Bogusław Szwacz

The Incalculable Possibilities of Matter

The presented nine compositions, made in the years 1956-57, constitute a set which is representative for of Szwacz’s work at the time. It features abstract works painted with expressive, thick lines, filled with saturated colours, subtle figuration, as well as variations on geometry, or rather its modifications.

After Stalin’s death in 1953, Szwacz, who created propaganda works in socialist-realist aesthetics, slowly began to explore the achievements of abstract art, with which he became acquainted in Paris during his stay on a state scholarship in 1948. Since then, until the end of his life, the artist searched for new means of expression, constantly experimenting with painting matter.

The artist developed his own language of painting, a system of signs making it possible to convey emotional states that cannot be represented by figuration or described in words. The 1910 generation witnessed the most drastic changes in history, which called for a new formal language that would correspond to them. Szwacz gained recognition as a great colourist, a composer of tones, he managed to master them with the use of line and blot.

His works are at once a break with the existing order, but also a process of discovering a new system of colour relationships, black lines, and scratched-out lines piercing the compositions, often locked inside the work. The exhibition was yet another initiative aimed at bringing the work of one of the fathers of Polish modern art to a wider audience. Szwacz’s poetry of matter escapes its exclusively visual aspect and allows us instead to treat each of the small works as a closed and finished whole, like an intricately composed piece of music.