Ryszard Grzyb

b. 1956, Sosnowiec

Painter. He studied at the State School of Visual Arts in Wrocław and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He was a co-founder of the eminent Gruppa collective, representing new expression trends and commenting on contemporaneous socio-political issues in 1982–1992. Grzyb began by using tempera on cardboard, with a focus on fantasy themes. Once he abandoned paper and began working with oil on canvas, his works became simpler in form and distinctly ornamental. A poet as well as a painter, he won the Jan Cybis Award in 2010. He lives and works in Warsaw.

La marche du rhinocéros... vers où?

1996, oil, canvas, 81 × 100 cm

Ryszard Grzyb’s paintings teem with mythical creatures and fantastical animals. To him, painting is a practice open to imagination, which is why he frequently approaches his pieces as a kind of journal with an ongoing record of discoveries, fascinations, and fantasies. The expressive and somewhat primitive form remains the trademark of the artist, who for many years was part of Gruppa, a collective of painters operating in the 1980s. La marche du rhinocéros… vers où? originates from the period when Grzyb resolutely abandoned socio-political commentary in his work, focusing on form and the poetic message instead. The rhinoceros appears in Grzyb’s other works as well, in an allusion to prehistoric cave paintings and the artist’s childhood dreams, where the image of the animal would trigger visions of distant journeys.

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