REPLY TO STRZEMINSKI. THE IDEA OF UNIFORMITY IN POLISH CONCEPTUAL ART
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Polish conceptual art developed in the atmosphere of reservations in respect to the canons of the composition of the work of art proposed by the first avant-garde. The 'fatigue of form', characteristic of the European and American art of the 1960s, was shared by Polish artists as well, leading, just like in the West, to proposals that challenged clear-cut distinctions among the tradtional disciplines of art and provoked reflection on the meaning of art as an idea. Such proposals, however, did not mean total rejection of the tradition of the first avant-garde; on the contrary, the uniqueness of Polish conceptual art seems to have been determined by a polemic with that tradition, and particularly with the version of modernism proposed in the late 1920s and early 1930s by Wladyslaw Strzeminski. Several decades later, in the 1960s and 1970s, the artists of the neo-avant-garde, such as Wlodzimierz Borowski, Jerzy Rosolowicz, Zbigniew Gostomski, Andrzej Dluzniewski, Marian Warzecha, Jaroslaw Kozlowski, Zdzislaw Jurkiewicz, and Stanislaw Drózdz, by neutralizing some aspects of Strzeminski's attitude and developing others, proposed a model of reflection according to which the work of art opens to reality and becomes a process. The idea of the uniform composition of the work of art leads to a search for the most neutral artistic medium, using signs of natural language and developing systemic structures. The present paper identifies and describes that tendency which resulted in challenging the optical character of the work, and, by the same token, in its exclusion from the norms of the modernist paradigm of art.
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