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Aleksander Żywiecki b. 15 July 1962, Polish painter specializing in realist landscape painting

Life

Education

Aleksander Żywiecki was born In Katowice. In the years 1977-82 he attended the Specialist Art Secondary School in Katowice. Then he studied in the Faculty of Graphics at the Katowice branch of the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts (1982–88), under the direction of Jacek Rykała for painting and drawing, Adam Romaniuk for Graphical Design, and Stanisław Gawron in Graphics, which he presented in his Diploma project.[1][2]

Exhibitions

As a student Aleksander Żywiecki contributed to numerous exhibitions and art competitions, including the Tenth All-Polish Students Graphic Competition and the Second All-Polish Students New Different Book Exhibition, Poznań, where he won awards. After graduation he was invited by owners of European and world galleries; he presented his works in Germany (the post-plein air exhibition in Sahlmule, 1993), in Blegium (Gallery Centre Culturel Jean Degous, Beloeil, Belgium 2001) and in the USA (Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, USA 2000)[3]

Author of over 30 individual exhibitions in Poland, of which the most important include: exhibition in the gallery Arkada, Wrocław, 1997, cyclical exhibitions in the gallery Kocioł Artystyczny, Cracow (1997, 1999, 2002, 2006), exhibition in Galeria Sztuki Chorzów 2007,[4] retrospective exhibition in Silesian Museum in Katowice (1999), exhibition in the Polish Radio Katowice (Na Żywo, Katowice, 2003), retrospective exhibition in the gallery Panorama[5] (Tomaszowice near Cracow, 2010) and an exhibition in Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej, Kołobrzeg 2013.

Plein air

Aleksander Żywiecki is a plein air artist. He participated in plein air sessions in Poland in such places as the Biebrza Valley, Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, Polesie, the Białowieża Forest and Ujście Warty National Park. In the years 2008 and 2009 he traveled several times to the Ukraine to the regions of the former Kresy (Eastern Borderlands). At that period he made multiple drawings and oil paintings presenting the Dniestr landscape. Among the paintings created at that time is “The Dniestr at Mariampol at Dusk”, which is one of the most prominent works in the output of that artist.

Painting and Drawing

Inspirations

At the source of Aleksander Żywiecki’s art lies his fascination with the aesthetics and poetics of the Stimmung landscape painting of the Munich School of the late Nineteenth and the early Twentieth century, where the emotional and climatic visions of the wild nature are identified with the “inner landscape” of emotional states of the human soul.[6]

Features of the Style, Subject Matter

In the 1980s, in the early period of his career, the artist used to create abstract postmodern art and to experiment with the modern media and untypical materials. But, as Jerzy Madeyski reports, the young painter „soon noticed that abstract art can only render the most general impressions and feelings, and that wasn’t enough for him. Abstract art started to be boring and palled on him.”[7]

In the early 1990’s he focussed on nature which since that time became the sole theme of his painting. Simultaneously he gave up formal experiments and decided to paint landscape applying the traditional artistic techniques.

The nature in Żywiecki’s paintings exists apart from man and is free from human influence. As Madeyski comments, Aleksander Żywiecki “paints unpeopled landscapes, unspoiled by the once fashionable or even indispensable prop or vestige of human activity.”[8] In his works nature is barren, wild and it appears in various moods; sometimes it is hostile and brutally dramatic, sometimes calm, mild, even idyllic. In whatever aspect it shows itself to the viewer, it always remains independent and primeval, unadulterated by the civilisation, unsubdued by man.[9]

In his mature works the painter’s style becomes synthetic; his objective on the formal side is maximum simplicity. Material objects and narrative elements, considered redundant, are eliminated. The landscape becomes reduced to immaterial forces of nature and ungraspable impressions such as vast vacuous spaces, the darkness in the heart of woods or atmospheric phenomena eg. the pre-storm blackness of heavens, the mist or the gust of wind during torrential rain.[10]

Technique

The colours in Aleksander Żywiecki’s paintings are subordinated to the mood and the associated emotional contents. There is no attempt to seek for mutual relationship between hues or to investigate into the relationship between colour and light, which was so characteristic for the style of the impressionists. Conversely, in Żywiecki’s works colour is local. The range of his palette is limited to earth tones of subtle monochromatic value transitions, in which the Polish painter’s style resembles the virtuoso technique of the Munich school paintings of the Nineteenth century. The analogy between Żywiecki’s style and the manner of painting of the Munich masters is also visible in the way in which the artist applies paint: his brush strokes are broad, made by firm hand while, at the same time, much attention is put to the aesthetics of the painterly aspect and to the correctness of drawing which, however, lacks pictorial detail.

Group 4 Landscapes

In July 2012 Aleksander Żywiecki initiated the 4 Landcapes group, which included: Aleksander Żywiecki, Andrzej Kacperek, Paweł Kotwicz and Jan Wołek. Aleksander Żywiecki was the co-author of the group’s manifesto stating that an important aim of the group 4 Landscapes is to stop the monopoly of the art promoted by the 21st century Academia and to pave way for all contemporary tendencies in painting, including those whose objective is to give aesthetic pleasure ad arouse emotions.[11]

Drawing

Apart from oil paintings Aleksander Żywiecki’s output includes also drawings. Many of the sketches were executed with the graphite pencil or, more often, with a broad graphite bar, the tool which enabled the artist to achieve painterly effects. Multiple drawings are studies for paintings but a many of them function as independent finished works and are treated on equal basis with the artist’s paintings. The largest collections of drawings are those representing the Białowieża Forest or the Rogalin Oks or the works made in Polesie and the Biebrza Marshes.[12]

References

  1. Aleksander Żywiecki, Malarstwo. Polskie Pejzaże, Kraków: Biuro Informacyjno-Prawne AKCEPT S.A., 2000, ISBN 83-911759-0-1. p. 67
  2. Aleksander Żywiecki Studia i Szkice, Katowice: Polskie Radio Katowice, 2003, ISBN 83-915545-6-2.
  3. Aleksander Żywiecki, Malarstwo. Polskie Pejzaże, Kraków: Biuro Informacyjno-Prawne AKCEPT S.A., 2000, ISBN 83-911759-0-1. p. 67
  4. http://www.galeriamm.eu/prezentacja/harmonogram_wystaw.php?id=87
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyqQ1xeP-70
  6. Jerzy Madeyski, Introduction in:Aleksander Żywiecki, Malarstwo. Polskie Pejzaże, Kraków: Biuro Informacyjno-Prawne AKCEPT S.A., 2000, ISBN 83-911759-0-1. p. 73-74
  7. Madeyski 72
  8. Madeyski 73
  9. Madeyski 73
  10. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.507324232670699.1073741835.505306506205805&type=3
  11. http://4pejzaze.iportfolio.pl/?p=about
  12. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.507648819304907.1073741836.505306506205805&type=3

Bibliography

  • Madeyski Jerzy, "Introduction" in: Aleksander Żywiecki, Malarstwo. Polskie Pejzaże, Kraków: Biuro Informacyjno-Prawne AKCEPT S.A., 2000, ISBN 83-911759-0-1.
  • Oracz Marta, „Aleksander Żywiecki”, in: Inicjatywy Gospodarcze, Ogólnopolski Magazyn Społeczno-Gospodarczy nr 1 (50), March 2014. ISSN 1641-2931, pp. 22–23.
  • Szczawiński Maciej M., „Niebezpieczna podróż” in: Aleksander Żywiecki Studia i Szkice, Katowice: Polskie Radio Katowice, 2003, ISBN 83-915545-6-2.
  • Żywiecki Aleksander, „Po co nam ta sztuka” in: Nasze Kontakty. Regiony Europy i Świata, December 2012, ISSN 1429 8422. pp. 47–50.

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