Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz - Ghost, beginning of the 1930s
gelatin silver print, vintage print on Baryta paper, 10.5 x 15.5 cm
Hammer price: 60 000 PLN * 14 167 EUR
Estimate: 80 000 - 120 000 PLN 18 889 - 28 334 EUR
Expert opinions- Ewa Franczak and Stafan Okolowicz collection
- private collection, Germany
Exhibited- compare: Anna Micinska, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkkiewicz. Zycie i tworczosc, Warsaw 1991, il. 294
- compare: Przeciw nicosci. Fotografie Stanislawa Ignacego Witkiewicza , [selection and study] Ewa Franczak, Stefan Okolowicz, Cracow 1986, il. 299-304
LiteratureThis photographic work by Witkiewicz fits into the atmosphere of the inter-war avant-garde and even goes beyond, with excellence at every step. It also speaks to the modern imaginations of today. Witkacy's creative personality, seeking fulfillment in the absurd, nonsense and insanity, was close to the intuitions of the dadaists and surrealists. But in some ways, Witkacy tried to go much further, surpassing or bypassing the avant-garde contemporary to him. He became a precursor of the paratheatrical activity that would come half a century later - performance art, happenings and enactments. His pioneering in this field proved to be uniquely compelling and innovative, inscrutable even now, and continues to inspire many writers and artists of today. It is not without reason that critics in New York wrote of an exhibit of Witkacy's photographs in the USA, 'in our sterile times, it is very rare to discover a renown master of Witkacy’s class' who was 'a great forerunner of modernism, with manifold talents'. The critics acknowledged that 'Witkiewicz's photographs predate the conceptual photographs of Cindy Sherman by at least half a century'. Witkiewicz certainly did not take into account that, as a result of the art revolution in the 20th century and heightened interest in photography, starting from the 70’s, his photographic work would be displayed in art galleries not only in Europe, but also the largest museums in the world, notably American museums of the greatest renown: MOMA in New York - Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art , then one of the 10 largest museums, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, as well as LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. Witkiewicz never presented his photographs publicly. However, he was aware of what he had accomplished. Photography was of great importance to him as a reliable record that speaks to the imagination. This is precisely why photographs occupied a significant part of his private Muzeum Osobliwosci [Museum of Peculiarities], which he moved from
Zakopane to 23 Bracka street in Warsaw.
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