Wizja miasta w twórczości Leona Chwistka

Małgorzata Geron

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/AUNC_ZiK.2010.009


Leon Chwistek (1884–1944) was a member of the Formists Group (that is Polish Expressionists), formed in Krakow and active in the years 1917–1922. In the artist’s output of that period often occurred the motif of the city of the future. First works relating to that theme are known only by reproductions publisher in periodicals “Maski” (The Masks) and “Zdroj” (The Spring). That drawings present fantastic cities, the townscapes of which are dominated with high cuboids, in subsequent works gradually transforming into soaring tower-blocks. The example of such evolution art the paintings 3 May Parade on the Krakow Market Square, The City and The industrial city. Particularly, the last one of the mentioned draws the attention with its vision of industrial metropolis, resembling of the futuristic designs by Antonio Sant’Elii. The idea of the city of the future presented in drawings and paintings has been mirrored by literary works by Leon Chwistek, as well as by his theoretical texts. In the year 1920 he wrote a short story The city of Formists, describing New Krakow situated close to the historic one. The dwellers of its modern houses travel by multi-lane road arteries. A year later in the periodical “Nowa Sztuka” (New Art) Chwistek had published a paper The issues of contemporary architecture, comprising a design and detailed description of a hotel in Zakopane. What is interesting, in case of that edifi ce the form of tower-block was replaced by a construction based on curved lines, that was to be a development of the conception of “sky-scrapers.” The proposition, making a contribution to the development of modern architecture, referred to an unrealised fantasies of Herman Finsterlin and designs of The futuristic city by Virgilio Marchi, inspiring the then architects. 

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