Zdzisław Walczak, painter of Polish cavalry and horses, in 2010 started painting a new cycle of images titled „It was a world in a very old style, it was a world from behind the panes of an automobile, a beautiful world…” (fragment of a well-known song by Urszula Sipińska). He created a series of works based on a specific compositional scheme. First, an image is created with layers of paint in delicate yellow, green, blue or violet hues – a vague, abstract landscape. The author closes it with a „golden” bordure filled with simplified drawings, tiny motifs referencing the main representation. Onto this area he imposes the essential element – dominating, almost filling the canvas, optically sticking out of the bordure – old cars, motorcycles, other vehicles. They are painted with extraordinary precision, with attention to every little detail, one can say „hyperrealistically”. In the cars, he puts beautiful women and men in period costumes. Each painting contains an anecdote of some kind. These are peculiar genre scenes, stories of past times, complemented by the objects scattered in front of the vehicles. The author enriches the narration of his works with scenes placed in the background, with text and drawings. Landscapes are reflected in the cars’ bodies and panes. There are floral motifs, little bugs and flies at the lower part of the bordure – memories of ancient still lifes. With their costumes and poses, women allude to Tamara de Lempicka’s portraits, the reflected landscapes are fragments of paintings by Edward Hopper or Peter Miller, behind the wheel of the motorcycle there’s the Manet’s breakfast going on, deep inside one can see the riders from the Kossaks’ paintings. All this creates a multi-dimensional, multi-layered space. Each painting tells a real or imaginary story, in which Zdzisław Walczak includes his fascinations, interests, skills and his painting craftsmanship. He dedicated „Bugatti” to Tamara de Lempicka – „Young Lady with Gloves” behind the wheel, „Arums in the trunk”, „Tamara in the green Bugatti” in the background. „Rolls Royce” is a love story and, at the same time, a story of the figurine which is the brand of that car. And „Harley Davidson” is a hint of nostalgia for the soldiers of Monte Casino. The repeating composition scheme arranges the paintings like pages in an old album, or like a series of postcards from a bygone era.

Zdzisław Walczak was born on March 23rd, 1948, in Gdańsk-Oliwa. Lieutenant-colonel, engineer, painter. A graduate of the State School of Fine Arts in Bydgoszcz, Military Academy of Missile Forces and Artillery in Torun and the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk (study of Prof. Rajmund Pietkiewicz). For many years he was the head of the Art Study of the Club of the Pomorski Military District in Bydgoszcz. Battle scene painter fascinated by the image of horse and the history of Polish cavalry. Expert on weapons and the colours of the Polish Army. Oil, watercolour, dry pastel are his techniques. He painted approx. 800 works devoted to the Polish Army. Participated in about 40 group exhibitions: Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Grudziądz, Kołobrzeg, Legnica, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Rzeszów, Warsaw, Wrocław. He received numerous awards and distinctions. He was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit. His works are in the collections of many institutions, museums and private collections in the country and abroad. Some of the works, property of the Command of the Land Forces, are presented in the Warsaw Citadel.
Solo exhibitions
1984 – Pastels, BWA Little Salon of Art, Bydgoszcz
1991 – Image of Horse, Kołobrzeg
1992 – Cavalry of the 2nd Polish Republic, Museum of Cavalry, Grudziądz – Cavalry of the 2nd Polish Republic, POW Club, Bydgoszcz
1993 – Cavalry of the 2nd Polish Republic, Dobiegniew
1995 – Post Open-air exhibition, Naqoura, Lebanon – Post Open-air exhibition, Beirut, Lebanon
1999 – 1000 Years of Polish Army, Museum of Tradition of the Pomorski Military District, Bydgoszcz
1999 – Land Forces, the Lubomirscy Palace „Za Żelazną Bramą”, Warsaw
2001 – History of Polish Army, City Museum, Ostrów Wielkopolski
2003 – Let us not throw them out of memory – presentation, the Łazienki park, Warsaw
2004 – Immortals, Non Fere Gallery, Bydgoszcz
2006 – Let us not throw them out of memory, Teacher Club, Łódź
2007 – History painted with a brush, the Krajna Region Museum, Nakło on the Noteć – Horses, Braniewo Centre of Culture, Braniewo
2008 – Horses and Horses, Non Fere Gallery, Bydgoszcz
2009 – Horses and Horses, Stables, Gliszcz
2010 – Horses and Horses, Art Cafe Węgliszek, Municipal Centre of Culture, Bydgoszcz Awards
1991 – Award of the Department of Polish Army – „Image of Horse, Kołobrzeg
1993 – „Stirrup”, award of the director of the Museum of traditions of the Pomorski Military District „Cavalry of the 2nd Republic of Poland”, Bydgoszcz
1995 – Cavalry sabre design 1917, award of the director of the Department of Social Relations of the Ministry of National Defence for battle scene art – Warsaw
1996 – Award of the Chief of General Staff – „Art for Peace”, Warsaw
1997 – Honorary Award „Golden Brush” – „Service for Peace ’97”, Warsaw
1998 – Distinction – 4th Biennial of Art in Army ARS’98, Warsaw
2000 – Special Award – 5th Biennial of Art in Army ARS’2000, Warsaw
2002 – Special Award – 6th Biennial of Art in Army ARS’2002, Rzeszów
2002 – Medal for Service for the Polish Army
2006 – Honorary Award – „Drummer of the Wielkopolska Uprising”, Poznań

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