The presen­tation of ten of Edward Dwurnik’s works on paper never shown before marks the begin­ning of the joint work with Edward Dwurnik  Foun­dation on an intriguing archive of the artist, in which motifs and stories known from pain­tings are developed, or the reverse—drawings left by the artist inc­lude ideas and emotions later expan­ded on in his pain­tings. In this respect, the selec­tion we present is unique. Dwur­nik is known for his rapid pain­terly nar­rations and the charac­teristic, free and lively range of his brush. But here we have a more experimen­tal, con­cep­tual and less elemen­tal approach to buil­ding an image. The key to the selec­tion is the tech­nique of assem­bly, juxtaposing apparen­tly distant aspects and materials.


The excep­tional works com­bining drawing with photographic images are notable. This short series was created in 1973 in cooperation with the photographer Teresa Gierzyńska, who was also Dwurnik’s wife. The views she cap­tured of her hometown Rypin and the sur­roun­ding land­scape, as well as architec­tural details photographed during a trip to Lenin­grad, were enlar­ged on sheets of matte photographic paper, leaving empty fields. These were then filled in by Dwur­nik with figurative drawings. This rare com­bination of media is an exam­ple of an inspiring marital/artistic relation­ship, but also provides an original image of the small-​town land­scape during the era of moder­nization under Polish com­munist party leader Edward Gierek. In place of the optimism promoted by the authorities, Dwurnik’s drawings feature apathetic figures in old-​world costumes and grey, not entirely legible photographic back­grounds. Together—as actors and stage setting—they form a theatrical aura of expec­tancy and super­ficial decorativeness, con­cealing an authen­tic ten­sion between two worlds: the real boredom and poverty of the provin­ces, and the sphere of aspirations and phan­tasmagoria of a better, gran­der life.


The show is sup­plemen­ted by three col­lage com­positions, a kind of notebook or inven­tory for the artist, com­prising sket­ches, frag­ments of other works, photos, stamps, and clip­pings from catalogues, often of an autobiographical nature. They reveal lesser-​known sides to the pain­ter, as not just a sen­sitive observer of social emotions but also an obses­sive documen­talist assem­bling his nar­rative from various frag­ments and scraps of the sur­roun­ding reality.

exhibitions 2020

Edward Dwurnik



photo of Edward Dwurnik was taken by Teresa Gierzyńska