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In comparison with painting and drawing works there were relatively few sculptural works of Zdzislaw Beksinski. The artist constantly stressed that it had not come from the lack of interest in this type of creativity (far from it), but had always been the cause of space limitations and the lack of appropriate conditions. The first art works – paintings-reliefs, which made Beksinski well-known in Polish art in the mid-50s, were created in the spirit of the allusive abstraction. Entering into the mainstream of the abstraction, the artist created his works in his own, independent way. In the 60s almost simultaneously with these extremely interesting, multi-plane, abstract works (which the substantial collection was given to the National Museum in Wroclaw by the artist at the time of his moving out from Sanok) there were made figural sculptures with literary titles. Apart from the large-size figural sculpture of  Hamlet the Sanok Museum is held an interesting cycle of heads made out of patinated plaster. Their irregular shape with many holes resemble somewhat skulls.

Diversifying the smooth surface of the material the artist used the negative form in these works deriveing the inspiration from works of Henry Moore. This sculpture enters into dialogue with space, fills it and simultaneously absorbs into itself. The museum has also several metal reliefs which correspond compositionally with drawings executed at the same time, in the 60s. These works present simplified faces in en face convention whose essential elements – such as eyes, mouth and nose are multiplied. Beksinski's abstract creativity being a response to the contemporary looming trends in the European art, is one of the most interesting phenomena of the rising avant-garde at that time. Extraordinary originality of researches as well as talent were appreciated by the contemporary president of the AICA and the director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York who offered to Beksinski a half year scholarship in the United States. The artist did not take advantage of the offer.
Undoubtedly, this small in amount but an outstanding sculptural creativity along with paintings-reliefs has also contributed to the fact that Beksinski appears as one of the most interesting the avant-garde artists of the late 50s and 60s.  

Dorota Szomko-Osękowska
Translated by Piotr Zelny

 

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