Rola przestrzeni w pejzażach Piotra Potworowskiego

Katarzyna Kulpińska



Piotr Potworowski is an artist favoured with two homelands, constitute the essence of all his artistic efforts. Before WWI, a Capsist and a Józef Pankiewicz’s student, fascinated with Pierre Bonnard’s and Henri Matisse’s paintings, a student of Fernand Léger, after the war Potworowski settled in England where he devoted himself to intensive work as an artist (he became a member of prestigious London Group) and a teacher (he became a professor of Bath School of Art and Design, now Bath Academy of Art in Corsham). Versatility of graphic expression of Piotr Potworowski: painting, drawing, spatial compositions, stenography had their counterpart of a different artistic mode, namely words. Poems, letters, extremely precious notes from his sketchbooks, miscellaneous casual remarks allow to look into his ‘beautiful mind’ and invite to explore the artist’s most inner experiences and emotions, accompany plastic realizations showing their hidden depths. Potworowski’s paintings are the evidence of his constant struggle with the space, the form, and the colour. Emotions, moments, or impressions submitted to artistic synthesis, have been converted into timeless values, codes enchanted onto canvas. This discussion refers to landscape painting by Piotr Potworowski, the uniqueness of which explains to large extent the artist’s attitude to the issue of space. Potworowski perceived the canvas in purely painter’s categories: light or the hue of the space. Potworowski’s idea of space is the consequence of several most crucial rules that the tried to follow. First, breaking with the tradition of painting from one point, the artist treated a landscape as a sum of subjective and objective occurrences; all that he saw and felt he converted into “an appropriate painterly fact.” In this context, he tried a new organization of space in his paintings; spatial relations became the result of ‘deeper seeing’. The second rule was individual coding spatial elations he observed and tamed. In the artist’s works space is not space ‘found’, or not merely found, but filtered though the master’s sensitivity, generalized, and verified by time. This temporal distance, either several hours or several days long, allowed for the synthesis and had the crucial role in the creation process. The process that for Potworowski was first and foremost of intellectual nature, and could only result in some artistic manner. Thirdly, space on Potworowski’s canvas is the effect of proper chromatic solutions, the ability of building unlimited spatial relations using several colourful planes. The meaning of the object is important only if it interacts with other objects creating new spatial categories. 

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