Józef Doskowski

Born 1894 in Strzeszkowice – died1979 in Cracow

Painter, cartoonist, caricaturist, writer. In 1914 he began his studies at the painting department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, graduating in 1920 with a diploma in the studio of Stanisław Dębicki.

He quickly became a recognized cartoonist, his works with their characteristic simplified, geometric form were published in satirical and political weeklies – including Zwrotnica and Szczutek. However, the artist himself did not engage in any kind of political activity, remaining an ironist aware of the ability of the facts to speak for themselves, and a careful observer of artistic and social life.

Drawing on the formal achievements of the Cubists and Expressionists, in his paintings and drawings Doskowski tried to convey such concepts such as war, dynamism, chivalry, feelings of loneliness, as well as victory.  He achieved this by means of theatrical gesture, single-panel color and scenographically built multi-plane space.

Being a believer in the ideas of Futurism, he took an active part in events creating the artistic world of Lviv, Krakow and Zakopane. He exhibited at the Zachęta Society of Fine Arts in Warsaw,  The Societies of Friends of the Fine Arts in Lviv and Krakow. Together with the Formists, he took part in the Lvov Spring Salon in May 1924. 

When creating the International Collection of Modern Art, in the section devoted to Formism, Władysław Strzemiński decided to show the works of only four representatives of this artistic movement: Leon Chwistek, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Tytus Czyżewski and Józef Doskowski. 

Strzeminski saw in his chosen composition entitled The Ballerina as a representation of a separate, ‘rhythmic’ reality. In the painting, Doskowski compared life, perhaps including his own, to a multi-figured dance that can be expanded at any time by adding more and more elements. The work dovetailed with the resilience of artistic activities and the dynamism of transformations taking place in the achievements of avant-garde in the first decades of the 20th century.