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Impressive exhibition of Jerzy Krawczyk's work in Łódź's MS2 gallery

11.08.2022 22:00
Collection of Jerzy Krawczyk's paintings interprets the artist's work as confronting his wartime experiences in Łódź. Exhibition continues till 25.9.2022.
Painting-collage by Jerzy Krawczyk
"Painting-collage" by Jerzy Krawczykpress material

The curators (working in conjunction with Warsaw's Zachęta Gallery) have interpreted the work of one of Poland's most original artists as a confrontation with his wartime experiences, especially the trauma of living during the Holocaust and being powerless to help. 

Jerzy Krawczyk was born in Łódź in 1921 and died there by suicide in 1969. He spent the war performing forced labour in Dortmund.

Like the Irish-British artist Francis Bacon, whose artistic development is similar in time and manner, the war provided the impetus for Krawczyk, his first public exhibition taking place in 1945.

The exhibition in Łódź begins with a tryptych: "The paintings Quasimodo - Jurek, Birkenau (Sawmill) and Mice and Men constitute the key to the entire exhibition and emphasize the significance of the Jewish tragedy for Krawczyk."

"In addition to the very representation of camp scenes, pictures of German officers and portraits of the Jewish community, what is depicted here as well is the void: empty streets or objects without owners. The world had fallen into pieces." (From the museum website.)

The MS2 museum also has an extensive permanent exhibition of Polish and international modern art, "Atlas of Modernity". It is effectively arranged along the innovative lines of an "atlas" - a map of modernity, based on the main concepts of modern civilisation - progress, identity, capitalism etc. - rather than the traditional gallery arrangement of a chronology of major artists.

The name "Atlas" is also perhaps a nod to the legendary private Łódź gallery "Atlas of Art Gallery" which operated from 2003 to 2017. Well worth a trip to Łódź.  

Sources: Museum website