Sarmatian Tamgas
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Jerzy Truszkowski

Sarmatian Tamgas

1991 / oil, canvas / 150 x 150 cm / no. 0039    Wróć

This artist’s radical painting strategy involves a detailed analysis and deconstruction of complex tales, turning them into signs. By their cultural definition, signs are things that point toward something other than what they are. Truszkowski explores symbols, which are a special kind of sign. A symbol has no material equivalent, nor does it pertain to abstract concepts.
In Sarmatian Tamgas, the artist recalls the history of the Tatars, who began settling Polish lands in the seventeenth century. In exchange for serving in the army of John III Sobieski, they were granted the rights of the nobility. One sign of assimilation with the local culture was the tamga – crests modeled on ancestral symbols of the Polish nobility. Using simple forms of arrows, crescent moons, and horseshoes on a blood-red background, the artist has made signs alluding to primitive symbols for marking herds of cattle as one’s own property.
The picture was painted in three layers, using glaze technique in a carmine/Bordeaux color scheme. The composition has a geometrical structure: the picture is a square divided into 225 fields, concentrically composed. The rhythm of the divisions is meant to reflect the mystic aspect of the artist’s work, intentionally seeking to aid meditation, in the spirit of radicalism.

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