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2004 | 17 | 139-164

Article title

Where To, Man? Or on the Artistic Quests of Stanislaw Kubicki


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Stanislaw Kubicki has been for long recognised as one of the most acclaimed representatives of Expressionism and abstract art in Poland, and a leading member of the Central European avantgarde. Nonetheless, one may speak about a true renaissance of the reception of his oeuvre only within the context of recent exhibitions held in Poland, Europe and America. Kubicki combined the talents of a poet and a painter, as well as a practician and a theoretician. His key work is the drawing 'Where To?', which closed the period of post-Impressionist, Expressionist and Cubist experiments and opened a mature phase in his works. Blending elements of the image and the word, this composition could be recognised as a pars pro toto of the artist's accomplishments. It is precisely the interdisciplinary nature of Kubicki's efforts which, alongside their ambiguity, have for long created an obstacle for all attempts at a synthesis of his oeuvre. In Poznan Kubicki was the co-founder of the first Polish Expressionistic group 'Bunt'. Together with his wife, Margarete, a German artist and poet, he initiated Bunt's contacts (publications and exhibitions) with the German Expressionist periodical 'Die Aktion', whose culmination was a Bunt exhibition in Berlin in June 1918. 'Zdrój' honoured the artist by devoting to him a special issue. His graphic and literary works were presented in 'Der Sturm', 'Der Weg', 'Die Bücherkiste' and 'a-z'. Kubicki was the co-organiser of the 'Die Kommune' group and the 'Gruppe progessiver Künstler'. His most outstanding achievements, however, are not part of the activity of the assorted groups with which he was connected. The process of ascribing his works to the chronology of art groups has for long hampered a perception of the essence of his individual profile and the significance of bonds between various aspects of his creativity. It was Kubicki's intention to revolutionise the image of art and society. Alongside anti-aesthetic and activist postulates, his texts contained ecological motifs which dominated his mature works - artistic, theoretical and literary. The discovery of the all-sided nature of Kubicki's efforts, and the stylistic and ideological qualities of his mature compositions cast a new light on the artist's work.







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  • L. Gluchowska, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin


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