Landscape with a vision of the Sun (1965) by Jerzy NowosielskiThe National Museum in Krakow
Jerzy Nowosielski studied at the State School of Arts and Crafts in Cracow , and after its shutdown in 1943, he completed his novitiate in St. John the Baptist's Lavra near Lvov. There he got to know icon painting and the secrets of “writing” icons, a specific aura of “Byzantine nostalgia”, as Tadeusz Kantor described it.
Combinations of triangular forms and colors were not only rationalized geometric abstraction, they were associated by the artist with random and historical events and picturesque Orthodox churches.
At that time, the artist also painted synthetic paintings with a clear reference to the forms of reality – ships, beaches, sea views with a distant line of horizon, silhouettes of sportsmen, still lifes.
Surrealism corresponded to his tendency to mysticism. “It is clear,” he wrote, “that surrealistic consciousness immensely broadens and enriches the very assessment of various phenomena in art. As if the emotional, intellectual and philosophical capacity of the artist was expanding.”
The aura of super-reality, which had already emanated from Nowosielski’s earlier pieces, became a characteristic feature of his work, taking on a clear mysticism, defined by the artist’s worldview attitude.