No 1 (97) 2014
January - March

Searching for Truth

Poznański Palace, the seat of the City of Łódź Museum, hosted the Kajetan Sosnowski (1913-1987) exposition. After the war Sosnowski lived in Łodź where he took an active part in the restoration of the local culture center and organized art education.

Julita Deluga

Art historian. She lives and works in Cracow.

Julita Deluga

FURTHER, HE HAD EDITED THE "ŚWIETLICA" (DAY CLUB) MAGAZINE and "Kuźnica" (Forge) weekly till 1949, when he left the city and, along with the "Kuźnica" (Forge) editorial office, moved to Warsaw. Joining the " Group 55" he participated in the foundation of the "Krzywe Koło" (Bent Circle) Gallery at the Old Town Culture Center in Warsaw.

Kajetan Sosnowski, first of all, has been renown as an author of extremely interesting abstract pieces based on empirical cognition of the world and processes that govern it. Science - that has always been his source of inspiration - served as a starting point for his abstract art.

Mathematics, chemistry, physics play a determining part in understanding his art. Simultaneously his oeuvre has been permeated with deeply personal, emotional approach where art is the value as such.

Kajetan Sosnowski has worked by means of series. The Łódź exhibition has presented the most significant aspects of his oeuvre. The exhibition curator and the artist biographer, Bożena Kowalska, has skipped, I believe intentionally, earlier pieces from the Lyrical Diary or Epitaph series. Instead, she has focused on mature works by Sosnowski. The exhibition area, located on two floors, imposed the works division into two groups. In case of Sosnowski, this division has happened quite naturally. The ground floor housed a group of works that I would call strictly painting like; including the series: White Pictures, Blank Pictures, and famous Polyptyches. The artist has applied here mostly painting means of expression, and he tried to render light in the picture by means of a color spot. Nevertheless, he has not used classical means of expression such as chiaroscuro modeling. He has not been concerned with telling about light through objects existing in reality. The core of the matter was the light as such. This search has been best illustrated in Blank Pictures series that seem to be saturated with light that originates in an unknown source. The Polyptyches that he has been pursuing since 1965 also deal with the issue of light and palette game, afterimage and supplementary color aspects. Polyptyches, however, announce a change.

Second floor, quite charming and well lit, housed remaining pieces representing the mature period. These series, equally attractive as Polyptyches, are definitely more modest with regard to the applied means of expression, while the focus has been shifted towards scientific cognition and understanding. Chemical Pictures - Metalepseis, developed since 1972, offer canvases saturated with cobalt chlorine. They are changing colors depending on the surrounding conditions. Pieces from the Katalipomena series, started in 1975, have been sewn of raw canvas, while the fabric warp and weft shaped the composition. Mathematical calculations have been the base for The Systems of Equal Value, being made of various textile materials as of 1977. The essence of these has been the division of the pictures plane into equal triangle shape parts, where the triangles have identical areas while they differ in the side lengths. Later, this formula has evolved. Pieces from such series as Metalepseis, Katalipomena, Interventions and Systems of Equal Value have been much more sparse in expression, and focused on the registration of fleeting experience and the process of changeability. These differ considerably from the earlier works by the artist, as well as from pictures in the classical sense of the word, having more in common with intervention and ephemeral art than with a classic piece. Here Sosnowski seems to exceed the borders of a piece of art. Here the concept has been more significant than the final product that might not be fully capable to render the idea born in the artist's mind, where it has remained free from any limitations that might appear at the moment when the artist attempts to articulate this.

"Kajetan Sosnowski (1913-1987), In Search for Truth", the Museum of the City of Łódź, May - September 2013.