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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » January 30, 2008
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Light and Color Chords
January 30, 2008 By M.H.    
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An exhibition in Olsztyn of the work of Wojciech Weiss and his wife Irena provides an opportunity to view the achievements of this distinguished painter and that of his partner, who used the artistic pseudonym Aneri. The exhibition comes from a private family collection.

Wojciech Weiss (1875-1950) studied in Cracow, including a spell under the famous Polish painter Jan Matejko and Leon Wyczółkowski. He went on several painting trips, mainly to France and Italy. Weiss painted portraits, still life, fantasy and genre compositions, and evocative and sensuous nudes. In his early period, the Young Poland modernist movement and expressive symbolism influenced his work, and later he painted in the post impressionist colorism style. In the interwar years, he painted realistic figurative compositions, portraits, nudes, still life and landscapes. After 1945 he dealt with socio-political topics ending with a symbolic painting called Manifest (1950) painted in the socialist realism style.

Weiss showed great sensitivity for music and often the worlds of color and sound filtered through to the way he perceived art. The works at the exhibition show Weiss's artistic journey from student drawings, classical painting, paintings with characteristic vivid colors, the so-called white period, through to works in the styles of impressionism, expressionism and symbolism.

It is easy to find in his art analogies to the works of great masters and also to Japanese art, although they did not hinder the artist in finding his own distinctive style.

The works of Irena Weiss (1888-1981), who lived in her husband's artistic shadow, were often underrated. She painted landscapes, still life and portraits in distinctive colors. She also produced mosaics in the 1970s. The exhibition demonstrates that she was not just copying her husband, even though she often went down the same artistic road as he did. Many of her works show a creative maturity and real beauty.

Olsztyn, BWA Gallery, 38 Piłsudskiego St., until March 2.
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