No 4 (88) 2011
October - December


Michał Grzegorzewski has returned to the Promotion Gallery after fourteen years absence with the WarsoVIE! exhibition. This time, he has dealt with the Warsaw Uprising.

Kaja Werbanowska

B. in 1985. Art historian. She publishes texts on contemporary art.

Kaja Werbanowska

THE CAPITAL HAS BEEN HIS FAMILY TOWN. He was born, brought-up and went to school here; and he has lived here ever since. Fascinated with the history of the capital, he has depicted the most difficult period of the city. He has showed the drama and tragedy of the fighting Warsaw. While painting his pictures, Grzegorzewski has been inspired with the pre and postwar photographs of Warsaw. From the very beginning one has no doubt as to the topic of these works. The artist has slipped the symbols of Warsaw into the pieces: the monument to the Warsaw Mermaid, King Sigismund Column, the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier. Further, one can see insurgents, guns, falling bombs and broken bricks in the pictures. The majority of works have been rendered in an intensive palette - the reds, browns, greens - that intensifies the impact. Only one piece has been merely outlined, thus offering monochromatic colors. An unfinished picture? Rather an intentional move. "Frequently, when I am not sure how to start, I am drawing imagined zigzag "rays". Some sharply turning lines, a crayon or a tube of paint on the canvas. They organize the part of gray cells that are responsible for the later decision what color to use and what is a proper paint brush stroke. When I reach the point, when I do not know what should be the next move, or I am not satisfied with the final result, instead of wiping off - as the most would do - I am crossing it out. Or could it be that I am making an outline?" - the artist describes his creative process.

The Promotion Gallery supports young artists and brings them back after years. This has been an interesting confrontation both, for the audience, and for the artist. Thus, one has an opportunity to observe how their work has been evolving. In case of Michał Grzegorzewski, the changes have been a plus factor.

Michał Grzegorzewski, "WarsoVIE!", the Promotion Gallery, Warsaw, September 2011.