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. 

exhibitions 2022

Edward Dwurnik


The exhibition was prepared in cooperation with the Edward Dwurnik Foundation.