Self-portrait, from the series 'Faces', the 1930s
gelatin silver print, vintage print on Baryta paper, 23.8 x 17.6 cm
Hammer price: 55 000 PLN 12 986 EUR
Estimate: 70 000 - 120 000 PLN 16 528 - 28 334 EUR
LiteratureRemembering Witkacy, Jan Leszczynski wrote: 'Endowed with an exceptional sense of humor, he masked his personality very much. Therefore, whoever did not know him more closely, usually only noticed the mask. That mask covered the distance between Witkacy and his surroundings. It created an artificial closeness which has never existed and could not exist.' (St. I. Witkiewicz, Fotografie [English: St. I. Witkiewicz, Photographs], Art Museum in Lodz, June- September 1979). 'The constant physicalization of the psyche through photography made Witkacy’s portraits, created over the period of about a dozen years, a kind of a scenic collage related to theater, as those two phenomena, present in Witkacy’s art, cannot be discussed separately. Those mini-scenes captured in photographs - of which many have been preserved - were records of moments, of quick ideas during trips, at tea at his acquaintances’,' wrote Grzegorz Musial in his text for the catalog of Witkacy’s photography exhibition in the Art Museum in Lodz (St. I. Witkiewicz, Fotografie, Art Museum in Lodz, June- September 1979). In his 'Post-mortem Autobiography', Witold Gombrowicz wrote: 'Witkacy seemed to me to be a very strong, even overpowering, personality, an excellent - if gloomy and unsettling - mind, an artist with great talents but who appeared to be tainted with perversion or a manner which made him - both in personal contact and in his writings - repulsive rather than attractive. However, from the perspective of the years which have passed, it looks like the spirit of the time is becoming more and more akin to that tragic soul. One must admit that he was ahead of his time and that it is only now that time has caught up with him' (Witold Gombrowicz, 'The Postmortem Autobiography', Krakow 2002). The rightness of that statement has been evidenced, without a doubt, by the success of Witkacy’s works on the contemporary art market. His photographs are among the most expensive items sold on auction lists.
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