Zbigniew Makowski

BORN 1930, Warszawa

The materials used in Zbigniew Makowski’s paintings encompass the sign, the word, the letter, the numeral, and the arcane symbol. In an evocation of the Surrealist tradition, he often uses collage aesthetics. Surrealism remains an important source of inspiration for the artist who, in 1962, during his stay in Paris, met Andre Breton. Makowski is also fascinated by Oriental culture, the cabbalistic tradition, and mathematics. His pieces are like essays on painting, full of quotations from other artists' works and references to various cultures. Makowski is a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, where he obtained his degree in 1956 from Prof. Kazimierz Tomorowicz.

Che è la monade
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Zbigniew Makowski

Che è la monade

1996 / oil, acrylic, hardboard / 40 x 50 cm / no. 0005 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 3.0 1/ 2 Wróć
Description

In philosophy, the monad is simple substance, a basic unit. Makowski questions the nature of this autonomous totality and offers a range of possible answers: a female figure, a geometric figure, or, quite simply, a written word. Makowski’s highly erudite paintings are a challenge for the viewer. “Deciphering them requires a special effort of imagination and knowledge. For an uninitiated viewer, they are like coded stenographic records, labyrinths without exit, riddles without solution,” writes Prof. Małgorzata Kitowska-Łysiak about Makowski’s work.

Younger Sister
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Zbigniew Makowski

Younger Sister

1995 / ink, watercolour, gouache, paper / 98 x 50 cm / no. 0006 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsCreative Commons Licence 3.0 2/ 2 Wróć
Description

The space depicted in Zbigniew Makowski’s painting has been termed “romantic geometry.” It is filled with geometric figures, mathematical formulas, and Greek and Latin inscriptions. The artist likes to quote from art history as a repository of human imagination. Faces of the women he portrays bring to mind figures from paintings of the great modern masters. These artistic transformations and the mysterious, vague symbolism make up for a unique riddle in which one can easily detect Surrealist inspirations. For all the ambiguity of the representation, Makowski remains faithful to traditional painting techniques.

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