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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » December 2, 2009
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Exploring Extreme Avant-Garde
December 2, 2009   
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The Center for Contemporary Art at the Ujazdowski Castle is hosting an exhibition entitled Unistic Harmony of Unity to showcase the oeuvre of the outstanding Polish extreme avant-garde artist Samuel Szczekacz (1917-1983). The exhibition is on loan from the Berinson Gallery in Berlin.

Szczekacz's work is reminiscent of the younger generation of the interwar avant-garde, centered in ŁódĽ, central Poland, around the painter Władysław Strzemiński (1893-1952). Strzemiński was a pioneer of constructivism, a movement that began in Russia after World War I and which eschewed "pure" art in favor of socially constructive art, during the 1920s and 1930s. He was also the founder of unistic theory, which rejects "dividing" the canvas into sections by way of lines.

Szczekacz first came to prominence when his unistic paintings, sculptures and graphics were displayed in ŁódĽ, Cracow and Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine) between 1937 and 1939. The critics pointed up his individual way of resolving the artistic conundrums associated with the issues raised by the exponents of modern art.

Fortunately, Szczekacz's work was spared the ravages of World War II. The artist took his most significant works to Belgium when he moved to a studio there in 1939.

The artist's works later found their way to Berlin's Berinson Gallery. This is the only extant collection of artwork, apart from that in the ŁódĽ Art Museum, that gives some feeling of the mind-set of the ŁódĽ school of avant-garde artists, deemed by critics as being the most extreme in terms of its formal innovation.


Until Dec. 27
Center for Contemporary Art,
Ujazdowski Castle, 2 Jazdów St.
For more information go to www.csw.art.pl
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