"The Malczewskis. The Son Figure"
The National Museum in Szczecin
Wały Chrobrego 3 | Wały Chrobrego 3

The son figure son invokes the problem of men’s growing up in patriarchal culture. After psychoanalysis and taking a look at the role of women in this culture, one may wonder what consequences it brings to men. There emerge questions of what they lost and gained confronting the society’s expectations that regard the role of a patriarch – the one who decides about the family and who is the centre of the society.

It could seem that the relation between the son and the father is the natural key to present the output of both Malczewskis. But both biographies show, that the “father and son” juxtaposition is not the only possibility. It puts the accent on Jacek Malczewski’s superiority. It highlights the weight of Rafał Malczewski’s confronting the face of his father, who was a renown painter – it is an important, although not the only one, part of the relation that interests me. It took the shape of a legend, which influences other aspects of this double biography. And they are the ones that seem the most interesting. The aim of the exhibition is not following the influence of great father on – however – less famous son. Let us look at both Jacek and Rafał as sons.

Confrontation with his own father (vitally influential in the output) happened to Jacek Malczewski as well. Julian Malczewski (Jacek’s father) has greatly dedicated his life to educate his son and to care for his artistic way. Father’s financial and intellectual support has decided about Jacek Malczewski’s career. It had, however, the second face: it became a kind of oppression – expectations that talented son had to confront. As the response, Jacek Malczewski decided not to interfere with his son’s choices and decisions.

The sons may be also discussed because of other reasons. Rafał Malczewski as a son learned to paint from his father. Young Malczewski was growing up in the world of art. Since his early childhood he learned the master’s workshop. However, what is important, Jacek Malczewski also learned from his descendant – to a certain degree becoming his son. Their output is an effect of a long-lasting dialogue.

The exhibition is divided into three parts. The first one – “Synchorny, or the Meeting” – shows the relation between the artists – from Rafał Malczewski’s early childhood to his mature painting. “Synecdoche, or Faces” is a part in which one may observe the fragments that are peculiar for both painters’ output. This group of works presents, among others, social roles they had to confront. The last part – “Sonland – the Fatherland of the Sons” – makes it possible to observe the culmination of struggling social and cultural pressure on the example of both Malczewskis’ ways of constructing  their own fatherlands.

The exhibition presents works from of The National Museum in Szczecin, The National Museum in Poznań, The National Museum in Warsaw, Jacek Malczewski Museum in Radom and from a private collection. The event is accompanied by a publication.


"The Malczewskis. The Son Figure"

The National Museum in Szczecin, 3 Wały Chrobrego St.

June 7th – July 23rd 2017

vernissage: June 7th 2017, 6.00 P.M., free entrance


curator: Dr. Beata Małgorzata Wolska


honorary patronage: Olgierd Geblewicz, the Marshall of West-Pomeranian Voivodeship

exhibition co-funding: Roman Roszkiewicz