An exhibition presenting thirty years of artistic oeuvre of two painters from Kraków, originating from the independent culture movement that emerged during the Martial Law. The idea is to confront two artistic attitudes close in age, but stylistically different it is also a reminder of the artistic importance of the sources of their art. It consists of three chronological topics:
– The 1980s. The art of social involvement; the political context of the decade The 1990s. Towards a new post-communist reality. Decade of Transformation Beginning of the Century; painting of the years 2000-2011
The presentation is accompanied by a scientific publication: Three Decades: 1981-2011. Painting and transformation based on the art of Romuald Oramus and Stanisław Sobolewski, published by the Pedagogical University in Kraków, in cooperation with the Municipal Gallery bwa in Częstochowa and the Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz. The book includes texts by art historians: Prof. Renata Rogozińska (Academy of Fine Arts Poznań), Prof. Tomasz Gryglewicz (Jagiellonian University, Kraków) derived from various research perspectives, presenting different artistic and scientific environments, and thus presenting a complementary point of view at the oeuvre of both artists. Jerzy Brukwicki, who started his activities as an organiser and art dealer in the circles of independent culture, depicted the nationwide background of changes in the art of the close of 20th and beginning of 21st century, emphasising the 1980s, when both artists debuted.
1980s. The art of social involvement; the political context of the decade The turn of the 1970s and 1980s debut of the artists. In their work, one can see figurative and object motifs; in painting, Oramus creates narrative scenes with many figures and broad range of colours, while in graphics the similar motifs are dominated by the expression of black and white. At the same time, Sobolewski takes up existential themes, symbolic human figures, with a certain – typical for him – range of objects, staffage of a degraded and imperfect reality. Colours of these works are clearly constructed around gray and achromatic tones. Although the time context of the Krakow painters’ debut puts their work in the area of opposition attitudes, in both cases they are spared a narrow and simplified classification due to their humorous and ironic look at the reality of the 1980s decade. Nevertheless, we spot the elements of seriousness and drama of the time.
1990s. Towards a new post-communist reality. Decade of Transformation Oramus and Sobolewski’s painting is subject to content and form changes. Both take up subjects immersed more in the individual and personal dimension of life, than in the context of collective experiences. The period of transformation after 1989 is the situation of checking each other and verifying the post-August ethos. Big topics previously discussed disappear and give place to questions concerning the effects of the fight time and the sense of the new mythologies.
A look at the new political reality, additional Mediterranean influences, as well as traces of popular culture cause a change in the formal structure of the images. In the works by both Oramus and Sobolewski we perceive the motifs of extensive, expanded spatial context of the discussed content, often showing a landscape or the whole or parts of interiors. There is greater than in the previous decade – a sensuality of painting effects, a wide range of variable and shimmering matter, opposed to firm planes of synthetic colour.
Beginning of the Century; paintings from the years 2000-2011
Contents and forms of the paintings by Oramus and Sobolewski continue the changes already visible at the end of the 20th century. At some point Oramus gives up presenting human figures, restricts figurativeness of forms to architectural and spatial arrangements and details (the set of “Realne nierealne” works). Not fully determined interiors on the verge of concrete and abstract, in the Cathedral cycle take on a form of dynamic illusions of sacred spaces. At the same time, Sobolewski is painting Bramy (Gates), still spinning philosophical reflections with ancient undertones. In recent years, he immersed himself in the metaphor of talking about space in the Perspektywy (Perspectives) series. The spatial context, however, has no architectural connotations here. The perversity of the title leads us toward more symbolic meanings, still existential, in which the point of view is dependent on an individual context of life and experience.
Romuald Oramus was born in 1953 in Kraków. Here, too, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (1974-1979). Got his diploma under the tuition of Prof. Adam Marczyński, together with a graphic art appendix in the study of Prof. Mieczysław Wejman. In 1989, he was on several weeks’ artistic scholarship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. In the 1980s, participated in the movement of independent culture. Member of the Association of Polish Artists since 1981. As a professor, he teaches painting and drawing at the Pedagogical University of Kraków. He does easel painting and workshop graphics, writes essays about art. He rxhibited his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad, and his works are in private and public collections, among others at the National Museum in Kraków, in the National Library in Warszawa, archdiocesean museums in Warszawa, Katowice and Kraków, in the Silesian Museum in Katowice, City Art Gallery BWA in Nowy Sącz, the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt an der Oder, the Verband der Deutschen Automatenindustrie e.V collection (VDAI) in Berlin.
Stanisław Sobolewski was born in 1952 in Kraków. He studied at the Faculty of Philology at the Jagiellonian University (1971-1976) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków in Prof. Zbigniew Grzybowski’s study (1974–1979). In 1989-1990, the trainee with Prof. Stefan Gierowski. He practices painting easel; member of the Association of Polish Artists (since 1980). From 1979, connected to the Pedagogical University in Krakow, where he teaches painting and drawing. In 2000, received the title of Professor. In the years 1982-1989, participant of the independent cultural movement. His works were exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad, and his work can be found in private and public collections, including the National Museum in Kraków, Historical Museum of the City of Kraków, Archdiocese Museum in Warszawa, Gradski Muzej Vukovar (Croatia), in the Gallery of Sacred Art “Dom Praczki” in Kielce and in collections of the Society of Friends of Fine Arts in Kraków.