Lovely, human, true, heartfelt. The Letters of Alina Szapocznikow and Ryszard Stanisławski, 1948–1971
The previously unpublished correspondence between one of the great women artists of the twentieth century and an eminent critic and museum director, these letters document the encounter of two Poles, Alina Szapocznikow and Ryszard Stanisławski, in a Europe still in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The letters bear witness to Szapocznikow’s artistic path, offering a rare window into her own work, as she was always reluctant to speak of herself and a traumatic past. They also yield a rich portrait, both complex and intimate, of their love, marriage, and friendship, in an epistolary romance penned with true literary flair. The letters are accompanied by comprehensive notes that illuminate their political and artistic context and impart further information on the lives of their authors and protagonists.
Life is short, is lovely, as long as it can be sincere, true, and strong, not sugary sentimental. Flowers are a miracle of nature and a joy to humanity. Although of course everything is a miracle of nature. The strongest word in your letter is “damned.” It was only then that I really felt how damned much you love me, and you don’t have to be sorry for that. (fragment)