The National Museum in Szczecin Exhibition in Świnoujście "MAGIC OF WORLDS. Fantastical Landscapes"
Galeria ART Świnoujście | Świnoujście, ul. Wojska Polskiego 1/1

"MAGIC OF WORLDS. Fantastical Landscapes from the Collection of The National Museum in Szczecin”

Artists:  Zdzisław Beksiński, Jerzy Gumiela, Anna Günter, Zdzisław Kępiński, Ryszard Kiełtyka, Stanisław Kortyka, Zbigniew Makowski, Andrzej Rocławski, Henryk Waniek, Wojciech Zieliński, Zenon Windak.

Galeria Art. Miejskiego Domu Kultury w Świnoujściu

Exhibition open until August 15th 2018
Vernissage: July 29th, 5.00 P.M.

Curators: Lech Karwowski (NMS), Andrzej Pawełczyk (ms44)

The Gallery opening hours from Tuesday to Saturday: 12.00 at noon–6.00 p.m.
Monday, Sunday: closed
(During Gechuta Festival Świnoujście, July 30th – 12.00 at noon–6.00 p.m.) 

Free entrance.

Museums, recording the current artistic life, buy not only works preferred by large collector markets. They also collect paintings that seem to be independent of great artistic discussions in the worldwide and Polish press devoted to contemporary art. Regardless of what is trendy at the moment - conceptual, critical, installation, ephemeral, or other art, there are painters who stick to the traditional, classic form of the image - "windows to the world".

This kind of painting, although not particularly publicized by critics, is not only a frequently used artistic medium, but is also invariably valued by "non-professional" audience. Some authors of this trend even achieve an almost star-like reputation, like Zbigniew Beksiński, who did not shy away from the experiment and new media. However, considering the formula of the picture as a "window to the world", it is impossible to notice that a fundamental change took place in this painting. Insight into reality has always been associated with the improvement of the technique of achieving spatial illusion, which was also the cause and effect of burdening the painting with many documentary functions. It was released from these functions by photography and film.

What reality then began to be depicted by illusionary painting, freed from social tasks, which were once charged to it by, for example, the doctrine of realism or illustrative needs, including scientific ones? What is this contemporary painting landscape, viewed through a window marked with the picture frames? The most general answer is: it is an internal landscape. Tools developed for achieving illusion fit perfectly into the reality of fantasy. It is like a natural prolongation of sleep, and whatever happens to us in a dream is an illusion of reality in which we move as if in a fog unexpectedly connecting places and times. Stanisław Witkiewicz, a theoretician of realism, believed that the picture can represent any reality, provided that the consequences in the logic of lighting extracting objects from space are kept. But in reality of dream, even this rule does not apply.

What, however, can be represented by the oneiric world of fantasy? Does it give an insight into the artist's internal world, his dreams, obsessions, fascinations and traumas? The harsh glow that extracts obscure fragments from the shadow or mists enveloping the details of mysterious worlds, in turn, provoke the imagination of the audience, trying to follow the traces of the author's psyche. One can imagine that vague shapes are remains of torment or joy, memories or dreams. However, the tracks can be confusing. Many painters refrained from conceptualizing their visions, like Beksiński, who claimed that he was absorbed by purely painting problems. In a vaguely defined space, painting masses simply levitate, lights flicker and shadows lie. Even if this is the point, it remains a mystery why painting problems are manifested through gloomy fantasies. This is not revealed by the author. Only now, after his death, the publishers began exploiting the literary legacy of the popular loner. His stories, literary sketches and extensive correspondence collections have been made public. As a result, there will probably be many interpretations attempting to connect the world of literature and painting.

Other painters, in turn, do not hide their fascinations with the mysterious symbol systems present in ancient and contemporary esoteric literature, such as Zbigniew Makowski. For Henryk Waniek, who is also a writer of unusual erudition, the most important meaning seems to be the Silesian mystic.

Ilusive painting still gives artists the opportunity to pursue their fantasies, and they are the subject of the exhibition Magic of Worlds, a show of paintings extracted from the discreet semi-darkness of storages into the bright splendor of the gallery.

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During GRECHUTA FESTIVAL ŚWINOUJŚCIE 2018, that is from July 29th to August 3rd, 2018, the exhibition will be accompanied by "De Profundis - Beksinski VR", a journey through the world of paintings by Zdzisław Beksiński in virtual reality.

De Profundis - Beksiński VR is a fully immersive, virtual reality based experience that allows the viewer to explore the spaces of the artist's most famous paintings. The idea behind the project, created by the 11th Dimension studio, is to give the lovers of painting a new form of interaction with art. The journey is accompanied by ambient music and surrounding sounds, making it even more realistic. VR glasses, for which experience has been created, isolate the viewer from the outside world, allowing for a personal journey into the space of images. An eight-minute projection leads the visitor through four surreal worlds from the borderline of waking and sleep. Software elements of the environment and animations of characters from Beksiński's original paintings engage the user and heighten the impression of moving to another place. The journey is preceded by a walk in a virtual gallery containing the most famous works of the painter.

11th Dimension is a VR production studio specializing in creating engaging applications, visualization of space and artistic installations based on real-time rendered graphics. The creators of the studio as the first in the world created an experience allowing to penetrate the world of a traditional work of art, animating its static space in virtual reality. The De Profundis - Beksiński VR project has been accompanying the exhibitions of Zdzisław Beksiński's works in Poland and abroad since 2015. The studio's realizations can also be seen since 2017 at the Bydgoszcz Art Center where virtual reality allows a walk among animated sculptures in the Stone Garden of Stanisław Horno Poplawski. The idea of the studio's activity in the field of art is to promote virtual reality as a tool that will revolutionize the museum market and will bring Polish artists closer to recipients around the world.