The first album of Szukalski’s work to be published in Poland, 125 years after his birth and over 30 years since his death.
It contains over 160 works by Szukalski – sculptures, paintings, architecture and others, as well as works of his students – the Szczepovets (the members of the Horned Heart Tribe).
In the album, there are also over 20 photos connected with Stach of Warta.
Moreover, the album contains an extensive introduction, encompassing Szukalski’s biography and a detailed description of his work and the circumstances in which they were created, by Lechosław Lameński.
The afterword, comprising of a philosophical interpretation of the work and person of Stach of Warta, was written by Wawrzyniec Rymkiewicz.
Stanisław Szukalski (1893-1987), more known as STACH OF WARTA SZUKALSKI, a sculptor, draftsman, painter, theoretician and critic of art, publisher and playwright in one person.
He devised the so-called „twórcowniana” method (A coinage. Could be translated as „creatory” method.), which was to replace the academic method of teaching at the fine arts academies.
Szukalski was also the author of the idea of the IInd Poland – within a reformed union of European countries, dominated by Slavic countries, under the name Neuropa, with Gammadion (an inverted, double swastika) as its coat of arms. The new national emblem of Poland was to be Toporzeł [Axeagle] and the place of cult for the whole nation was to be Duchtynia [Spiritemple], at the bottom of the Dragon’s Den in Cracow.
The author of a multiple, uniquely elaborate linguistic and anthropologic theory which he called Zermatism. In the opinion of the artist it was a science which was to investigate into human prehistory and the beginnings of civilisation, when people, having left the Easter Island, flooded by the Deluge, created a new civilisatioon in Zermatt in the Swiss Alps (whence the name of the whole theory). Everybody spoke one language then. The artist discovered this language and gave it a Polish name: Macimowa (Language – Mother), an an English name: Protongue.
He was the founder and the spiritual leader of the artistic group Szczep Rogate Serce (the Horned Heart Tribe), active in 1929-1936 in Cracow, and the ephemeral „Krak” magazine.
Without doubt, Szukalski was one of the most controversial figures of the Polish artistic life in the interwar period. He was the author of a whole range of social scandals, participant of two (lost) lawsuits for infamy, an ardent patriot, a devoted supporter of Józef Piłsudski, at the same time being strongly anti-church, anti-communism, and antisemite. Although he lived very long (94 years), he spent only around 20 years in the beloved land of his ancestors, whereas the rest of his colourful life he spent as an immigrant in the USA.
However in the interwar period Szukalski was much (and eagerly) discussed in speech as well as in writing (usually with a lot of critisism), after 1945 – in the time of the People’s Republic of Poland – as a rule he was forgotten, due to his radical views and his dislike of the communists, as well as to the fact that he had remained abroad.
This album is thus the first attempt at encompassing the subject to be endowed with such a broad, popular-science scope and such a rich body of illustrations, bringing the artistic personality of its hero as well as his views on art, closer to the Polish reader.
In the case of Szukalski one can speak of transgression, of overcoming – art and its convention – reaching out to some unknown far away places, and discovering lands unfamiliar to us. Szukalski is a threatening artist. This tangle of meanings which we face, unsettling the form and piling up manifold content, hides it its depths something very dangerous.
Hard cover, bound
Format: 240 x 335
The publication has been co-financed from the means of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, from the Culture Promotion Fund.