Description: gelatin silver print, vintage print on Baryta paper, 11.5 x 8 cm
Dimensions: 11.5 x 8 cm
Artist or Maker: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy) (1885 - 1939)
Medium: photography; gelatin silver print, vintage print on Baryta paper
Notes: two portraits framed together placed on the cardboard; Witkacy seemed a very strong personality to me, oppressive even, with great intellectuality, although gloomy and disturbing, an artist with remarkable aptitude, but as if touched by perversion or some manner that made him more repulsive than attractive both in personal relations and in what he wrote. But after the passage of years, it seems that the spirit of the times is becoming more and more akin to this tragic spirit. It must be admitted however, that he was ahead of his times and that the times are only now catching up to him'. Witold Gombrowicz, 'Posthumous autobiography', Krakow 2002; His father was Stanislaw Witkiewicz, a well-known critic, painter and writer, and the creator of the so-called 'Zakopane style' in architecture. During the years 1905-10, he studied on and off at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow under Jozef Mehoffer and under Wladyslaw Slewinski in Poronin. He travelled to Italy, France and Germany. In 1914, he took part in Bronislaw Malinowski's ethnographic expedition to Australia, from where he returned to Europe upon learning that World War I had started. His early paintings remained under the influence of Young Poland as well as P. Gauguin and W. Slewinski. He arrived at his unique expressionistic style later. As time passed, he abandoned painting as a result of his theoretical reflections on form. He founded the one-man 'Portrait Company' and limited himself to making pastel portraits for payment, often created under the influence of drugs allowing for experimentation with form. Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz wrote 4 novels, over 40 dramas, as well as numerous articles and essays on painting, literature, theatre and philosophy. During the interbellum period, he mainly lived in Zakopane. After the start of World War II, he fled from the Germans to the eastern border (currently in the Ukraine), where on 18 September 1939, he committed suicide in the village of Jeziory (Velyki Ozera) in the Polesie region.
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