In my practice, I need to preserve – and first seize – a royal generality, and all encompassing cognoscibility; in it I need to encompass everything, that which I have experienced, and a great deal of what I only know (from books, stories), and, finally, even more of that which I don’t know, but which has to be inside of me, because I’m a son, a Pole, an intellectual, a frequent friend, a passer-by, a consoler. However, what I need here is to take well-considered action, subjected to discipline, which would guarantee me an adequate amount of nourishment. I know that by diminishing the influx of sensations, reducing contacts, I heighten my sensitivity.
– Andrzej Wróblewski / Notes, 1948
In a life cut short before the age of 30, Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–57) produced an impressive body of work consisting of paintings, drawings, and prints, and spanning both abstraction and figuration. Stepping against the formula of Polish Colourism that held sway in the art academies at the time, and in a bid to embrace the new doctrine of Socialist Realism, Wróblewski developed an original and distinct visual language.
In 1949, the artist created the “Execution” series comprising eight oil paintings with which he aimed to tackle the subject of the Second World War by also revisiting his own dramatic memories. In August 1941, the artist’s father died of a heart attack at their family home in Vilnius, during a search conducted by the Nazis. Later, when relocating to Kraków with his mother, Wróblewski witnessed the war-ravaged cities and countryside. The disfigured, mangled bodies are captured in different stages of transition between life and death, with the color blue denoting the deceased.