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Andrzej Cisowski: Obrasy

From: Kordegarda Gallery/Andrzej Cisowski Obrasy

Text by Teresa Anna Stepnowska

Published by Zachęta – National Gallery of Art. Warsaw, 2004.

The art, or to be more precise, the painting of the 20th Century often made use of ready-made elemens housed within the frame of the composition. The first collages were above all treated as something scandalous.

In painting, it is Georges Braque who, by including in a painting from 1912, an element of carpet bought in a shop in Avignon, is seen as the first to use this technique in one of his paintings.

This technique quickly became widespread and was used by artists representing a variety of styles, options and tendencies; whereas in the beginning it was used by formal innovators, it finally entered the repertoire of painting techniques in the same ways as oil and later acrylic painting had done.

At a 1995 exhibition at Zacheta, the then 32 year old artist Andrzej Cisowski made a presentation of his works.


In some of them the collage technique almost completely took the place of the process of painting. Almost, because thanks to the use of different semi-transparent materials successive layers were uncovered, seeming to be intermingled. This intermingling could create associations with the use of artistic glazing and was equally very sophisticated, given testimony to the high skill of the artist.

At the exhibition in the Kordegarda Gallery, we present Andrzej Cisowski‘s new images.


They are new, because as he underlines in interviews with pride, they were formed in the 21st Century.

The artist has called this presentation Obrasy, in other words images painted on table-cloths (in Polish - "obrusy").


In these works, what we are dealing with is an inversion of the idea of collage.

The prepared element, an industrially printed fabric has become the main ingredient of the work of painting, while the elements of painting have become something addition.


Some of the works were genuinely painted on table-cloths; the artist made the shoddy, coloured borders the frame of his artistic composition.


Meanwhile the compositions themselves have much in common with their under-layer: in an ironic, or even warm fashion devoid of any pretension or aggression they are connected to the banal, not especially beautiful printed patterns.

The artist says: This is the world I live in and such a world I accept.

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