ROMAN ARTYMOWSKI. IN THE CIRCLE OF THE SUN
ed. by Józef Grabski
Kraków - Warszawa 2003
252 × 232 mm, 204 pages
57 full-page colour illustrations + 16 b/w and 126 colour photographs
On the cover: Landscape CCIV, 1987,
watercolour on tissue paper, collage, 64 × 44 cm
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Catalogue of an exhibition of Roman Artymowski's painting, held at the Polish Auction House "SZTUKA" Gallery in Warsaw. A selection of oils, watercolours and graphic works dating from different periods of the artist's activity, including his little-known early "realist" paintings, was on display. Roman Artymowski (1919-1993) was an artist especially sensitive to the slightest nuances of colour and painterly qualities of uncommon textures. This can be seen best in his ephemeral watercolours done on different types of paper and Japanese tissue where the colour and texture overlap. Critics described them as delicate "as the wings of a butterfly".
Initially a realist, Artymowski gradually distanced himself from figurative painting, heading towards the art informel, and finally adopted a peculiar convention of geometric abstraction. The desert landscape of Iraq, its oriental atmosphere, saturated with mystery proved to be the artist's most potent inspiration. His numerous travels to the Near East bear fruit in the form of numerous oils, watercolours and graphic works, sophisticated in their choice of colour and texture, on which one can recognize the silhouettes of Arab women, the desert sun and the ruins of ancient cities. Artymowski could masterly render the essence of that landscape - the scorching heat of the sun, pouring from the sky and the hot, vibrating air. These transitory effects were achieved by the artist by means of uncommon new techniques, either self-conceived or revived after centuries of oblivion, or by the inclusion of unusual materials. He was a master in this craft.
All exhibited works are reproduced in full colour in the catalogue, and the essays are accompanied by archival black-and-white photographs of the artist and his family.
PIOTR MAJEWSKI — Sun Burnt Landscapes
KRYSTYNA CZERNI — A Mirage, or Roman Artymowski's Works on Paper
OLA WOJTKIEWICZ — Whispers and Shouts
LIST OF WORKS