No 2 (82) 2010
April - June

A Track of a Collector

“Abstractions and Fascinations” has been the first presentation of the collection put together by Mariusz Rosiak – five years ago deceased Poznań collector, art critic, poet, Director of the Arsenal City Gallery in Poznań and the R Gallery founder.

Anna Borowiec

B. in 1980. Art historian, PhD student at the Adam Mickiewicz Poznań University Polish and Classical Philology Faculty.

Anna Borowiec

THE EXHIBITION SIMULTANEOUSLY BEING A SUBSEQUENT - IN THE COURSE OF RECENT EIGHT YEARS, following excellent shows of collections belonging Grażyna Kulczyk, Krzysztof Musiał, Andrzej and Teresa Starmach - presentation of a private art collection addressed to Polish audience, particularly commemorating Mariusz Rosiak. "Abstractions and Fascinations" has become a unique portrait of an outstanding collector, and contemporary art lover, illustrating his collecting passion that not once brought back to the Polish art market the artists who had been unfairly forgotten or underestimated.

The exhibition title refers to the one of the most splendid exhibitions showed in 2000 at the R Gallery, namely "Abstraction, Abstraction". At the same time, it reveals the collector's great fascination with the 20th century abstract art which was a leading topic of the Mariusz Rosiak's collection show in the "Castle" Culture Center. Two rooms offered the works by the most remarkable 20th and 21st century Polish artists. The first room was devoted to classics of modernity. Among others, there was an extremely interesting, early picture by Edward Krasiński contrasted with the composition from the Women on Board of the Ship, the 80's series by Jerzy Nowosielski, as well as relief abstract compositions going back to the 60's and 70's by Henryk Śtażewski, Ryszard Winiarski and Adam Marczyński; placed side by side. This set has been perfectly complemented with geometric compositions by Stefan Gierowski, Stanisław Fijałkowski and Mieczysław T. Janikowski. The pieces by the Łódź Vanguard founders; Władysław Strzemiński, Stefan Wegner, Julian Lewin and Samuel Szczekacz made an interesting group of works by artist following Polish construction oriented classic approach.

The important part of the presentation covered the pieces by Maria Jarema and the artists related to the 1st Modern Art Exhibition; Jonasz Stern and Jadwiga Maziarska.

A separate space displayed a vast collection of works by Marek Włodarski, a cofounder of the "Artes" Lvov group; including the pieces going back to the 20's and 30's, cubic nudes, works inspired by F. Leger and surrealistic sepias.

A special place in Rosiak's collection has been reserved for close to surrealism,, abstract heliographic compositions by Karol Hiller. Here, these have been juxtaposed with meander line studies by Wacław Szpakowski and the 40's geometric constructions by Stanisław Fijałkowski. The matter oriented painting representatives, following an abstract impressionism tradition, included canvases by Tadeusz Kantor and Kajetan Sosnowski. Next to them, one could find a Tachisme composition by Teresa Tyszkiewicz, and full of color expression, abstract picture by Alfred Lenica, neighboring with one of the Ax Figures by Jan Lebenstein. A significant part of the exhibition space has been occupied by the pictures by Eugeniusz Markowski, the artist particularly appreciated by Mariusz Rosiak. The figurative art by Markowski - exceeding the tradition so important for the abstract art collector, originating in the art brut trend and expressionism - has been arranged close to the canvases by Andrzej Wróblewski and Piotr Potworowski, the followers of the figurative tradition.

A separate room showed the works by the artists connected with the R Gallery. There were the 60's drawings by Jan Berdyszak, alongside the pieces by the younger generation artists; Marcin Berdyszak, Piotr C. Kowalski, and Leszek Knaflewski, the Koło Klipsa group cofounder, perfectly complementing the excellent collection of modern classics displayed in the first room. The show of Mariusz Rosiak's collection proves the thesis on culture shaping role of private art collections, simultaneously revealing individual fascinations of the owner and his intimate relations with each item acquired.

"Abstractions and Fascinations. From Mariusz Rosiak's Collection", curator: Cezary Pieczyński, the Castle Culture Center, Poznań, February - March 2010.