A peculiar opus magnum of one of the most interesting Polish painters of the second half of the 20th century. “Helsinki” is a series of 22 realistic portraits of politicians participating in the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in the capital of neutral Finland in 1975. This is a peculiar pop-art portrait of the Cold War era, where the artist analyses images and representations of the 1970’s celebrities of the world politics, reproduced then on a mass scale by the media. In this epic project (interrupted by the painter’s premature death), Zieliński significantly overcame the previous approach to portraying politics in his output, i.e., a strong poster-like brevity and symbolism, continuously swinging amidst abstraction and representation, banality and refinement. Nevertheless, this project can be treated as an ironic pastiche of the poster-like, propaganda aesthetics of the socialist state, this time referring to official portraits of Stakhanovites or political leaders. In 2016, the Museum purchased 18 paintings from the series for its collection. The remaining 4 were purchased in 2017.
Year: 1979-1980 Medium: oil on canvas
Format: 70×50,5 cm
Material: oil paint, canvas
Acquisition: purchase Ownership form: collection Source: Galeria Zderzak Index: MSN: 4300-12-1-18/2016; MSN: 4300-06-1-4/2017 Acquisition date: Nov 7, 2017