Artysta prowokator? Artysta uwikłany? Geniusz zapomniany? Artysta — antropolog? Władysław Hasior — wizerunek twórcy w świetle dyskursu krytyków i najnowszych badań

Jacek Gernat


The art of Władysław Hasior (1928–1999) belongs to the major and most original phenomena in the Polish twentieth century art; at the same time, it provokes diverse reactions and controversies among succeeding generations of viewers. In the socialist Poland the sculptor gained unheard-of popularity among wide audiences, and became the icon of Polish modern art. However, after 1989, his art quickly had passed into oblivion in the consciousness of the viewers, when the artist, valued, renowned, and controversial in the PRL (The People’s Republic of Poland) period, had become to be identified with the past regime, in the wake of communist-era reckoning. On the other hand, since the beginning of this century, a renewed interest in the work of the sculptor form Zakopane has been noticeable. It resulted in posthumous retrospective exhibitions, which brought back his oeuvre, and critical papers, and monographs, which established new contexts and interpretative horizons of Hasior’s work, stretching beyond the field of art history. The present paper discusses his artistic profile, considering the critical discourse surrounding the sculptor. Firstly, a brief overview of some major opinions on his art in the communist period is presented, a point of departure for a more in depth discussion of the multidimensional and ever-changing (sometimes radically) reception of the artist after 1989. Then, the issue of critical evaluation of Hasior’s oeuvre in the nineties is brought to attention, as well as the subsequent waves of interest in the sculptor after his death in 1999, resulting in a number of critical and scientific texts, and a retrospective exhibition from 2005. Finally, the author draws attention to multiple new studies and reflections on Hasior’s art, that have been undertaken since 2010.

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