• Włodzimierz Pawlak, We Need Help, 1987

The painting entitled "We Need Help" represents the style of “painted-over paintings”, typical of Włodzimierz Pawlak. As part of his M.A. graduation project at the Academy, Pawlak acted on his intent to paint his own art over in the presence of the thesis committee, in a gesture of destruction and solidarity with anonymous “painters” of political inscriptions, whose paintings on walls around the city were regularly painted over by the policing service of the socialist state. For this very reason, in "We Need Help", a part of the composition, some figures etc. are covered with a cover paint, with this formal gesture of destruction/camouflage conveying the peculiar climate of the martial law, the state of illusory normalization, which erases and destructs extensive areas of social life. The painting also contains references to the Christian iconography. Unlike the vital and energetic art of the 1980s, it raises the problem of weakness and exhaustion. The artists explains that the painting was created at a time when he was so overwhelmed by the abundance of Gruppa’s joint exhibitions and actions that he reached a critical point. The artists started to feel weary and disappointed with the lack of the expected publicity for their efforts. The painting turned out to be prophetic – soon, the fate changed and Gruppa was invited to participate in the Documenta exhibition in Kassel.


Year: 1987
Medium: oil on canvas
Format: 150×250 cm

Material: oil paint, canvas
Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: Galeria Propaganda
Index: MSN: 4300-14/2015
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the 'National collections of contemporary art 2015' priority

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