Andrzej Łobodziński. Works of 1956-1972
The exhibition by Andrzej Łobodziński – one of the leading representatives of the Łódź neo-avant-garde – will present two parallel, complementary trends in his artistic activity: painting and experimental sound art, which was created in cooperation with Ireneusz Pierzgalski and Krystyn Zieliński. These artists were pioneers of acoustic experiments in Polish art in the late 1960s and early 1970s, creating ephemeral performances and sound installations, presented, among others, at the Foksal Gallery in 1968 and the Museum of Art in Łódź in 1972. Lobodzinski's paintings will be represented by works dating from 1956-1964, characteristic of the early period of his artistic path. The exhibition will feature paintings in the style of tachism, created shortly after graduating from the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Łódź, as well as a series of “line” paintings from 1958-1962, a series of “gun” paintings from 1961-1963 and a slightly later series of collages. The area of experimental sound creation will materialize in the form of exhibited objects – devices that Łobodziński and Zieliński used to compose their Audycje – environmental sound works. One version of this work, made in the Foksal Gallery in 1968, will be reminded to the viewers through photographic documentation by Tadeusz Rolke. The exhibition will also feature an instrument designed in cooperation with Ireneusz Pierzgalski, probably the first object of this kind in Poland – the Klantata instrument (1965), generating sounds using bamboo rods suspended inside a rectangular container.
ms1, 43 Gdańska St.
The beginnings of Andrzej Łobodziński’s creative path can be associated with the tachism movement. For many representatives of the Polish avant-garde at that historical moment of the second half of the 1950s, it embodied the liberation of the painterly matter from figurative or formal conventions and the focus on the processuality of painterly creation. Tachism, including one of its variants – art informel - emerged in Europe just after World War II as a movement opposing the rationalism of geometric abstraction and seeking the sources of creativity in intuition and the forces of the unconscious. The intellectual structure of the composition of the work was to be replaced by a spontaneously developing creative process, in which the material properties of the materials and pigments used by the artists played a key role. Early paintings by Andrzej Łobodziński, as the curator of the exhibition, Paweł Polit, writes: "[...]are records of spontaneous interaction with the properties of paints distributed on the surface of the support. […] The effect of the fluidity of shapes and the specific «speed» of dashes is associated here with the artist's procedure of pouring nitro-lacquer on the surfaces of previously applied and dried layers.” The evolution of Łobodziński’s painting from the tachist period led to the extinction of color variations in favor of texture contrasts, which in turn led to the formulation of a new concept of the image, rejecting clear divisions of the picture plane. The result of transforming the compositional and ideological formula of the painting was a series of “line” paintings from 1958–1962. Their structure was open, based on a tension-filled balance of line layouts, freely inscribed in color fields. The artist created synthetic arrangements of “line” compositions using a special procedure, first using intuitively placed templates on the surface of the support to obtain line segments, and then applying a layer of oil painting on them. Łobodziński himself, writing later about the crystallization of his mature style, pointed to the key role of a peculiar painting ritual, which led to “the clash of the regular with the accidental, the inert with the active, the ideal with the material.” Abandoning for good the poetics of tachism, the painter continued to use painting procedures in which chance and intuition played an important role. This processual origin of Łobodziński’s paintings explains the effect of organicity of the linear arrangements with the pulsating planes of color. The way in which the drawing elements appeared in the structure of the composition invalidates the division into figure and background, and abolishes the division of the plane into clearly outlined shapes, strengthening the integrity of the painting field. The geometry of linear systems in Łobodziński’s paintings does not derive from a rationalized process of constructing forms but from painterly procedures of an improvised nature, in which an important role was played by applying successive layers of pigment combined with partially painting over the segments of lines previously applied with templates.
The next chapter in Andrzej Łobodziński 's artistic biography was turning to the properties and diversity of painting matter using the spray technique, which resulted in a series of “gun” paintings. Prior experience in informel art was crucial here. The artist chose painting tools and techniques that allowed for an almost mechanical composing process, using templates to obtain linear outlines.
In cycles of collages dating from the first half of the 1960s, there is a gradual simplification of the structure of the composition and a strengthening of contrasts in value and color. As Paweł Polit writes about them: “The repetition of parts piled up in collages, the arrangement of which is difficult for the recipient to cover with one glance, enriches them in the temporal dimension, suggesting associations with musical structures”. The artist was already interested in the issue of showing the passage of time in painting. Hence, in the mid-1960s, there was a turn to research using sound material, undertaken together with friendly artists: first Ireneusz Pierzgalski, and then Krystyn Zieliński. The fruit of this experimental activity were, among others, acoustic installations, entitled Audycje, created using sounds recorded first on a tape and then processed on specially constructed devices. During public presentations of the Audycje, among others, in the Foksal Gallery in 1968, the creators used the impression of sound movement to define space. Here, acoustic effects became the medium determining the parameters of the interior of the gallery. Audycje of Łobodziński and Pierzgalski were related to the explorations of other environmental artists of the period, including spatial and musical compositions by Henryk Morel, Teresa Kelm, and Zygmunt Krauze.
Andrzej Łobodziński's art is a separate chapter in the development of Polish post-war art. An important role in shaping his creative attitude was played by reference to intuition and chance as important factors stimulating the creative process. The study of the properties of painterly matter in relation to the formal structure of the image led him to develop a model of the composition of an open character, initiating a “flow of space” between the components of the image, and then to building sound sequences. The use of advanced technical means in creating sound compositions went hand in hand with the consistent development of the language of painting. The artist treated both areas of his work as mutually complementary and equally entitled to discover new aspects of art.
Organization of the exhibition "Andrzej Łobodziński - przestrzenie malarskie i dźwiękowe
Subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland
ms1, 43 Gdańska St.