Family (Composition, Marriage, Portrait of the Family inside)

Andrzej Wróblewski1957

The National Museum in Krakow

The National Museum in Krakow
Kraków, Poland

Andrzej Wróblewski (1925-1957), graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (1945-1952), where he studied under the supervision of the following colorists: Zygmunt Radnicki, Zbigniew Pronaszko, Hanna Rudzka-Cybisowa. Rebellious against the domination of this tendency, he sought a return to an integral form based on drawing, figurative and thematic art. In his paintings he returned to the years of the occupation, painting dramatic scenes of executions, touching upon the existential problems of the generation mentally mutilated by the war, symbolically capturing current political issues. He used large planes of symbolically treated color, shaping the human silhouette set in an unspecified space.

Wróblewski’s painting went through several stages of development. One can say that it was determined by the current state of consciousness of the young artist, who, having actively joined the process of political changes in Poland, experienced both moments of elation and painful disappointments. While still a student at the Academy of Fine Arts, he fought in the name of new social and political tasks of art. Initially, he leaned towards abstraction, considering it to be the language of the avant-garde. He created romantic compositions composed of geometric figures metaphorizing distant cosmic entities. As he became a stronger believer in the communist slogans, he founded the Self-Education Group in order to collectively combat the existing teaching system, preferred by university professors, the idealistic, aestheticizing colorism, to develop a new style, adequate to the reality marked by the still living memory of war, and at the same time consistent with the social and political doctrine of the People’s Republic of Poland. Referring to the style of Italian new realism and Mexican art, which introduced formal elements of folk primitive, Wróblewski tried to develop his own formula of “increased realism”, a direction proposed in 1946 by Tadeusz Kantor, based on the idea of communicative, suggestive message. In the works of the Self-Education Group, which he founded, he introduced the principles of collective action, defining the subject matter, ideological message, and even the format of the works.

Wróblewski was disappointed with the realities of the political system prevailing in Poland in the 1950s, which not only turned out to be undemocratic but totalitarian. He began to create images of degradation and enslavement that were existential in mood. They were accompanied by more joyful works connected with family life.


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