Ryszard Grzyb began studying painting in 1976 at the State Higher School of the Visual Arts in Wrocław. While a third-year student there, he began to paint neo-Expressionist compositions.
Painter, poet, graphic designer. Born July 17, 1956 in Sosnowiec; resides in Warsaw.
After transferring to Warsaw in 1979, he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, where in 1981 he obtained his diploma from the studio of Professor Rajmund Ziemski. While a student, he established contacts with a number of artists who would later come together to form Gruppa, a group that Grzyb co-founded towards the end of 1982. In 1983 he began to participate regularly in the exhibitions and actions organized by Gruppa and was a co-editor of its magazine titled "Oj dobrze już" / "Alright Already," in which he published his poems, theoretical texts and drawings. Between 1983 and 1987 he confined himself almost entirely to painting his so-called "papiery" / "papers," i.e. tempera compositions on cardboard. These depicted riots and fights involving fantastic creatures with any and all human figures portrayed in a caricatured manner (Walka Jakuba z aniołem / The Battle of Jacob and the Angel - two versions, Równowaga Jang i Jin / The Balance between Yang and Yin). He also depicted animals, though often as victims of violence ("Medytacja nad glowa koguta" / "Meditation on the Head of a Rooster," Zarzynanie czarnego koguta / The Slaughter of the Black Rooster). Grzyb additionally created erotic scenes ("Pojedynek na szparagi" / "Duel with Asparagus," "Szlifierz nocnych diamentów" / Night Diamond Polisher") and scatological scenes (Zaklęci bracia / Cursed Brothers, Sranie ku wolności / Shitting for Freedom).
He used aggressive colors, which he laid down with rapid and dynamic strokes of his brush. The apogee of this period can in the form of his "papiery berlińskie" / "Berlin Papers," which Grzyb produced while on scholarship in West Berlin with his colleague from Gruppa, Ryszard Woźniak. These are inhabited by literary and mythological figures (Robin Rose, Na granicy Babilonu i Nowej Zelandii / At the Borders of Babylon and New Zealand, Winnetou i Old Shatterhand mijają się / Winnetou and Old Shatterhand Passing Each Other). An entirely separate series of works consists of scenes presenting allegories of contemporary Polish-German relations (Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła / Poland has not yet 'sunkumbed', Kobieta za 100 marek / Woman for 100 Marks). In 1987 the artist gradually began to abandon his "papers" in favor of oil painting, a change that also brought on a change in style. He began to create compositions that were far more refined in terms of color and form, as exemplified in his tendency of combining multiple realities and planes of observation in a single canvass (Ostatnia podróż / The Last Voyage, Pejzaż świni / Pig Landscape, Lata 60-te / The 1960s). With time Grzyb's paintings became dominated by indivisible decorative compositions based on a series of simplified motifs (e.g. a bird, rhinoceros or rabbit) variously arranged on the plane of the canvass. The artist has remained faithful to this style since the beginning of the 1990s. Grzyb traveled to the Federal Republic of Germany on several occasions (his voyages including a year-long stay in the mid 1990s). Towards the end of 1991 he settled for a number of years in Krakow, where he collaborated closely with the Galeria "Zderzak" / "Bumper" Gallery. Upon returning to Warsaw, Grzyb expanded beyond painting in graphic design and publishing and created his own company. Since his times as a youth, Grzyb has also been a karate aficionado, having achieved the status of a black belt.
- 1986 - Ekspresja lat 80-tych / Expression of the 1980, BWA (Office of Art Exhibitions), Sopot
- 1987 - Co słychać / What's Up, Former Norblin Factory, Warsaw
- 1990 - Konstrukcja w procesie (3) / Structure in Progress (3), Scheibler Palace, Łódź
- 1991- Kunst, Europa, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn
- 1992/93 - Gruppa 1982-1992, Zachęta National Contemporary Art Gallery, Warsaw
Author: Maryla Sitkowska, Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, June 2002.