No 2 (94) 2013
April - June

The Theory of Art by Zbigniew Dłubak

The Archeology of Photography Foundation has published book dealing with theoretical texts by Zbigniew Dłubak, one of the most influential characters of the Polish photography after 1945.

Krzysztof Jurecki

B. in 1960. Art historian, AICA member. Lecturer at the Łódź Academy of Arts and Design.

Krzysztof Jurecki

THIS HAS BEEN AN EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT PUBLICATION that can define this artist' role in shaping the concepts of metaphor and context related approach. The book consists of three parts: I. "Struggle for Transformations in Art"; II. "New Sign Systems"; III. Reception-Exchange-Flow". The work edited by Magdalena Ziółkowska lacks, however, the texts on the theory of art that would have outlined the development of the theoretical thought of this artist against the background of other Polish concepts. The texts by a whole range of authors, Dłubak included, have nothing in common with the theory of art ("Activity of the Student Group ("Bulletin Makers") in the 1940-1941 period"). Further, they have needlessly combined within one selection the published articles with private correspondence and manuscripts.

The texts by Dłubak have been written as Marxist oriented theory of art, referring in general to the Polish constructivism tradition. Later, in the 70's he got closer to the structuralism, as presented by Jan Mukaŕovsky, attempting to define and create the phenomenon of "new vanguard". He stressed other than the language related properties of visual arts. This has not been the theory of art in a strict sense of the term, rather the quest to answer the query on the "meaning of art". The question remains open as far as the most significant texts are concerned; the texts that have had an impact on Polish art. A biographical part (prepared by Piotr Słodkowski) based on many years research by Janina Ładnowska, has been important for further studies on the role of the oeuvre by this artist. While publication of the so far unknown pictures, related to the artist's life, has been an interesting addition.

"The Theory of Art by Zbigniew Dłubak" editeded by Magdalena Ziółkowska, 296 pages, The Archeology of Photography, Warsaw 2013.