Andrzej Wróblewski

Andrzej Wróblewski, Mother with a Killed Child, 1949, oil on canvas, Grażyna Kulczyk Collection (left), Execution against a Wall, 1949, οil on canvas, Muzeum Wojska Polskiego, Warsaw (right), installation view, EMST—National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, documenta 14, photo: Mathias Völzke

In a life cut short before the age of 30, Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–57) produced an impressive body of work consisting of paintings, drawings, and prints, and spanning both abstraction and figuration. Stepping against the formula of Polish Colourism that held sway in the art academies at the time, and in a bid to embrace the new doctrine of Socialist Realism, Wróblewski developed an original and distinct visual language.

In 1949, the artist created the “Execution” series comprising eight oil paintings with which he aimed to tackle the subject of the Second World War by also revisiting his own dramatic memories. In August 1941, the artist’s father died of a heart attack at their family home in Vilnius, during a search conducted by the Nazis. Later, when relocating to Kraków with his mother, Wróblewski witnessed the war-ravaged cities and countryside. The disfigured, mangled bodies are captured in different stages of transition between life and death, with the colour blue denoting the deceased.

Mother with a Killed Child, while not part of the series, conveys the message in a similar manner.

Posted in Public Exhibition