Gallery 2
19.02 -9.04.2000

Andrzej Dluzniewski Andrzej Dluzniewski, sculpture
---- Curator: Wojciech Krukowski

Exhibition opening 18.02, 6 p.m.



Andrzej Dluzniewski called his previous exhibition, held at the Centre for Contemporary Art (1991) and constituting a certain summary of his earlier experience, "Words and Things". It would be good to relate the artist's activities, documented within this presentation and existing somewhere in-between philosophical reflection and issues associated with conceptual art, to the beliefs expressed in the philosophical works by Ludwig Wittgenstein:

I want to speak of the world the way I found it.
What others have told me about it constitutes barely a minute and secondary part of my experiencing the world.
It is me who is supposed to judge the world, measure things.
The way in which the language conveys meaning is reflected in its usage.
Art is a certain expression.
A good work of art is a complete expression.

[L. Wittgenstein, "Diaries 1914 - 1916"]

Dluzniewski expressed his belief in the exclusive mission of art in the following statement: I believe that art has tasks other than just reacting to the reality. It is the reality that should react to art.
As well as:
What is the factor decisive in the ascribing concepts and notions to a specific gender? [...] Do the male, the female and the neutral zone constitute semantic fields? [...] I am interested in this primary, non-linguistic issue - the relationship between sense and gender.

Such a selection of this narrowed-down field of creative investigation makes one think of the determination of genetic research, limiting the experiential sphere to the increasingly basic, elementary units of the code which controls life processes happening at the macro level.

It would seem that the sphere of interests of Andrzej Dluzniewski continues to encompass the axioms, the pre-existing world classification order. The artist exposes them to a quasi-laboratory procedure, by providing them with a meaningful frame - the limit of the painting, the colour, the tectonics of a three-dimensional object. Records of notions and concepts are placed against a meticulously selected background and suffer the test of paradox, altered context, alienation from their natural surroundings.

The clash between the natural (or so it would seem) attribution of concepts to well-set tracks on the one hand, and the artist-imposed context, on the other, activates our attitude towards traditional locations of meanings. Ideas such as the "European globe" and the "Globe of the Earth and Sky" offer a new carrying power and enhance the potential of multiple meanings behind the symbols etched in the memory of the our civilisation.

The specific, most personal system of visual language seems to constitute yet another, separate issue. This system allows us to locate Dluzniewski's tautologies within the context of accepted standards of artistic expression. Especially striking is the persistently purist, reductionist manner of treating the artistic object of art (the carrier of semantic messages), as well as the way in which its autonomous features, relating to the concept of art itself, are exposed. A painting, object, installation, contain only as many features of the matter, associated with the work of art (colour which outlines the painting, greyness of the canvass, directions pointed at by the „signpost" arms carrying verbal signs), as are needed in order to show the characteristics of an object which carries a universal meaning. Such an object, without losing the features of a medium carrying philosophical questions incorporated into art, serves the purposes of creative speculation, which provides the vitality to the question about the very nature of a work of art.

Andrzej Dluzniewski acts like someone who has outlined the limits, both for himself and for art, the limits which would prevent him from leaving the field of philosophical and creative investigation prematurely. He moves within this field cautiously and without haste, as if fully aware of the price paid for the exceptional attitude towards art and towards life, which took so long to work out.

A life devoted to cognition is a happy one, in spite of the world's misery.

Translation: Maria Wanat

Andrzej Dluzniewski - born in Poznan on 3rd August 1939.

In 1958 he began his studies at the Department of Architecture of Wroclaw Polytechnics, which he stopped in his second year. He moved to Warsaw, where he attended lectures at the Philosophy Faculty of Warsaw University in 1960/61. In 1962-68 he studied at the Department of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in prof. Marian Wnuk’s Studio of Sculpture and in prof. Oskar Hansen’s studio. In 1970 he started his work at the Faculty of Interior Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw as an assistant at the Department of General Design chaired by Andrzej Jan Wróblewski, where in 1991 he was nominated an assistant professor. In 1971-73 he was a lecturer at the State College of Visual Arts in Lódz.

Since 1980 together with his wife Emilia Malgorzata he has been organising exhibitions, lectures, meetings of artists from Poland and abroad (including many Fluxus artists) in his flat in 20 Piwna street. On the map of the artistic life of the eighties Piwna took an alternative position within the network of galleries divided into official (boycotted) and oppositional ones.

After completing his studies he simultaneously worked within different areas of painting, drawing, poster, photography, installations as well as various forms of literature from fiction to concrete poetry. His interest in linguistics and working with the variety of non-traditional media brought him closer to conceptual art. In Dluzniewski’s work the type of reflection, which through making use of words and pictures materialises its meanings beyond them, found its expression in his cycles of collages. In the middle of the eighties the artist concentrated his interests on examining the relations between the sense of words and their grammatical gender in various languages, introducing to these investigations an element of colour as a non-verbal element which is a symbolic as well as arranging factor.

Exhibition in CCA in Warsaw is the first individual presentation of his work since 1997, when he lost eyesight due to a car accident. During the exhibition a meeting with the artist will take place, on the occasion of edition of his new book entitled Take-off./ Odlot.

Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle
Al.Ujazdowskie 6, 00-461 Warsaw, Poland
tel: (48 22) 628 12 71-3, (48 22) 628 76 83 ; fax: (48 22) 628 95 50