Jerzy Tchórzewski was a unique and singular artist who completely rejected the postulates of the two tendencies that emerged dominant after the war, Socialist Realism and Colourism, turning instead towards Surrealist painting. His canvasses resemble visions appearing behind closed eyelids, grim hallucinations and fears looming from the darkness and obsessions emerging from the subconscious. In 1955, at the Polish National Exhibition of Young Visual Arts Against War, Against Fascism, Tchórzewski presented Surrealist gouaches and oil paintings as well as a range of monotypes, which garnered him an award. His later work involved experimentation with the painting matter, poetic realism and abstraction, primarily featuring compositions akin to cosmic explosions and volcanic eruptions, bringing to mind cosmogonic myths and religious concepts. The painting Collapsing Figure is characterized by an expressive feverish appeal. Its central section is a body contorted in agony portrayed against the background of an empty landscape, perhaps a distant echo of the artist’s wartime experience. In the piece, Tchórzewski does away with thematic, representational art that imitates reality, and seeks non-objective, oneiric painting saturated with ambiguous images and scenes.
Jerzy Tchórzewski (b. 1928 in Siedlce, d. 1999 in Warsaw) – Polish painter and teacher. His work was oriented towards Surrealism. He fought in the ranks of the Home Army during World War II. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków between 1946 and 1951, when he was affiliated with the Second Kraków Group, and later also joined the international artistic movement Phases. Tchórzewski ran a studio at the Graphic Art Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.