Polish artist Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–1957) is the subject of a solo-exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery in London. It is running until 14 April 2018.
Wróblewski’s fauve approach to figuration—sometimes merging human traits with geometric patterns— placed the body and people’s depiction at the centre of his oeuvre, while also addressing the limits of its representation.
His studies of the human figure are sensitively rendered in fields of empty space. When facial features are articulated, the subject’s gaze is often averted, hinting at impatience or absence. As art historian Noit Banai has noted, “In this extraordinarily precarious and plural historical moment, between the war’s end and the advent of Socialist Realism as official cultural policy, Andrzej Wróblewski developed a language of radical corporality in which a subject’s vulnerability to divergent relations of power was given tactile form.”
Highlights of the exhibition include work such as Mother with Dead Child (1949)—an additional painting from this series and among his best-known works— which addresses the subject of execution more directly. In this work, a child clutches his mother in a dark blue embrace. Wróblewski has used dark colours once again, this time to mark the difference between a person of this world and one who has recently departed from it.