Not tulips. Pines. The work of the most recognized Polish painter still abounds in unfamiliar views and mysterious groves. For example Polish Pines, growing in a tight ring on a broad, undulating meadow, their crowns against the background of a fading, dark-blue sky. Here there are both vigorous, thick layers of paint and grids of pixels. There are deep, saturated hues, large fields of colour, and stunning silence, peace, light gusts of warm wind. Far from the claustrophobic urban labyrinths familiar from Hitchhiking Trips, without Workers, without Sportsmen, without any intrusive narratives. Expansive, languorous landscapes out of season, or perhaps after undergoing some exceptionally vicious national epidemic. Five large canvases painted in 2006 and 2007 are arranged to form a kind of painterly stage design presenting the characteristic distortion of the native landscape: lakes, rocks, wild beaches, farmland during the spring melt, rows of trees. Beeches. Pines. An unexpected, happy end to the Polish landscape.
The paintings presented at the exhibition were assigned by Dwurnik to the Twenty-Third series, which he launched in 1998 and continued until his death. The series seems eclectic. It includes paintings with historical, Jewish and musical themes, as well as landscapes and flowers, particularly the endless fields of the Tulips. But a common characteristic of the paintings in the series is the intensity of the colour schemes, expressiveness and conciseness of the depictions. At the same time, the painter took on “quasi-Polish” themes here, with iconic potential and well-suited to replication and spinning out of variation after variation. But the landscapes presented here were one-off. They often assume a partly fantastical character, while partly referring to specific locations and views knows from landscape photography (Będkowskie Rocks, Lake Dadaj, Lake Botowo). Dwurnik interprets popular visions of the Polish landscape in an ambivalent manner peculiar to himself—he monumentalizes and imparts fleshy, painterly content, while at the same time toying with conventionality in landscape depictions. Treated with Dwurnik’s painterly gestures, Poland comes across here a bit like America, like pure, abstract painting, full of nonchalance, freedom and anarchy.