of visual knowledge and experience gained by the painter. The pictures was lyrical and refined. Despite their extreme abstractness they were warm and sensual. This may have been caused - besides such means as colour, light and the subtle fading shadows - by the artist's unusual method of work. He did not use any tools for applying paint, preferring to spread it across the canvas with his bare hand.
The series of Erotics was Sosnowski's last return to objective allusions. And although this objectiveness and allusiveness were equally discreet, enigmatic and economical as the technique of painting, they constituted a direct projection of the author's expressive dispositions.
Simllltaneously to Erotics, and intensively since 1961, Sosnowski was experimenting with gouache and oil works that featured a composition of concentric circles vibrating with colours and texture. They were similar to the circles dispersing on water surface when disturbed by a falling stone. The central texture of the heaviest accumulation of twisted paint and the utmost colour saturation was becoming smoother towards thl canvas edges, while the colour brush strokes were growing rarer and disappearing in white or black.
The inquisitive continuation of those attempts repeated in various variations brought the artist to the revealing series of Empty Paintings of 1963- 1965. They combined and fully articulated the results of his reflections on the uniform character of lighr and colour, perceived as an optical phenomenon, as well as effects of his long-standing process of visual experimentation and experience. In Empty Paintings Sosnowski ventured te depict the essence of phenomena instead of their effects. In this way he crossed the limits of abstraction and discovered a new, previously unknown sense of light and colour in painting. Differently from Monet or Cezanne and his successors, Sosnowski proved that colour is light. However, his colours have no names. The greys are glowing with a greenish light, violets - with pink, oranges - with the glitter of gold; in neither case are they variations of colour phases, but a progressive growth of luminosity.
Having been fascinated with light and its derivative colours, Sosnowski made comparative studies on their treatment in the aspect of painting and optics. That brought him to another stage of his artistic career. He experimented with evoking post-visual impressions. In diptychs and triptychs enclosed within a single frame he confronted paintings of a uniform colour plane with those of an intensive emanation of luminosity. The light vibration was then transmitted as an after-image to the still surface. He also combined paintings of complementary colours, using frames of the same colour as the canvas in order to enhance the effect by inversion His other experiments were based on the optical analysis of the light spectrum. They proved that colours having shorter electromagnetic waves, that is of higher frequency - such as violet, blue and green - carried more energy than colours of longer waves but lower frequency, such as red, orange and yellow.
These findings ran counter to what the painting practice and reception had traditionally implied. The artist tried to combine colours so as to achieve - contrary to habits but according to scientific conclusions - the domination of those colours which had a greater energy quantum.
Those several-year-long and precisely directed meditations and experiments brought about another revealing series in the years 1968-1969. Again, the inquisitiveness and artistic experiment produced a new quality in Sosnowski's visual language. However, the catalyst of that proces was not only an intellectual factor mythicised by the artist, but also his emotional mental disposition. The new series included spatially developed polyptychs composed of broad surfaces of a primary colour. The angled plane s of wings seemed to swell with colourful light, making an ever stronger impression of a spatial depth. In some cases the orchestration of colours in parts of a polyptych was based on the harmony of complementations. In other variations, their broken continuity produced complementary after-images evoking the feeling of unfulfilment and anxiety.
But the decisive element for the magical effect of Sosnowski's polyptychs was not so much an intellectually supported concept as it was an emotional reference of the artist's imagination to infinity and the laws on which the micro- and macro-worlds are founded.
In his never-abandoned experiments in spatial arrangement, treated as a constructivist proposal for the shaping of human surrounding - in the years 1968-1970 the artist tried to combine the concept of his polyptychs with the idea of double-sided screen-like compositions that were broken by windows, and he also studied 'geometrie al asymmetrical axis structures'. Such activities were initiated by the already mentioned transparent sphere inside a cube, realised in 1965 at the Elbląg Symposium. That problem was later continued in many models and realisations in the late 1960s and the following decades. Works of that time included Kinepentaspeira - the Moebius strip - a one-plane spatial project (1970), the six-metre Asymmetrical Tower composed of eight crystalline elements, that revolved in relation to one another on a axis until they reached a half-turn, and a monumental development project for a town square in Chełm featuring the Column oj Remembrance and Dreams, designed on the occasion of the 1978 plein-air session 'Town Space' in that city.
The series of chemical paintings was probably the fullest expression of questions related to the border line between the scientific interpretation of natural phenomena and their non-visual secrets which always fascinated Sosnowski.
The question of discovering the physical nature of matter and energy, which had long been an intellectual stimulus for the artist, was already the foundation of his Empty Paintings, revealing a new essence of light in painting, and also of his series of polyptychs. In chemical paintings the problem was taken up anew and enriched with a much more clearly manifested philosophical meaning.
The idea of paintings that change in close, organie relation to external transformation was conceived by Sosnowski in 1960, when he was in Geneva to design a 130-metre-long wall on commission from the United Nations. The changing landscape as seen through the windows of that huge room convinced him that the wall could not have a static character but should change in accordance with landscape transformations. This problem, which he had been unable to resolve at that time, was haunting him for many years to come.
Sosnowski returned to it in 1972 with not just a ready concept but also the means to realise it. He undertook experiments with the cobalt chloride silicate which is used in hygrometres. In a dry state the silicate preserves its blue colour, while at a certain level of huinidity it becomes pink. The compound attracted the artist's attention not only because of its peculiar colour qualities, but also due to its structure and energy.
A cobalt chloride molecule is composed of one atom of cobalt with seven electrons and two atoms of chlorine with two electrons each. The atom of cobalt - as if trying to gain an even number of electrons - is constantly borrowing an electron from one or another atom of chlorine. This way, the cobalt chloride crystals undergo a permanent, though invisible, energetic process.
Initially, the artist experimented with various binders and grounds to determine which were adequate for the application of cobalt chloride on canvas and plaster. It took him over one year to find a solution, but on the way he also discovered the only usable canvas finish before its saturation with cobalt chloride. What resulted from those activities were chemical paintings, originally based on a three-way recording of a phenomenon that interested the artist. The first way of recording had the character of a colourful visual experience, i.e. it was a painting which changed its colour in the range from blue to pink depending on air humidity. The second was a chemical recording of the cobalt chloride hydration process. The third was a physical recording, presenting graphically the atomic structure of the compound and its reaction to water. By the use of this triple way of recording one phenomenon situated in the world of processes that are non-visual and not fully explained scientifically, the artist asked the fundamental questions about truth, the basic reason and essence of the investigated phenomenon. Is it sufficient to rely on its fascinating, sensually perceived effect? In what extent is it determined by transformations in its atomic structure, and in what extent by chemical processes? To what extent is it an energetic phenomenon, and to what extent is it material?
Regardless of the philosophical reflection contained in the thus resolved visual problem, Sosnowski's chemical paintings seemed to offer new and promising application prospects in architecture and town planning.
They stimulated visions oflarge internal and external walls, or perhaps whole housing districts, undergoing colour transformations in a direct relation to weather and natural conditions.
Following the series of chemical paintings, in early 1976 the artist launched a new concept which he named Katalipomenon after the Greek word for 'protection', 'preservation'. The concept's relation to the previous stage of his discoveries was contained within the sphere of its further reference to nature. The references were quite direct, because both the idea of the new series and its name originated in the concept of the protection of the natural environment of man. However, the works themselves in their visual form and meaning far exceeded the slogan-like and utilitarian goal of their original inspiration.
Kajetan once told me that during his painting career, after stretching the canvas but before applying the undercoat, he would repeatedly pause and look with pleasure at the texture of the fabric. In such moments he had a fee1ing that it was so pure and perfect as such, that covering it with paint seemed a barbarity, an act of devastation. Therefore, there were two factors: a longing to preserve the purity of undisturbed canvas and the newly discovered process applied in chemical paintings that brought him to the Katalipomenon series. In this way the intention to make an artistic representation of the idea of environmental protection became only a catalyst for the artist's new discovery. The canvas for the Katalipomenon pictures was sewed together, sometimes in only one diagonal, sometimes in two parallel lines across or in another arrangement, but always in a geometrical form. Canvas was one the first raw materials, made by the still unskilled human hands to cover man's nakedness. Canvas is woven of flax that grows in the earth. It has been manufactured to be cut and sewed and given a useful function for man. This is why Sosnowski sewed it, leaving it in its crude simplicty to preserve its atavistic associations with man and its natural vegetal relation to the earth, sun and rain. The slanting contact between the thread and warp on seams disturbed the one-way rhythm of the fabric's structure, which made it not only better visible but also more dramatic and poetic. It suggested movement and vast expanses, being not an illusion, but a visual mental space.
Katalipomenon was related through geometry to the constructivistic direction in the artist's thinking, through its spatiality and limited means - to Empty Paintings and polyptychs and to chemical paintings through its direct and symbolic connection with nature. Then, although it constituted a new quality, it was a consistent - but not the only - form of continuation of Sosnowski's' entire previous experience.
I the following years Katalipomenon was developed into new variations. Since 1981 it included sewed black paintings, and then several colour compositions and the one-colour Interventions which were sewed in such a way that the surface of a stretched canvas formed circular depressions, and also paintings with convex seams or even an ample fold of a colourful fabric or fringe, or the paintings with crosses. The latter series was an exception in Sosnowski's art, which for the three decades of its mature period remained faithful to the requirements of objectivism and universality. The series was an emotional and opinionated reaction dedicated to the author's crucified Homeland. It became another confirmation of his intense personal emotions, which he tried to suppress in vain but which he concealed quite effectively. I can hardly fail to mention his answer when, fearing for Kajetan's life during his serious illness. I asked him about his health. 'One should not worry about people' - he rebuked. 'One should worry about Issues.'
Apart from the 'crosses' the stitched black paintings of the 1980s provided the most stimulation for the emotions. Some of those large compositions were arranged radially, others were composed of triangles in various arrangements, or of semicircular or oval forms. The varying direction of thread and warp in particular parts of the painting caused different reflections of light on its surface. This produced an illusion of two or more shades of black in one painting, while revealing its harmonious composition of geometrie al forms. Those monumental paintings owe their effect not only to the spatial depth of the black which seemed to be emptiness or nothingness, but also the universal symbolism of this colour in our civilisational circle. The eschatological and transcendental message of Sosnowski's black canvases was extremely suggestive and piercing.
As it usualIy happened with Sosnowski, however, the emotional factor had to be counter-balanced or even dominated by a rational element. All the sewed paintings, as well as the majority of his chemical pictures in the last decade of the artist's life, were subordinated to the principle of Equivalent Systems, which he conceived at the turn of 1977. This meant that in every composition based on that principle, the field of one colour or thread direction had to cover the same area as any other colour or threads. If a painting was twocoloured or had threads running in two different directions, each of them occupied a half of the total area, if there were three - a third, and if four - a quarter, etc. The fact that the realisation of this geometrical equivalence was frequently at odds with the visual impression intrigued the artist and stimulated him to undertake further experiments.
Sosnowski was eager to discuss only the learned aspect of the problems he tackled. However, regardless of his restrained and always possibly rational interpretation of his own art, Sosnowski's paintings have primarily an emotional effect, bringing peace with their balance and order, and their frequently deep lyricism and metaphysical references. They carry a wealth of reflections, opening unlimited spheres of imagination.
The programme of Sosnowski's artistic activities was targeted at finding a new expression for the truth about the world, especially to the scientifically approached truth about those non-visual phenomena which were the object of his intellectual anxieties and considerations. However, all kinds of expression created by the artist also reflected his own fascinations with the discovered and undiscovered nature of light, philosophical reflections and emotions and, finally, the same romantic wistfulness which, while still being naive, once enlivened his Lyrical Diary and then was revealed in its full intellectual and pictorial maturity in Empty Paintings. By the same token, his polyptychs, chemical paintings, Katalipomenon and Equivalent Systems, especially in the black edition, not only open up new regions in the perception of light, colour and space, but also contain the great unnamed magie of contemplation, metaphysical experience and the most affectionate emotions.
Sosnowski was born in Vilnius,
on March 28.
Completed primary and secondary schools in. Chełm Lubelski. Showed special interest t in music, visual
arts and mathematics.
Studied at the Academy
of Fine Arts
under Tadeusz Pruszkowski and Władysław Jastrzębowski.
Lived in Siedlce. Cultivated post-impressionistic graphic arts and painting.
Took active part in public and political life: organized visual arts college in
Siedlce, was delegated from Lublin to Łódź by the Department of Culture and
Art of the Provisional Government to organise artistic education system and the
Łódź Branch of the Union of Polish Visual Artists, headed the Central Workers'
Culture Centre in Łódź, editor-in-chief of the Świetlica monthly and
then the artistic head of the Kuźnica weekly. In l949 moved to Warsaw together with the Kuźnica editorial office. From 1949 to 1954 did
illustrations, paintings and graphic works.
'Group 55', together with Marian Bogusz, Zbigniew Dłubak, Andrzej Zaborowski
and Andrzej Szlagier. From 1956 to 1965 the group ran the 'Krzywe Koło' Gallery at the Old Town Culture Centre in Warsaw.
Created the series of metaphorical paintings Lyrical Diary, displayed at
the 'Krzywe Koło' Gallery in 1956. Participated in all shows by 'Group 55', and
in 1957 to ok part in the Second Contemporary Art Exhibition at the 'Zachęta'
Gallery in Warsaw.
He wrote in the catalogue for a 'Group 55' exhibition in 1956: 'When I squeeze
paints onto the palette while not having the full concept of a new picture yet
- I mix colours with. an irresponsible ease. If this playful activity results
in a composition that contains a pictorial meaning or the origin of a concept -
I try to read it and so a painting is created (...) After a time, when I have painted
several pictures, my mind governs the palette and then, even when I am not
painting, everywhere in the surrounding world I see the richness of texture and
form in their organic and colouristic ambiguities, then the ideas of my painting
freely combine with form in a uniform structure of thoughts and associations.'
The artist's painting departed from objectiveness and moved towards ever more
simplified and unrealistic symbols, still of a metaphorical character. The
series of epitaphs Landscapes of Evening Thoughts were created and
exhibited in 1958 at the 'Krzywe Koło' Gallery.
Worked on the series of abstract White Paintings. They constituted a
specific kind of texture painting with clear geometrical features. The
series was shown in 1959 at the 'Krzywe Koło' Gallery. Participated in an
exhibition of seven Polish painters in West
Germany and the
Third Contemporary Art Exhibition at Zachęta Gallery.
1959-1960 Worked on a series of abstract paintings marked
by an asceticism of means and subtlety of glowing colours. They were Biblical
Portraits and Erotics. Became fascinated with Anton Webern's music.
in Geneva at
the invitation of the United Nations to offer advice on the refurbishing of the
Designed two variations of painting for a 130 meter wall. One was accepted for
realisation by Jean Cassou, an expert for the project.
1961-1962 Having returned to Poland,
continued his work on 'series of Biblical Portraits and Erotics. Both
were displayed in 1962 in Chełm Lubelski. Did the first Empty Paintings which
tackle the questions of light emanation from a nearly one-colour pictorial
pIane. The catalogue to his one-man show in Elbląg
in 1962 reads: 'By limiting my means of expression I was better able to
consciously arrange the picture. The restrictions brought some results at once.
(...) I renounced not only the representation but also any association with objects
and any reference to the work of others... This feverish work yielded my grey
painting and other works which are seemingly static (...) Those pictures are a
place for my strange thoughts and emotions which cannot otherwise defined. I
could compare them only to the silence that facilitates listening; Now it seems
obvious to me that in order to see or hear something you have to eliminate the
rest, just like it is with radio listening. Silence and a mysterious space are
places to formulate new matters, while human inquisitiveness is so powerful
that it will take up the risk of looking into the abyss of all realms of
1963-1965 Worked on the series of Empty Paintings, done
in a brushless method of spreading the oil paint on canvas by a bare method.
Discovered the music of Edgar Varese. Participated in: Confrontations' in
Koszalin: and the First Parade of Contemporary Art at the 'El' Gallery in Elbląg.
the serie s of Polyptychs in which he discussed post-visual questions,
complementary colours, colour spaces and a discrepancy between the painter's
and physical perception of colour. Many years later, in an interview by Z.
Taranienko for Sztuka, No 5/1979, he said: Polyptychs emerged as
paintings which, according to Planck' s theory, presented colour in terms
quantum energy. In order to paint them I had to learn to see colour anew –
overcoming my natural habits. I saw green as more intensive than red, red as
having a lower energetic value, black as emptiness... The reds or oranges of Polyptychs
became as if an altar for the colour blue - the one having the most quantum
energy.' Took part in the 'Golden Grape' exhibition in Zielona Góra.
Participated in the First Biennial of Spatial Forms Elbląg, where he realised
the asymmetrical form Sphere Within
Cube. Appointed the head of the visual arts section in the Poezja monthly, remaining on that post
untiI 1972. Wrote the following on the occasion of his exhibition at the
'Współczesna' Gallery in Warsaw,
1968: 'The development of exact sciences, and particularly of physics,
introduced human thought to the world of microstructures and presented it as a power
system in its quantitative and qualitative relations. The light which enables
us to see is but a smalI part of the radiant energy. Various colours are components
of light and they carry different values of energy quantum. Our receptors have
specific mechanics subjected to the laws of physics, but at the same time our
consciousness and subconsciousness still remain in the sphere of reactions that
we re shaped by and inherited from a previous stage of cultural development.
There is a constant necessity of adapting our psychological reception to the
possibilities offered by the new scientific comprehension. In my latest
paintings I deal with colours in their energetic and the selective luminous
values. In the compositions of complementary colours I arrange various versions
of after-images. I do it in order to practise my reception which is used in
other psychobiological relations. This helps me come to the threshold of a new
world of feelings and thoughts.'
Participated in 'Confrontations' in Słupsk, 1966, and in the exhibition
'Space-Movement-Light' at the Museum of Topical Art in Wrocław, 1967.
In May displayed his Polyptychs at the 'od Nowa' Gallery in Poznań,
in June - at the 'Współczesna' Gallery in Warsaw.
In September participated in the Lubusz Plein-Air in Łagów. 1969 In January
received the C. K. Norwid Critics' Award for his 'Współczesna' Gallery show in
the previous year. In August displayed Polyptych sand Double-Sided
Compositions with Windows in Denmark,
in September - the same in Zielona Góra at the 'Golden Grape' exhibition of
'Critics Presenting Artists'. In November participated in 'Kraków Meetings', in
December was present at the Polish art show in West
Berlin, staged by the Museum
of Topical Art
Presented his paintings at the 'Mona Lisa' Gallery in Wrocław.
Participated in the 'Wrocław
70' symposium, showing Kinopentaspeira - an asymmetrical structure based
on the Moebius strip. Took part in the Spring Salon in Zakopane. Displayed Polyptychs,
Double-Sided Compositions with Windows and Asymmetrical Structures at
the Museum of Topical Art in Wrocław.
Hi statement published by Odra in 1970 says: 'I have (...) a constant
urge to bum a little hole in the surrounding world to discover its non-visual
aspect. (...) Today, when scientists are using lenses and measuring devices to
look at the expanding world, both in its widest areas and the smallest particles,
I would like to remind people that they are not of another matter or another
world, but that they themselves are the object of this scientific study. We are
arriving at a border between the visual world and a chasm - this is the area
for a new thought and experience, as yet difficult, but if we manage to put the
first stool in it - we can sit on it. I think (...) that we are like leaves on
a tree, but enriched with the knowledge that the history of the long fallen
leaves and the sun which shone on them can be read from the tree rings. This is
because the leaves are more than leaves only, and the tree is more than a tree.
They have other names and they remain indestructible in a bigger, another world.
Exhibited, together with Roman Opałka and Jerzy Rosołowicz, at the 'LP 220'
Gallery in Turin,
in May-June. Participated in the 'Zgorzelec Region' plein-air in Opolno-Zdrój
and in a Symposium in Turoszów.
Started the series of chemical paintings named Metalepseis, presenting phenomena
of the non-visual world. Initiated the foundation of 'Galeria 72' in Chełm
Lubelski. From Autumn 1972 to March 1973 was its co-manager, jointly with art
critic Bożena Kowalska whom he invited to co-operate and to whom he entrusted
the Gallery since April1973. Exhibited at the BWA Art Exhibition Bureau Salon in Lublin.
1973 Presented paintings and asymmetrical structures at 'Galeria 72' in Chełm
Lubelski, and at the 'LP 220' Gallery in Turin, where he showed the Metalepseis
series. Participated in a Polish art show in Denmark.
Exhibited Polyptychs, monochromes, Asymmetrical Structures and a
new architectonic design at the May Salon of Contemporary Art in Łódź. In
February participated in the “Facts 74 Wrocław” Symposium in Wrocław,
showing his Asymmetrical Structures. Obtained the Merit of Culture
badge. Made four fundamental remarks on art at the reverse of a 1974 chemical
painting (owned by Bożena Kowalska): '1. Art never parts with nature. 2. Art
documents the world and human consciousness. 3. Art requires intellectual
activity. 4. Art conquers new areas of human emotional and intellectual
Started a new series of sewed paintings called Katalipomenon. Four years
later, in the already mentioned interview by Z. Taranienko for Sztuka, he
said of them: 'The Katalipomenon became 'a tribute to the perfection of
NATURE for the attention and reflection of the viewer (...) The sewed
paintings carry the fourth dimension: time. It is the time when they were
plants and the time of their future, when they will grow old and start showing
the applied process.' Participated in the following exhibitions: 'Art Critics
Recommend' on the occasion of the AICA Congress in 'Zachęta' in Warsaw,
'Aspects of Modern Art' at 'Współczesna' Gallery in Warsaw,
'Space-Man' in Zielona Góra and Kunstmesse in Cologne.
Took part in the 'Interventions' Symposium in Pawłowice and a plein-air session
Displayed the Katalipomenon series at the 'Współczesna' Gallery in Warsaw in
April. Two new painting series with lines and cut forms were shown during the
September plein-air session in Łagów. Realised and mounted the Asymmetrical
Tower for the permanent display at the Zielona Góra Museum.
Presented monochromes at the exhibition of nine Polish artists at Ricards
Galerie in Nuremberg,
participated in the 'Art 76' Art Fair in Basel
and in the 'Art and Science. Structures' show at the Visua l Artist's Home in Warsaw
displaying spatial forms, and in the 'Osieki 1963-1976' show at the BWA Salon
in Koszalin. Participated in the 'Articipations' Meeting in Dłusko and in the
Fifth National Plastics Workshop in Ustka.
Participated in the exhibition 'Winners of the C. K. Norwid Critics' Award' at
the Visual Artist's Home in Warsaw.
Made artistic travels to West
and Switzerland Took part in the 'Osieki' Koszalin Plein-Air Session in
Darłówek. Seriously injured in a car accident that killed his wife.
1978 Created Equivalent Systems in the form of one-colour
I sewed paintings and made wood relief’s. Simultaneously continued chemical paintings.
Participated in the 'Town Space' plein-air session, designing the Square of
Remembrance and Dreams that featured a Tower of the same name (a
model of it was displayed during the post-plein-air exhibition at 'Galeria 72'
1979 Exhibited sewed paintings and reliefs at the
'Zapiecek' I Gallery in Warsaw.
Participated in an exhibition staged on the Albert Einstein centennial at the Museum
in the Palace
and Science in Warsaw.
Made artistic trips to West
Wrote in a text dated on I May
24,1979: 'Man must conquer the non-visual sphere of the
world like outer space and, similarly to the astronaut who does not fall into abyss after leaving the
spacecraft, a man who explores and compares his visions with the real world of
matter and energy will find there his littleness, greatness and dignity, and
perhaps something more.'
Started .the new series of sewed paintings lnterventions, always
limiting them to one colour. Exhibited the series at the MDM Gallery in Warsaw
in April1981. Participated in the following exhibitions: Polish painting at the
'Depolma' Gallery in Dusseldorf, '35 Years of Polish Painting' at the National
Museum in Poznań, 'Constructivist Trends' at the Visual Artist's Home in Warsaw
and at A. Ekwiński's Gallery in Norrkoping (Sweden) in 1980. Made artistic
travels to West Germany
in Autumn 1981left for a one-year stay in Dusseldorf.
1982 The first black sewed paintings were created.
Continued the series of lnterventions and chemical paintings, developed
the series of Equivalent Systems combining the principles and techniques
of two or even three series in particular works of the Systems series.
Discovered the possibility of obtaining the full chromatic scale in chemical paintings
while preserving their transformation quality in accordance with air humidity.
Exhibited chemical and sewed paintings created during his stay in Dusseldorf,
at the Jurgen Blum (Gerard Kwiatkowski) Gallery in Kleinsassen
(February-March). Showed the series of Equivalent Systems at the
'Zapiecek' Gallery in Warsaw.
As part of the 'Artistic Pilgrimage' action in Łódź, displayed eight sewed colour
paintings at the Ślad II Gallery (private apartment of art critic Janusz
Zagrodzki). Participated in the 'Language of Geometry' plein-air which was a
preparatory stage for an exhibition of the same name, mounted by B. Kowalska in
Białowieża in August. Took part in a symposium organised by Józef Robakowski in
sewed and chemical paintings of the Equivalent System series at the
'Krzysztofory' Gallery (June 16-July 15), as well as spatial forms and
installations In Memory ot Mondrian at "Remont' Gallery in Warsaw.
Participated in the exhibition Language of Geometry' at 'Zachęta' in Warsaw
showing the black sewed paintings of Equivalent Systems, in the
'Small is Beautiful' show staged by Ryszard Winiarski at the 'Zapiecek' Gallery
in December and in the 'Between Construction and Structure' exhibition organised by Janusz Zagrodzki in Lublin December
5, 1984 - January 13, 1985) within the framework of Intellectual Current in the
Polish Art After World War II' - a series of events marking the 40th
anniversary of the Polish People’s Republic. Participated in the Second
Plein-Air for artists who use the geometrical language 'Geometry and Emotion'
in Białowieża in August.
paintings of the 'Equivalent Systems' series at BWA Salon in Lublin.
Participated in an exhibition by the Warsaw
visual arts milieu at 'Zachęta' and the 'Interart' International Art Fair in Poznań.
Took part in the Third Plein-Air for artists using the geometrical idiom
'Geometry and Expression' in Okuninka near Chełm in September.
Displayed paintings of the Equivalent Systems series at Studio' Gallery
(April) and staged a painting exhibition at the private gallery of Mr.
Holscher, the West German cultural attache, in Saska Kępa in Warsaw (May).
Stage the ecological action Katalipomena 2 with the participation of
Andrzej Mitan at the 'Remont' Gallery in Warsaw
(June). Participated in the post-plein-air exhibition 'Geometry and Expression'
at 'Galeria 72' in Chełm in September, and at the “Interart' International Art
Fair in Poznań
in November. Took part in the international exhibition 'The Corner' at the Hofman Galerie in Friedberg (West
Germany) - October
25, 1986 March
Participated in the group exhibition 'Freiraum' in Kleinssassen (June 13 - July
19) and in the 'Interart' International Art Fair in Poznań
(November). Following four heart attacks in recent years, he was in a critical
health condition. On March 19, the artist wrote in a notebook which he kept in
the final weeks of his life: 'It is five
a.m., a new morning, and I can hear a bird singing
outside my window These single notes I melody which I accept as a sign of life
from something so great and magnificent that it cannot be expressed...' Died in
on November 6.
posthumous exhibition (35 works: the early period, the empty, chemical and
sewed paintings, the paintings with crosses, drawings, gouaches) was organised
by Jurgen Blum (Gerard Kwiatkowski) at the New Space Gallery in Langen Bieber
near Fulda (West Germany) from July 23 to December 30. Simultaneously, his
works were displayed at the international constructivist exhibition
'Null-Dimension' which was held at the Space Gallery
at the same time. Three of his works were presented at the 'Geometry and
Metaphor' exhibition, organised by the Chełm
at the 'Budapest'
Gallery in Budapest.
by Marek Lasata