Jerzy Duda-Gracz
June 30, 2008 9:43 AM   Subscribe

I'll bet if you aren't Polish you've never heard of Jerzy Duda-Gracz. Poor guy doesn't even have an English Wikipedia page [pl], even though he's the most popular post-war painter [pl] in his homeland. Come inside to see some of his work.

There was nothing that couldn't be made mundane, ugly, and worthy of our pity or derision in Duda-Gracz's broken, dirty world. There's always something to be ashamed of, embarrassed about... and yet the work is still beautiful and compelling. Things suck today, but don't worry - they can and will get worse.
posted by Meatbomb (17 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This nation, which has a very special place in my heart, has produced brilliant artists by the metric tonne. Did you see my previous post on Witkacy? I don't understand why Polish art gets such minimal traction abroad.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:48 AM on June 30, 2008

Great, great post. I've always (since 1992, at least) loved the artwork of Bill Sienkiewicz and now I find that Jerzy Duda-Gracz rubs me in the same wonderful way. (Compare and contrast.)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:20 AM on June 30, 2008

Thank you for reminding of this amazing artist! Somewhere in the bowels of my travel-trunk I got some swell post cards of his work from when I was an exchange student at the University of Silesia!
posted by odacrem at 10:30 AM on June 30, 2008

posted by Eideteker at 10:52 AM on June 30, 2008

These are great! I'm moving to Poland in the fall and have been on the lookout for any Polish culture I can find.
posted by mdonley at 11:19 AM on June 30, 2008

Nice post! But "Babie lato" doesn't mean Summer Gal, it means 'Indian summer' (literally 'woman-summer').
posted by languagehat at 11:38 AM on June 30, 2008

I think it's a play on words / double take, languagehat?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:42 AM on June 30, 2008

(note to self: learn Polish.)
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:46 AM on June 30, 2008

Things suck today, but don't worry - they can and will get worse. Poles strike me as some of the most bitterly humorous people on the planet. Thanks for the visceral visual example!
posted by not_on_display at 11:46 AM on June 30, 2008

lovely, meatbomb, thank you for the post :)
posted by ruelle at 1:21 PM on June 30, 2008

Being half Polish myself, I've always been surprised by how little we hear of Polish literature and art in the West. Great post, and the one on Witkacy.

Mdonley: Read "Europe East and West" by Norman Davies - it's not specifically about culture, but it's a series of articles on the West's attitude to Central and Eastern Europe, and great background.
posted by athenian at 1:38 PM on June 30, 2008

I've heard of him. Poland has produced some exceptional and incredibly underrated artists -

Olga Boznanska
Stanislaw Wyspiankski
Julian Falat
Teodor Axentowicz
Wojciech Weiss
Apolionusz Kedzierski
Stanislaw Kamocki
Wladyslaw Jarocki

to name just a handful of the big ones. Im from the UK but Polish painting and art in general has been a passion of mine for the past five or six years. After France and Germany, Poland must have been one of the most fertile grounds for brilliant painters in the 20th century in what we would now call Europe. Without wishing to "self link" I have a blog (see profile) which explores the work of a few fantastic Polish painters. For a quick overview of Polish painting the collection of Tom Podl is worth a look, but is by no means comprehensive. Most of the major museums in Poland do not have decent websites so most of their collections can only be explored in books. This comprehensive gallery of Polish art is a great primer.

Great post.
posted by fire&wings at 4:48 PM on June 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

Thanks athenian!
posted by mdonley at 5:55 PM on June 30, 2008

When you say something doesn't have a wikipedia page it suddenly does.

Looks like 4 mefites are busy on it now.
posted by bhnyc at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2008

How totally cool! Now I know how to create Wikipedia pages without actually having to write them.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2008

[this is depressing]
posted by LogicalDash at 2:29 PM on July 1, 2008

hm. This is odd.
posted by mwhybark at 8:17 AM on July 31, 2008

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