Rhytmical lines/linie rytmiczne

Wacław Szpakowski 1883–1973

edit. Elżbieta Łubowicz

15 €

publication avaiable in pollish and english version

The book Wacław Szpakowski 1883-1973. Linie rytmiczne is devoted to the work of Wacław Szpakowski - an artist in Poland who is not known in a wider sense, but who is highly valued in the circle of specialists dealing with 20th century art. His drawings were considered pioneering for abstract art. Wacław Szpakowski lived in Wrocław for the last 28 years of his life, but his works were appreciated and exhibited only after his death, in the late 1970s. The drawings, created between 1900 and 1951, were recently included in the great exhibition Inventing Abstraction 1910-1925, presented at the New York Museum of Modern Art at the turn of 2012 and 2013, which marks their importance for world contemporary art.

The publication contains reproductions of the artist’s works, two of his original texts (including one previously unknown) and analyses of his work carried out by seven researchers of contemporary art - Polish and foreign. They include his works from different perspectives, complementing each other. Szpakowski’s drawings require an interdisciplinary approach, as their extremely original aesthetics situates them at the junction of visual arts, music and science (mathematics).

The analysis opens with a summary of the knowledge about Szpakowski’s work to date, namely Janusz Zagrodzki’s text Opisanie świata (Description of the World) from 1998; the remaining essays were written especially for our book. Their authors are: Serge Salat from France (Wacław Szpakowski and the primary point - the work of the Polish artist against the background of the European art tradition), Masha Chlenova from the USA (Motivating the line. Wacław Szpakowski as a modernist), Grzegorz Sztabiński (Walking line. The work of Waclaw Szpakowski against the background of geometric abstraction in 20th century art), Maciej H. Zdanowicz (Images of Waclaw Szpakowski’s score. Musical aspect of “Rhythmic Lines”), Jacek Swiatkowski (Theoretician of shape dynamics? Mathematical accents in the works of Wacław Szpakowski) and Elżbieta Łubowicz (New Art Line. Another abstraction in Wacław Szpakowski’s drawings).

A large part of the book is a beautiful essay on the life and work of the artist, written by his daughter Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska, a well-known Wroclaw-based painter and illustrated with photographs from the family archive. This text allows us to get to know the fascinating personality of this modest artist, during his life hiding behind his drawings, to which he gave the form of impersonal “temporary images”.

It is only today, after the conceptual principles of art spread in the second half of the 20th century, that Szpakowski’s work has a chance to be understood by a wider audience. It also reveals its enormous potential related to the development of technical media, which is quickly discovered by young artists in the fields of art, music and sciences.