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Stanisław Dróżdż

Stanisław Dróżdż

Born May 15 1939, Sławków
Died March 29 2009, Wrocław

One of the most important and appreciated Polish authors of concrete poetry. His works were marked as "pojęciokształty", the "ideas about the shape" for which use a combination of numbers, letters, characters, symbols, but also various games. He described them as "metaphorical-formal, self-reflexive codifier fact, combining science and art, poetry and the visual arts."
Dróżdż was minimalist, vivid colors deliberately renounced in favor of black and white, and just as consistently used a limited number of words. Initial texts written on ordinary paper he later transferred to larger panels and boards - and also present in the galleries. Within the scope of his work includes poems handwritten records, photographic prints, machine records, objects, spatial installations and interactive works. He is considered one of the conceptual artist - himself, however, felt more poet than artist.
(Maria Świerżewska-Franczak)


concrete poetry, conceptual art, Not in map

1959

Dróżdż studies Polish philology at the University of Wrocław. In 1964 he makes his debut as a poet in the “Arka. Informator Klubu Młodzieży Artystycznej ZSP” journal.

1967

Dróżdż begins to write concrete poetry. Like all his works, his early attempts are minimalist, even ascetic. They use words, digits and punctuation marks. One of his most famous works, Zapominanie (Forgetting), is among the first ones he creates at that time. The letters in the poem form a right-angled triangle with the smaller acute angle pointing downwards. The titular word is repeated eleven times, each time in a new line. In every line one letter is detracted from the word until only “z” remains in the penultimate line which is followed by a full stop in the twelfth line. One fine example of a poem made of symbols is Niepewność – Wahanie – Pewność (Uncertainty – Hesitation – Certainty). It consists of three boards: one is filled with question marks, the second one with exclamation marks, and the third one again with question marks. In the same year he also creates the first piece of what will become a series works produced till 1990, Klepsydra (Hourglass). In it he repeats the three forms, the past, the present and the future tense, of the verb “to be” (in Polish: “było”, “jest” and “będzie”) in different sized fonts to form the shape of the titular hourglass.

1968

Dróżdż publishes Pojęciokształty (Concept-shapes) in “Odra” journal. It serves as an artistic manifesto in which Dróżdż outlines the main ideas and principles of his work. Concept-shapes, he argues, are to integrate art with science and images with words

1971

Dróżdż begins a long-term cooperation with the Foksal Gallery in Warsaw where he will later launch most of his exhibitions.

1977

The most famous of Dróżdż’s works, Między (In between), is created that year. The installation consisted of the titular word’s letters covering the whole room: the walls, the ceiling and the floor. The letters did not make up a whole word, but the viewer, once inside the room, could read it provided that their eyes wandered from one letter to another. Tadeusz Sławek, one of the critics dealing with Dróżdż’s work, noted: “[…] the word ‘między’ does not appear as whole even once

1978

A collection of Polish concrete poetry edited by Dróżdż is published: Poezja konkretna. Wybór tekstów polskich oraz dokumentacja z lat 1967–1977 (Concrete poetry. An anthology of texts and documents from 1967 to 1977). It serves as a basis for Dróżdż’s master thesis defended a year after the publication.

1979

Dróżdż organizes the first of five academic sessions devoted to concrete art movement in Poland (the last session will take place in 1990). On the occasion of the young authors’ association in Wrocław celebrating the 15th anniversary of its founding, he is presented with an award from them for his artistic and social work in 1977–1979 (Nagroda Koła Młodych Pisarzy we Wrocławiu).

1989

Dróżdż begins to work on a cycle of works, Czasoprzestrzenie (od do) (Spacetimes (from to)). Until 1994 he creates a series of works in which he employs the words “od” and “do” (“from” and “to”). They are repeated and arranged in a number of ways: written down with more or less space in between them, in straight or diagonal lines, horizontally or vertically

2001

A Polish outdoor advertising company AMS puts Dróżdż’s work Lub on 400 billboards as a part of their outdoor gallery project (Galeria Zewnętrzna AMS). As in many other Dróżdż’s works, the titular word, multiplied on white background, is the sole “protagonist” of the picture. Dróżdż plays with the word’s ambiguity – in Polish it is a homonym which can be read either as the conjunction “or” or the imperative form of the verb “to like”.

2002

Dróżdż receives an award from the Fundacja Nowosielskich foundation for his creative and visionary merging of two artistic disciplines: poetry and graphic art.

2003

At the Venice Biennale, Dróżdż addresses the question of accidentality and controllability (or the lack thereof) in one’s life and in the world. The walls of the pavilion have been covered with dices representing the 46,656 possible combinations of results after rolling six dices. Visitors have been invited to throw six dices themselves and then seek out the result they got on the walls.

2008

Dróżdż receives a life-time achievement award from the mayor of Wrocław.

2010

Dróżdż posthumously receives a special award for the year 2009 from the Wrocław branch of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers (ZPAP).

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2016