Subject: Zdzislaw Beksinski info (long) and artist's photo - artist.jpg [1/1]
Date: 22 Mar 1999 17:48:02 -0600
From: email@example.com (Dziubas)
Organization: Wyszalnia Miejska nr 1
All this was scanned from "BEKSINSKI. Peintures et dessins 1987-1991"
published and printed in Korea by AP International Ltd. Copyright A. and
P. Dmochowski, 1991. ISBN 83-905379-2-3
Sorry for typos, I ran it through OCR and didn't verified afterward.
Hope this helps.
True to the image of his work, Beksinski is a secluded
man. He does not appear in public, and does not exhibit his
paintings. When museums or collectors exhibit them he does
not show up. He works on his paintings twelve hours a day
against a background of classical music. They are always
painted on hardboard, signed on the back, and they bear no
He was born on February 24th 1929 in Sanok, a small town
near the south-east border of Poland. His father was a
surveyor, his grand- father a building contractor, and his
great-grandfather Mathieu, an insurgent of 1869, was the
founder of a wagon factory. Under the German Occupation
Beksinski continued his studies at a secondary level, first
in a school of commerce, then in a clandestine highschool. In
1947, after the Liberation, he entered the Faculty of
Architecture in the Mines and Steelworks Academy in Cracow
under pressure from his father. In 1951 he married Miss
Sophie Stankiewicz, and in 1952 he obtained his degree in
architecture. Due to the obligation of work which was at that
time imposed on young graduates, he started working in a
State building enterprise where he supervised the building
Although he had been drawing since his early childhood,
he applied himself to it seriously in 1959. He also
concentrated on paint- ing, photography and sculpture, and
thus prepared his way out of a profession which he disliked.
In 1958 his only child, Thomas, was born.
In the same year his first exhibition of plastic
works, and especial- ly abstract relief, was held in Poznan.
At that time he was still a member of the Union of Polish
Artist-Photographers and he took part in numerous exhibitions
of photography in Poland and abroad.
In 196'0 he abandoned photography and in his plastic
works broke away from the avant-garde. This break was felt by
some as an act of treason, since his early creation had
aroused much hope among the partisans of abstract art. But it
was also this step towards fantasy expressionism, noted
during the exhibition of 1972 organized by Mr. and Mrs.
Bogucki in the "Contemporary" gallery in Warsaw, that was to
make him known to a wider public. The polemic aroused by his
painting reached its climax in 1975 when after a poll
organised by art critics he was declared "the best painter in
the thirty years of the People's Republic of Poland" thanks
to the votes of certain participants who gave him almost all
their points, while others refused to give him even one...
ln 1977 he left Sanok and moved to Warsaw only to isolate
himself from the world even more radically because of the
inconvenience arising from the celebrity he now had in his
home town. When he moved into the Polish capital he hoped to
mingle in the anonymous crowds of a big metropolis. Despite
the curiosity he arouses, he refuses to take part in any
manifestations and accepts neither awards nor medals. He has
practically ceased to exhibit, receives only one or two
journalists a year, when he grants them an interview which
does not touch upon current events.
A charismatic personality and a man with a profound
spirit, Beksinski has never left Poland, doesn't speak any
foreign language and has never been a member of any
ideological group; he hates and despises politics.
by Piotr Dmochowski
by Piotr Dmochowski
As he explained in a text reproduced in our previous
book, Beksinski has always executed his paintings and
drawings in either of two manners, which he respectively
calls 'Baroque' and 'Gothic'. The first is dominated by
representation, the second by form.
Among the paintings produced during the past five years,
those executed in the 'Gothic' manner have become more and
more frequent, so much so that pictures in the other style
have almost disappeared.
Those light-filled landscapes, those figures drawn with
extra- ordinary precision, those disquieting buildings are
increasingly absent from Beksinski's work. Instead, simple
contours of human silhouettes, or faces filled with myriad
fragment of matter in closely- graded colours. The
backgrounds are for the most part flat; nothing lies behind
the silhouettes and faces, From the void they come and into
it, scarcely identifiable, they instantly dissolve. These
works are stark in the extreme and are in small format. Like
the low-reliefs executed by the artist from 1958 to 1960, and
his early drawings, they are almost abstract.
The second book we are devoting to him testifies to this.
We have incorporated two innovations, which complement
our first work published three years ago:
First, we thought it would be useful to show the
different stages involved in the creation of a painting. In
fact, when we saw the video showing the results of
Beksinski's daily work, recorded by the artist himself, we
were amazed to see that during the first week nothing was
happening on the hardboard everything seemed vague. Once
the artist finally hit on an idea, that part of the work
which, to a layman, would appear the most tedious and
difficult was executed in the space of a single day as if it
was just some minor detail.
Unfortunately, Beksinski is incapable of painting if
anyone is watching, which is why he has never agreed to allow
the different stages of his painting to be photographed at
the end of each working day or every time he changes his
mind. So all we can get from him are his own video
recordings, from which we produce printed reproductions,
whence their rather poor technical quality.
The second innovation we decided to incorporate into this
new book consists in showing the highly individual creative
process involved in Beksinski's latest drawings. Around a
fixed element, which is repeated in each drawing, the artist
constructs a series of variants by adding more elements or
removing others. Here again, we are able to observe the
stages in the birth of a drawing, the artist's moments of
hesitation, the variants of a particular fragment, until the
work is finally completed.
We have but one aim in mind in introducing these new ex-
planatory methods: namely to make the reader aware that the
artist's hesitations and searchings during the creative
process stem essentially from considerations of form and
technique. This is what opponents of Beksinski's work refused
to understand when he was still almost exclusively painting
'Baroque' pictures. Even then he never dreamt of expressing
any particular message, any general idea or any symbol, as
his detractors kept insisting. Even then, the only thing that
mattered was 'how it would be painted'. But each painting
appeared to be so heavily overlaid with representation that
it has not been easy for us, as a propagator of his art
demonstrate the artist's intention.
By showing Beksinski's new paintings and drawings, in
themselves near-abstract, and by illustrating the successive
stages in their creation in this book, we hope to put an end
to all these reproaches about ideology, hidden messages and
literary intepreta- tion and to demonstrate that this
extraordinary art lies far beyond meaning.
by Tadeusz Nyczek
When James Joyce's 'Ulysses' was published in 1922, one
critic made a statement that has gone down in history: that
after this book, no one would ever be able to write a simple
realist novel again. Which would imply that there are certain
revolutions that rule out any retrograde movement. After
Copernicus' discovery that the earth was round, did the flat-
earth theory not completely lose its validity? It might have
seemed, then, that literature was afflicted with the same ban
on the retrograde, since the discovery of Joyce threw the
very sense of the survival of conventional prose into ques-
tion. The old form, finding itself disowned, would never be
There was a similar attitude to painting. After the
impressionists, who could ever have imagined that classical
painting could still have its followers? No one, surely, and
even Iess so once the art world had experienced abstract art,
surrealism, pop art and conceptual . art. For followers of
the revolution in form, the calling into gues- tion of 20th-
century art forbade any return to the past. Monet and
Mondrian could never be succeeded by a Moreau or a Courbet.
And after Picasso, how could any artist try to paint like
But where art is concerned, nothing is impossible. In
art, Copernicus and Ptolemy can both be right. In, art the
earth can be round and flat at the same time, because in this
unique world of artistic creation, true freedom of choice
reigns supreme. A close look at the history of 20th-century
painting is enough to convince us. Even today, as we approach
the turn of the century, there's room at once for Moneran
Salvador Dali and Arnold Bocklin. There's a place for Kieffer
and Bacon, Warhol and Balthus, Beuys and Tibor Csernus.
So are we living j in an age of electicisrn? Maybe we
are. But in any case this also means that the artistic
revolution of the late 19th to the early 20th century, from
Seurat to Mir6, is just one choice among many. Even after
Malevitch's black square there's still nothing wrong with
Beksinski is proof positive of this: it is still possible
to marry water with fire, tradition with modernity. His own
experience as a painter should be a lesson in humility for
those doctrinaires for whom 'being faithful to form' is
nothing more their a craven obedience to current fashion. And
this cannot be put down simply to the fact that Beksinski
started out thirty-six years ago as a photographer Or, after
his photography period (1965- 19%), to Beksinski's work on
sculptured reliefs (1982). Or again, to the reputation he
gained as a graphic artist during the years that followed.
Or, finally, to the fact that it took several years for the
world to realize that here, indeed, was e painter of immense
This is how an artist's-career unfolds, stage by stage.
This is the way new forms and new co½ventions are explored.
Beksinski was trained as pn architect. His first forays
into plastic art are consequently marked by a certain
prudence, as if he felt they might overstep the norms and
categories 'in force' at the time.
Beksinski confirms this himself: it's true (and there is
no reason to doubt what he says) that his contacts with the
art world of the fifties were, to all intents and purposes,
non-existent. They are still practically nil today and are
limited to meetings with his closest friends. But, for Polish
painting, the fifties were a time rich in ferments. After
Stalinism, which spawned socialist realism, creative artists
sought to distance themselves from the rigid forms of
naturalism. Stalin's death and the politically-motivated
revelations made by Khrushchev about Stalinist
totalitarianism gave rise to a short-lived breach in European
frontiers and at last gave Polish ar- tists a glimpse of 'new
And on these new European and American horizons, Polish
artists encountered, above all, the avant-garde. Abstract
art, informal art and (to a certain extent) tachisme reigned
supreme. The different genres went into the melting-pot and
very soon every tradition was denied: the work of art itself
and hence the painting, the drawing, and the sculpture per
se. All manner of hybrid genres were spawned, and with them
kinetic and op art. Liberated, the artistic act was no longer
dependent on anything, and the outside world ceased to serve
even as a pretext. Art was living through an era of
narcissism and was as self-sufficient in ideology as it was
in forms and sources of inspiration.
Beksinski or Beksinski at the start of his career, at
least, when he had no direct contact with the artistic life,
attended no ex- hibitions and did not fraternize with other
artists this Beksinski could not have failed, however, to
be highly attuned to the 'spirit of the age'. His photography
was therefore of a semi-abstract nature. The images
represented highly constructed situations compositions
refined in their perverse simplicity. The relief-pictures
that he had just begun to make (not 'to paint', but just 'to
make') in 1958 were themselves prepared from specially welded
metals that were subsequently applied to a metal or wood
surface. These works display an infinite richness of
handling. From the contrasts obtained with the specially
prepared wire, sheetmetal and metal splinters, sprang
countless associations of visionary effects. Here again, the
artist categorically refused any suggestion that he had been
inspired by real phenomena or objects. He was opposed to
their metaphorical interpretation. The postulate that his art
was independent of all symbolism and literal meaning was to
accompany Beksinski throughout all the ensuing creative
But a fatal misunderstanding was to arise between the
artist's intentions and how the public perceived his work.
For Beksinski was to transform the form of his art; more
precisely, he was to modify his philosophy of the work of
art. He discovered that he felt much closer to 19th-century
painters (and writers and musi- cians too) than to those of
the 20th century, and that his spiritual temperament and his
imagination were far more at home in tradi- tion than in
denial of tradition. So it was no longer Pollock and Rothko,
Rauschenberg and Hartung, but Bocklin and Friedrich, Turner
and-Klimt to whom he felt closest.
All the same, Beksinski's unique character does not
reside in the fact that for twenty years he has been painting
at least as well as, if not better than these artists. What
is unique about him is that he rejected every artistic
ideology programmed by them, and that in place of ideologies
he introduced the conscience of man in the second half of the
26th century, complete with all his existential and
So those who see, in the 'old-style' painting of
Beksinski, the resurrection of a long-dead tradition, are
much mistaken. Although we are living in an age where
everything is possible hanging a chair from an electric
wire is just as permissible as painting a bunch of daffodils
against a yellow background Beksinski is no 20th- century
Turner or Friedrich. He is neither a symbolist nor a
surrealist. Even less is he a realist or a painter of
fantasy. Nineteenth-century painting*ad its own ideology: the
mystique of vanitas venitatum', the miracle of Nature, the
despair of existence, the horror of living in the shackles of
tyranny. The painter of the time felt that he was part of the
world he lived in, irrespective of whether his relation- ship
with that world was a good or a bad one. He wanted to modify
it or at least reflect it in the distorting mirror of his
Beksinski, by contrast, lives removed from the world
This-may seem something of a paradox but it is nonetheless
true. At most, the world supplies him with what he needs to
subsist on, plus the objects that inspire him: this is a
hind, this is a seashore... But that's all. And even these
were superfluous to the relief works he executed at the start
of his artistic career.
The, abstractionism that marked his early creative
years turned out to be an unforgettable experience for him.
Only the tangling of wires has become that of the veins on a
human body. The background light that shines transparent
through the layers of low- relief is transformed into the
light shining from the windows of his ghost-houses, or from
between figures sitting amid empty land- scapes.
I am well aware that I am tackling a subject that is
almost im- possible to prove, as the abstract is, after alI,
far removed from the figurative. A yellow patch on the canvas
may symbolize the sun, bvt the reverse seems to be
impossible. In other words, it would appear to be out of the
question that the sun could symbolize a yellow patch. If the
artist paints a brown rectangle in the middle of an egually-
divided surface, with blue at the top and green at the
bottom, l could interpret this as an expression of his
anguish in the face of existence. lf, however, the same
artist were to paint a man wearing a brown coat in the middle
of a green field under a clear sky, the first question will
inevitably relate to the man and the empty field. What are
they doing there? And the man who is he? What is he looking
for? In effect what's it all about? Only another painter,
untouched by the content of the picture, will ask the right
ques- tion straightaway: what is the relationship between the
brown coat and the green field? Is it a happy choice? Is the
composition correct? And so on... But for the general public,
the man in the picture will go on standing there for ever.
This is why Beksinski, who for twenty years has been
painting the strange scenes taking place in his semi-theatre,
will never be able to get rid of the spectator, who will
obstinately insist on asking questions about their meaning.
Beksinski will reply that there is nothing there but visions
from the subconscious. And that he was not trying to express
any particular message when he painted a decomposing body or
a group of wolves under a hot-air balloon soaring high in the
sky. And that these are obsessions that have come straight
from psychoanalysis. Then the spectator will ask the s me
question again and the misunderstanding will persist, im
utable, with each side sticking fast to its position.
We ought, in fact, to take a closer look at these
obsessions, because better than anything else, they provide
an explanation of the character of Beksinski's painting.
Although Beksinski has insisted in countless interviews
and conversations that his pictures have no intention of
modifying the world (i.e. that they express no ideology) and
that they do not seek to serve as a distorting mirror for it
(doubly emphasizing the absence of ideology), then, perhaps,
these paintings can tell us something about their author.
This would already be quite something, since Beksinski is no
abstraction but a creature of flesh and blood like all of us,
living here and now in the 20th century. And his experience
could turn out to be our own ex- perience.
His pictures will thus first of all tell the spectator
that he is deal- ing with a neurotic. The repetition of
certain accessories, the con- stant recurrence of seemingly
cult objects are enough to convince observers that this is
Take a look at the heads in Beksinski's art. In the past,
he photo- graphed them. Then he sculpted them, after which he
drew them.- And finally he painted them in every possible
variant, as he did with his figures seated in a kind of arm-
chair in the middle of a land- scape strewn with the filth
and rubbish of our urban culture. For thirty years, the
vision of the Crucifixion has never left him. For thirty
years he has striven to photograph, scuIpt, draw and paint
objects in the wind or in twilight. For years, his paintings
have shown something burning, something growing on living or
dead bodies. Leaves fly in the air; a figure is constantly
out walking with a dog- or wolf-like creature; fragments of
architecture, houses, castles and bizarre buildings float
above the ground. Another familiar figure is a multi-fingered
musician playing the flute or the clarinet.
These motifs recur like the subjects of nightmares. Can
it be that they torment Beksinski as the ghosts at Prospero's
bidding tormented Caliban in Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'?
Beksinski, like any good disciple of psychoanalysis, frees
himself from these obses- sions by painting them and
So, if there absolutely has to be a goal behind these
paintings, could the aim be the artist's own
However, there is most probably something else involved
here, namely the accomplishment of A Task. This seems
mystical, but what l am thinking of is really very simple:
all of us are carrying out a task. Survival is cif course the
most obvious one. For others, work is the most important
thing. Theologians have yet another suggestion to offer,
nameIy that the Task consists in spreading the Word of God.
Finally, there is a different task, the most disinterested
one of all because it is accomplished away from the human
cons- cience: what I mean by this, of course, is Art.
This is why artists often admit that 'Something' is
speaking through them, that they are just carrying out the
Will of Another. This is not necessarily God or some Superior
Power. The 'Something' cen be a psychic need, not all that
much different from daily needs like defecating and
breathing. The nature of this singular imperative divides
painters into those who depict sunflowers and those who paint
executions; it produces the composer who will go on writing
symphonies after Iosing his hearing, or the author who, night
after night, will fill reams of paper with poems about the
devil's supremacy over God or vice versa.
BasicalIy, all Beksinski does with his life is to paint
and to exist. Perhaps, moreover (as he avers), the one is
organically bonded to the other? In other words, he lives
because he paints and he paints because he lives. So it is
not surprising that there came a time when , he became bored
with executing semi-abstract relief-pictures because the
universe they refIected had become a tedious one. It was as
if one was condemned to a lifetime of alternately eating
boiled eggs and chocolate mousse... True, the ways of
combining abstract forms are infinite. But perhaps it is this
very infinity the certitude of this infinity the becomes
sterile It would appear far more interesting in that a much
stricter discipline is imposed on drawing and painting to
p@'nt the world of objects. In a way, this task demands more
skill... fer if there are so many possibilities of creating
forms and objects, they are still executed according to the
rules of the game. What's 'so wonderful about painting a hand
that looks like a saucepan? What is wonderful is to paint it
The 'horror vacui' that dominates Beksinski's paintings
(or at least those executed between 1968 and 1987) is proof
positive of the perverse pleasure he gets out of the creative
process. All those veins, nerves and folds, the proliferation
of objects and bodies, all that obsessive effort to cram
every inch with anything ss long as it constitutes pictorial
material, i.e. brush-strokes on the support.
If the Main Task in Beksinski's life has turned out to be
neither architecture (for which he was trained), nor
photography, nor even music, which he listens to from morning
to night, but pain-ting, who can be astonished that he has
made the brush-stroke an art in itself? Who can be surprised
that he seeks perfection in his craft because the craft alone
can impose others' perfection on him? lf he ever happens to
look at other artists' paintings, he does so exclusively from
the craftsman's standpoint. He is like Casanova, who sought
ceaselessly to invent fresh erotic positions, each one more
perfect and polished than the last, for each, ever-new
paramour (but basically for himself), to the point of self-
But we must not go too far. For some time now from the
mid-1980s onward, to be more precise a marked change has
been noted in Beksinski's painting. There are fewer and fewer
pictures that his detractors could qualify (wrongly) as
anecdotic or literary, complete with 'heroes' and 'plot'.
First and foremost, the three-dimensional vision of
Beksinski's earlier works gives way to pictures that are
almost flat The back- grounds that formerly created an
atrnosphere and emphasized events in the foreground have
disappeared. It is as if a thick fog now obscures the half-
real, half-dreamt world of Beksinski's earlier paintings.
Only the foreground remains. In these foregrounds are
figures, solitary for the most part. If there are several of
them, they clasp each other in a kind of love/death-embrace,
for they are left to their own devices in this immense void.
Lovers of Beksinski's 'typical' work will be astonished,
and perhaps worried, by the way his paintings have evolved.
They will find it incomprehensibhe. What on earth made
Beksinski change the poetry of his pictures when for all
these years his art has formed a coherent whole? Why, as he
goes forward, is he turning back?
For there is no difficulty in realizing that his
painting is indeed turning beck and, thirty years after it
began, is starting to describe a great ellipse. Or that by
going back in time,- it is drawing closer to its beginnings.
To confirm this, let us take a look at the composition of
Beksin- ski's earliest and most recent work. His drawings
dating from 1958-1962 were composed, if not in perfectly
axial fashion, at least on the basis of the golden mean, in
accordance with the rules of the Renaissance. Large surfaces
were counterbalanced by smaller ones, and a plain background
would often feature a single pictorial accent.
The same applies to the paintings of 1987 to 1991. We
find the same flat background formed solely by pictorial
means, back- grounds close to those of Turner, but even
harder to define. Con- trasting with the background, figures,
axial for the most part, appear in the foreground. They are
often depicted in some strongly ac- centuated movement; when
this is the case the figures give the im- pression of being
caught in a freeze-frame, as if just a fraction of their
movement had been captured on film. We can see further proof
of this in the multiple representation of certain elements
their hands, for instance, or the folds in their cloaks.
These are all well- known photographic effects.
The novelty resides also in the other relationships
existing be- tween background and figures. By following the
rather traditional rules of perspective, Beksinski's 'older'
paintings (1968-198'7) showed space divided into planes. If
it so happened that the outline of a figure or object was
obliterated (which was seldom the case) this was due solely
to the presence of mist, smoke or other natural phenomena in
The new paintings are characterized by an entirely
different type of relationship between background and
figures. Very often but not systematically, however the
figures emerge from an apparently neutral, 'meaningless'
background. I stress the word 'emerge', since the
obliteration of the outlines of 'meaningful' objects (or
figures) and their fusion with the 'meaningless' background
create an im- pression of the birth, from the background, of
what eventually takes concrete shape as an object or a human
This pictorial device, neutral in appearance only, is
perhaps employed just to diversify the surface of the
picture. Be this as it may, in this context it takes on a
deeper meaning. Because if Nothing (the background) .is
capable of giving birth to Something (an object or a figure),
we may acknowledge, then, that the object is merely
concentrated Nothingness. Given this hypothesis, the artist's
affirmation that giving form to paint on a surface is what
really interests him takes on its full force. Art, he
maintains, is clearly not a matter of painting anecdotes,
which would then need to be 'understood' (this was never the
case, in fact, but it was difficult to prove while the object
represented called for a literary explanation), but of
realizing the prime objectives of every painter: composition,
colour, drawing. In other words, the quest is for the
autonomy of Art, a quest common to every artistic
revolutionary from, the impressionists through to conceptual
Beksinski's move towards pure painting is also revealed
by the fact that it is currently near-impossible to
'describe' or 'interpret' his new pictures. They are no
longer 'scary' as his previous works were because of their
seemingly narrative motifs like skeletons, crucified figures,
walls with cracks appearing in them, and all- enveloping
spider webs. The figures in his new paintings lend themselves
to no description, no interpretation, particularly because
they are reduced for the most part to simple outlines, to the
remains of something with no destiny, no goal. They are
ghosts of a faraway echo of real objects.
In some of the paintings, elements of the figures become
somehow detached and dissolve into the background like a wisp
of cigarette smoke floating in the air'. If there was any
doubt in the past on the past of Beksinski's detractors, it
is quite obvious today that what is important about his
pictures is exclusively the way they are painted. And his
technique is dazzling something rarely achieved these days.
This is how tradition has been reunited with modernity
the tradition of a perfect craft allied to modern-day
thinking on painting.
Sometimes people say: "Let's see how well you draw
and I'll tell you if you're a real painter"
Before he revealed himself as an accomplished painter,
Beksin- ski was known above all as a graphic artist as one
of the greatest graphic artists, in fact. His erotic
obsessions, to which he gave life in dense, almost
caricatural strokes, were on a borderline between the
grotesque and the anatomy manual and opened the way to fame.
His drawing period lasted for more than sixteen years (1958-
1974). During the later years (between 1968 and 1974) it
spawned veritable 'graphic paintings', where only the
technique employed (black chalk) and the colour (black and
white) distinguish- ed them from paintings proper.
This period was followed by a long pause that lasted
fourteen years. It could have seemed that Beksinski would
never return to drawing. But he did take it up again in 1988.
Here too, as with his paintings, he went back to his original
source, his drawings of the late fifties: modest drawings
But the difference is obvious at first sight. The older
drawings were more precise, more accurate. The artist's
stroke cut out the body-object with truly supernatural
precision. Nearly all his recent drawings are sketches, too.
Some of them give the impression of being dashed off in a
hurry. They are lighter, airier, and reveal an . artistic
freedom that could almost qualify as casual. They are in some
respects akin to the oil-paintings produced at the same time.
We find the same composition, the same plain background this
time formed by the neutral whiteness of the drawing-paper.
And it is just as easy to discover the same motifs: a figure,
a head, or sometimes two beings entwined...
But here again, something entirely new has appeared,
something which in turn forces us to concentrate our
attention much more closely on form than on content: starting
out with a parent-drawing, which serves as a canvas for
further manipulations, Beksinski selects a fragment he is
particularly satisfied with; he then continues to draw, using
the fragment as a basis on which to try out another variant.
The manoeuvre is repeated, often many times over. In this way
he produces a whole series of variants based on the repeated
fragment, which is completed in part by other elements,
different every time. Each drawing is therefore at once a
separate entity and part of a greater whole.
The passage of time enables us to see the extent to which
Beksinski eludes over-simplified classifications. As long as
he was being 'modern', he was congratulated on his
contribution to 'the progress of art' along the only positive
path, which, in 1950-60, appeared to be the avant-garde. Then
he began to paint in a 'traditional' manner, which was a big
success with a public who adored art that gave the impression
of being 'meaningful'. Today, by en- deavouring to combine
these two trends upon the surface of a single painting or
drawing, he is proving that, for a true artist, there are no
artificial rifts between pictorial categories. In the same
way he ' is reconfirming his own personality and his
independence of every trend in contemporary art. His
importance and stature will grow with time, as was the case
for so many artists living on the fringe of the world. For,
when all's said and done, the only world there is exists
within the souls of true artists.
PRINCIPAL EXHIBITIONS 1987-1991
December 1987. Exhibition. Gallery Wahl. Warsaw. June
1988. Exhibition of photography. Museum Historical. Sanok.
October-November 1989. Exhibition. Dmochowski Gallery. Paris.
October 1990. Exhibition. Toh-Ou Museum (Museum of East
Permanent exhibition at the "Toh-Ou Museum" (Museum of
East Europe) Osaka. Japan.
Permanent exhibition at the Historical Museum. Sanok.
Poland. Permanent exhibition at the "Dmochowski Gallery".
Two short films have been made on Beksinski and his work
1987 "The Dream" by Bogdan Dziworski 1990 "The
mystery of Beksinski" by Jozef Gebski
A SUMMARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 1987-1991
1988-1989 "BEKSINSKI": a monograph published by A. and
P. Dmochowski (in French and English)
1990 "BEKSINSKI": a monograph published by Arkady (in Polish)
1991 "BEKSINSKI": a monograph published by Ramsay (in French)