#photography & visual arts
The exhibition about the relationship between Polish artist Stanisław Witkiewicz and his son, created in their hometown of Zakopane, visits Kaunas.
On 18th September 1939, a day after the Soviet army marched into Poland, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, known as Witkacy, committed suicide. Today, 79 years after his death, his works still remain intriguing and controversial. As do the works created by Stanisław Witkiewicz Sr., even though they differ entirely from those of his son.
The Tatra Museum in Zakopane decided to take look at the Witkiewiczes’ achievements through the prism of their private and artistic relationship. In 2015, the Angel & Son: 30 Years of Stanisław & Stałnisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Dialogue was opened. Now, a new version of the exhibition, Angel & Son: The Witkiewiczes in Zakopane & Lithuania, is open at the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas.
Stanisław Witkiewicz, the creator of the Zakopane style and an art critic, was an excellent guide and partner in discussions about art at every stage of his son's development: from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood, when Witkacy became a painter, playwright and a philosopher, creator of the Pure Form theory.
It was extremely important for Stanisław Witkiewicz to raise his son as an independent person and artist, he wanted for Stanisław Ignacy to develop his individuality and his own original art, which would also have value in a social context. Young Witkiewicz wanted to create new and surprising concepts and works, and his father was happy to advise him and he watched his son closely. Thanks to this, Witkiewicz Sr. had the opportunity to closely follow the ideas and concepts shaping the younger generation.
Their artistic independence is visible in the differences in style of both artists, however, the several decades of co-existence left their mark on their works. The exhibition in Kaunas presents pieces that represent the artists’ most important concepts as well as the different stages of their art (from realism to avant-garde). The exhibition is also a great space for the presentation of the history of the patriotic Samogitian families: the Witkiewiczes, Szemiotóws and Pietrzkiewiczes. In this context, it is important to present the native Samogitian and Lithuanian motifs present in the work of the Witkiewiczes.
The M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)
North and South
In addition to works of art (paintings, photographs, drawings), the exhibition will include little-known documents, photographs, letters testifying to close relationship between the two as well as their relationship with Lithuania. The exhibition is also accompanied by a film and a publication. In November 2018, a book will be published – a collection of articles about Lithuanian threads in Witkacy’s biography as well as a critical essay on his literary and artistic work. It will also include reproductions of selected works.
The Polish Institute in Vlinius is a partner of the exhibition.
The project is organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute operating under the Culture.pl brand as part of POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme accompanying the centenary of Poland regaining independence.
Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2021.
Source: press materials, written by ZŁO, September 2018, translated by NR, October 2018