• Jacek Sempoliński, Męćmierz, 1979

On the one hand, Jacek Sempoliński’s pictures from the “Wisła” (‘Vistula’) series betray a typical colourist-tradition need to “sort out the image”. On the other hand, they also contain extreme emotional tension, manifested in attempts to destroy the canvas. An existentialist tradition rooted in philosophical studies comes through in the artist’s ruminations on the essence of faith, sources of culture, death, and the point of existence. In the Museum collection, these piecesacquire special significance owing to Sempoliński’s influence on one of contemporary Polish art’s most vital trends: critical art.

This incredible relation was especially noticeable at an exhibition organised by Professor Grzegorz Kowalski, one of the initiators of that trend. Its theme was suggested by Jacek Sempoliński (inspired by Juliusz Słowacki’s “King-Spirit”)—“What a corpse’s glazed eye beholds”—and the exhibition was first held in 2001 at the Academia Theatre, then later repeated elsewhere, including at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art.

Year: 1979
Medium: oil on canvas
Format: 81×65 cm

Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: Juszczak Wiesław
Index: MSN:4300-7/2013
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Purchased with the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

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