Rejected by the Academy and Grupa ‘48, misunderstood in his pursuit to create the art of life, unsold and unexhibited. Wróblewski was a rebuffed artist – said director Andrzej Wajda at a meeting in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
The meeting with Andrzej Wajda in Warsaw's Museum of Modern Art took place on 19th March, 2015. The director shared his memories of Andrzej Wróblewski, whom he befriended during their studies at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts at the end of the 40s. From his memories, Wajda created an outline of Wróblewski – an artists like no other, seeking distinct values and different means of expression.
I recall Wróblewski coming to the class of Prof. Rudzka-Cybisowa, who had a particular affection for flowers, bowls full of cherries; everyone painted still lifes like that. Andrzej noticed that by the furnace was a bucket full of coal – we had to have a fire so that our poor nude models wouldn’t freeze. Everyone painted still lifes, trying to add as much colour and light, and he painted a bucket of coal with the filthy furnace in the background.
The director also spoke about the activity of the post-war Kraków-based artists, who ignored Wróblewski’s talent:
If Polish art was to develop, it had to part from what had shaped it so far – abandon Matejko and paint abstraction. The world had changed. This decision was well understood by Andrzej. He had already began to paint differently in 1949. And when he did, the group, that had hitherto supported him, stepped aside and started to look at it with scepticism. What he looked for seemed invalid to them.
In those 10 years he sold one painting (…), there wasn’t a single exhibition. Rejected by the Academy, rejected by Grupa 48’, misunderstood in his pursuit to create art of life, unsold and unexhibited, Wróblewski was a rebuffed artist. We were truly poor people at the time. Andrzej’s situation was a little better – his mother provided for him, he had a room where he painted. This enabled him to create an enormous amount of works on various topics in those 10 years. He had to paint because everything was set to “no”, from all sides. He painted for himself (…).
As Wajda assessed, Wróblewski wanted to be the voice of the dead:
We had sense of responsibility – better than us, braver – died in the war. There was a war and now it’s behind us. We didn’t reflect whether our situation in ’45 was good or bad. It wasn’t us who debated in Yalta, it wasn’t us who sold Poland to the Soviet Union; for us life started anew. We were seeking for ways to take part in it.
The Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto/Verso; 1948-1949, 1956-1957 exhibition is showcased in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw until 17th May 2015.
Andrzej Wróblewski was born on 15 June 1927 in Vilnius. In the years 1945-52 he studied at the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. A particularly important segment of his artistic output was the cycle Rozstrzelania / Executions, that he created by the end of the 1940s, which relates to his memories from the war. In 1948 Wróblewski initiated efforts to create the Self-Teaching Club as a unit of the Association of Polish Academic Youth at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. Its first members included Przemyslaw Brykalski, Andrzej Strumiłło, and Andrzej Wajda. Wróblewski died on 23rd March 1957 during an excursion in the Tatra Mountains.
Source: PAP, edit. KK, transl. Agata Dudek, 23/03/15