Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wladyslaw Slewinski

Woman Brushing her Hair
oil on canvas
64 × 91 cm
National Museum, Krakow, Poland

Wladyslaw Slewinski (1854-1918) was a Polish painter. He was one of Gauguin's students and a leading artist of the Young Poland movement. He studied at the Academie Colarossi where he met Gauguin. He submitted to Gauguin's artistic and personal influence, spending time with him in Paris and, from 1889, in Pont-Aven and Le Pouldu in Brittany. Gauguin's encouragement prompted him to dedicate himself to art. His philosophy of art seems to stem from an excerpted statement of his about Gauguin: "He is so much an artist that he has to be wholly accepted or else rejected. I can feel him and accept him totally, for he suits my ideas of art and beauty".

Beginning with his early works, he simplified forms and painted in flat areas. He encircled areas with contours, though he sometimes blended color into color. Perhaps more important for him than the selective application of synthetism was his search for simplicity and sincerity in places untouched by modern civilization as well as in objects of daily use. In his art, he concentrated on the object, infusing its materiality with the reflective sensitivity. He used mainly earth colors, sometimes enlivened with stronger accents. He employed a repertoire of forms with curving contours, and painted without a drawn sketch, as was characteristic of the epoch.