Jerzy Lewandowski - Stone Sculptures

When looking at
               Jerzy Lewandowski's sculptures

I cannot help remembering Henryk Sienkiewicz's
Quo Vadis, where in one of the first scenes the slave Eunice furtively kisses the bust of her master Petronius. However, a work of art offers aesthetic instead of erotic pleasure.
But, antique sculpture was not meant as a mere marvel for our eyes. Polished marble was also designed to be touched, its cool surfaces ensuring pleasure for the fingers. The post-Duchampian era mercilessly re-evaluated categories of beauty and aesthetics, although it did not eradicate their intuitive interpretation. And it is precisely his sculptor's intuition that tells Lewandowski how he should treat his theme, which is a human being, particularly woman. It forbids him to treat his material unequivocally and helps him observe the value of sculpture, and nurture the personality which emerges from stone.


Therefore, each of his sculptures is rendered in a different convention. The artist does not hesitate to face either his great forerunners or the theme itself. This theme has been tackled by the greatest sculptors in history: from the ancients, through anonymous romanesques, renaissance masters of Madonnas and Dianas, classics, to masters of the turn of our century. Lewandowski makes fewer references to impressionists in favour of ancient Greece, with abstract-organic overtones. However, the artist is not lost among all these conventions and leaves the hallmark of his own individuality. Here, his creation is reminiscent of that of the seventeenth-century Dutch painters of fantastic still lifes of flowers which had different blooming periods.
They created unreal compositions just to demonstrate their artistic skill.

Lewandowski acts in a similar way: sculpting his models in various conventions he demonstrates his state-of-the-art finesse. He is able to tame any stone and force it to gain a shape of perfect proportion and balance. He plays with light and texture. Next to smoothly polished marble, he takes rough sandstone and partially worked granite, creating contrast between polished and rough surfaces. The lines in his sculptures are soft and smooth-running with the counterpoint of a sharp edge or geometrical surface. Geometric forms appear when the models are dressed: the folds of garments run sharply, or a cloak flows in a rigid slab.

Thanks to his perfect feel, each of Lewandowski's sculptures becomes an etude of lines, light and texture. However, it would be a mistake to think that sculpture is a pretext to demonstrate his technical skills. The artist is fascinated with his theme. Each of his sculptures is an attempt at tackling it from a different side. Therefore, what we see is a panoramic view of the world whose aspects are variously shown in different materials.

In his favourite theme, the female nude, he encapsulates in stone the truth of a woman's changeable and mysterious nature. She can once appear as a caring Madonna, another time - a formidable Nemesis, to finally become a passionate lover, whose shapes tempt us to touch them even though they are only cool stone.

Fine Art Critic Marzena Beata Guzowska

View Digital Online Catalog (Last Catalog of Jerzy Lewandowski)

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