Jacek Malczewski - Tobiasz z aniołami, 1908 r. (est. 120 000 -180 000 zł)

“Eyes Wide Shut. Hyperreality in Twentieth- to Twenty-First Century Art” at DESA Unicum

Paintings by Wojtek Siudmak and other Polish surrealists: Zdzisław Beksiński and Jacek Malczewski can be seen at the exhibition ‘Oczy szeroko zamknięte. Surrealism in XX-XXI century art’ at DESA Unicum in Warsaw. This is the last opportunity to see the works.

The exhibition runs until 25 June. The event presents 40 works of art by not only Polish artists. In addition to Malczewski’s ‘Chimera’ and ‘Tobias with Angels’, one can see ‘Composition with Leaf and Drapery’ by Marek Włodarski, ‘Lady of Spades’ by Marian Konarski or a painting by Anna Güntner, as well as paintings by Dariusz Kaleta, Tomasz Poznysz and Ewa Pello specially painted for this auction.

The starting point for the collection of works in the exhibition was symbolism. Symbolic art aimed to capture the essence of human existence. It had existed for a long time and had magical, ritual and sacred functions. However, the name ‘symbolism’ first appeared in 1886 in the title of the programme manifesto of the French poets. The trend in art gained its name from the Greek word sýmbolon meaning as much as a conventional sign.

Symbolism assumed that the material world (known through the senses) is in fact an illusion hiding the real, ideal world, which cannot be interpreted either through the senses or reason. Thus, concepts from the real world cannot be described using ordinary language, only a symbol can do so.

The leading exponents of symbolism were the French painter Gustave Moreau, Arnold Böcklin and the Pre-Raphaelites – members of the London Art Society. According to them, colour and form were understood as visual equivalents of thoughts and events. The creators of symbolism opposed the 19th century preoccupation with science, mechanisation and the increasing materialism of societies.

Tomasz Poznysz – Pokutnica, from the series Under the Skin, 2024 (est.
pLN 5,000 – 8,000)

Representatives of symbolism from various fields understood that the meaning of existence is not exhausted once the material surface of phenomena is known, as the essence of being is the spiritual element. Thus, art ceased to be an illustration of national history, to function as an allegorical transmission of patriotic content.

The greatest Polish symbolist painter, a pupil of Jan Matejko, Jacek Malczewski, struggled with the sound of history. The exhibition features the painting ‘Chimera and the Artist’ from 1908 and ‘Tobias with Angels’ also from that year.

The exhibition at DESA Unicum ‘Oczy szeroko zamknięte. Super-reality in 20th- to 21st-century art’ is open to the public until 25 June. Admission is free.

Exhibition coordinators: Michał Szarek, Karolina Jankowska, Julia Gorlewska

The exhibition ‘Eyes Wide Shut. Super-reality in 20th-XXI century art’: 14.06-25.06.2024

Auction: 25.06.2024, 19:00, DESA Unicum auction house, Piękna 1A Street, Warsaw

The full range of works is available at this address.

source: DESA Unicum(www.desa.pl/pl)

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