Roman Owidzki - Form and Color in painting

«Roman Owidzki was a painter, teacher, and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He was one of the most important Polish artists, who consistently developed new forms of expression in abstract art. He was born in 1912 in Ostrowy, and died in 2009 in Warsaw.His time at the academy was extremely important for Owidzki’s whole career. There he picked up the basics of applied art and artistic craftsmanship, which resulted in his art being based on his broad knowledge of materials and techniques. However, in his art and subsequent educational career he strayed away from applied art, concentrating instead on artistic language and expression. His early work was put to an abrupt end by WWII and his internment in Murnau. There, apart from a few paintings, he created many works on paper, which, as he claims, were influential for his further work...The mature period of his creative work, spanning from the early 1950s to the end of 1960s, marks even further departure from figurative art and gradual simplification of forms and colours. At the turn of 1950s Owidzki created a series of vibrant abstract pieces showing totemic figures and shapes, which were probably inspired by cubism, expressionism and surrealism. At the time he also painted some works that relied on pure geometrical abstraction, composed of big planes of colours divided vertically and horizontally. In all these compositions, the most important thing seems to be the interplay of elements and harmony of form, which was the product of the painter’s lifelong studies and interest in form.The later period of his works, that is, the late 1960s and 1970s, mark his emerging interest in structuralism. He began creating his paintings with use of materials such as paper, copper, and slabs covered with canvas, which were completely monochromatic and resemble sculptures rather that paintings. His reliefs are the pinnacle of his artistic search for expression, which is at the same time reduced to an absolute minimum. Their excellence is in their inner tension and direction,  and texture and geometricity, undistorted by colour.»

 

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