Exposition of the Polish artist Ryszard Winiarski accompanied the official la Biennale di Venezia, its 57th edition.The exposition is open till 26th November at Palazzo Bollani Castello 3647, Wenecja.
Wystawa jest przygotowana przez Fundacje Rodziny Starak.
Ryszard Winiarski is one of the most inventive artists of the second part of the 20th century. He was also an engineer, painter, stage designer, teacher, precursor of conceptual art, and the leading representative of indeterminism.
He was born on 2 May 1936 in Lviv and died on 14 December 2006 in Warsaw.
In the period 1953-1955 he studied at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Łódź University of Technology, and afterwards between 1955 and 1959 he studied at the Faculty of Precision Mechanical Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, where he earned the Master of Science degree. From 1955 he attended classes run by Zofia Matuszczyk-Cygańska at an arts centre in Warsaw’s Muranów neighbourhood. In 1958, he began attending Aleksander Kobzdej’s workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw as an auditing student, where he undertook his studies in 1960 at the Faculty of Painting, supervised by Stanisław Szczepański, Jan Wodyński and Aleksander Kobzdej. In addition, he studied stage design under Władysław Daszewski and typography under Julian Pałka. At the end of his studies he participated in the seminar dedicated to the relations of science and art delivered by Prof. Mieczysław Porębski. In 1966, he completed his studies with the diploma thesis titled “Event-Information-Image”, which constituted a theoretical interpretation for the series of paintings called “Attempts to Visually Represent Statistical Distributions”. In the same year Winiarski received the main prize at the 1st Symposium of Artists and Scientists “Art in the Changing World” in Puławy for an innovative theoretical concept executed by means of art.
Ryszard Winiarski’s works were presented at more than 500 collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including Canada, Colombia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Italy, India, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Venezuela, Spain. Major exhibitions: International Biennial in Sao Paulo (1969, 1971), Constructivist Biennial in Nuremberg (1969, 1971), Symposium in Gorinchem (1974), Historical Aspects of Constructismus, Düsseldorf (1977), “System and Coincidence,” Stuttgart (1978), “Polish Avant-Garde,” Edinburgh, Glasgow (1979), “Construction in Progress,” Łódź (1981), “The Language of Geometry,” Warsaw (1984), “Doppelte Identität,” Wiesbaden (1991), “Das offene Bild,” Münster (1992), “Polnische Avantgarde 1930-1990,” Berlin (1992),”Reduktivismus,” Vienna (1992).
Ryszard Winiarski’s pieces can be found in the Museum of Art in Łódź, National Museums in Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków and Poznań, the National Gallery of Art “Zachęta” in Warsaw, the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, District Museums in Bydgoszcz and Chełm, the Museum of Bochum, the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum in Ludwigshafen, the National Galerie Berlin West, MOCA Los Angeles, the McCeory collection in New York, the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, the Soto Museum in Venezuela and numerous museum and private collections.
In his diploma thesis of 1966, titled “Event-Information-Image”, he defined a mature and innovative concept of a piece of art based on an attempt at transferring the issues of mathematics, statistics, information technology, and game theory to canvas. The masterly intellectual game recorded in the square “Areas” built of black and white modules permitted the artist to vary effects and techniques. He created both relief, kinetic, spatial objects and interactive game boards, surprising viewers with an invitation to participate.
The exhibition demonstrates an impressive spectrum of visual effects of the artist’s explorations. Beginning with “Attempts at a visual presentation of statistical distributions” and “Penetration of illusory and real spaces”, to “Areas” constructed with mirrors with the use of the third dimension, to irregular “Sets” and randomised “Events”. The exhibition is complemented with “Game Parlour” composed of a set of board games of 1976, where we encourage, after Winiarski, active participation in the process of creating visual objects similar to those of the artist’s. The painting fields which earlier had been artistically arranged were replaced by plain boards, places for games.
The idea chosen and applied by Ryszard Winiarski has developed into a programme with a prophetic value that could not be foreseen at the time of his activity. His bold vision of incorporating the real information in the painting, binary aesthetics, and use of participation perfectly fit Ryszard Winiarski’s oeuvre of the 1970s into such widespread contemporary phenomena as development of visual communication, dominance of digital narrations, universality of participation, popularity of QR codes.
Exhibited works by Ryszard Winiarski come from: Anna and Jerzy Starak Collection, the collection of the artist’s family, private collections and the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź.
When commencing a construction of a painting or an object (I usually call them “areas”, as I am not sure whether the name “painting” corresponds to their nature), I determine the rules of conduct, rules of the game first, and then I invite chance to participate in the project. The source of chance may be a coin, a dice, a roulette, a board with random numbers, or even a properly programmed computer. A specific contest subject to the laws of the logic of chance takes place on the surface or in the space. Together with the growing number of programmes the rules of the game become increasingly more complicated, the random variable faces more and more new tasks, and thus the areas pass from the simplest to more and more complex ones.
The leaflet used in Venice is based on the exposition in the 70s in Gorinchem, the Netherlands.
© Starak Family Foundation