Stanisław Tabisz

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Portraits of women, ( May 1998 ) → View original as PDF.

Jerzy Nowosielski’s disciple, gifted above academic average, praises his Master and understands in depth the artistic and theological principle of ‘eschatological realism’. His attitude of fascination, resulting from ‘succession of technical and spiritual experience’ of the artists who created in the past époques is in a way an opposition to commonly accepted contemporary trends manifesting extreme individualism and hermetism.

As for the art, he reserves a sense of beauty and the need of being stirred, as well as clarity of form and inner vision of the truth, which determines the right balance of what is visible and what is hidden in spiritual mystery. For many years Roman Zakrzewski has been painting portraits of the only woman, inspired mainly by his wife, portraying and at the same time glorifying her charm and beauty, lyrical mood, glamour and purity of her spiritual interior. Slender face and neck, almond eyes, sensual lips – the canon borrowed from Amadeo Modigliani — and a similar, slightly melancholic expression of the entirety. Sometimes that the reason for painting a portrait is another woman, but in such a case, too, the artist’s intention is not to reflect literally her physical appearance, but reaching to the internal ideal.

Over the recent years, portraits painted by Roman Zakrzewski have been gradually evolving to the Renaissance concept of composition and harmony, more sensual bonds of a human being with the environment and surroundings. Technical aspects of portraying has been changed and perfected too, from densely decked plains to the effects of brightness and depth achieved using the method of ‘smooth glazing’. Technological alchemy and technical skills enable Zakrzewski to achieve effects which are rare in modern painting. The artist is of the opinion that expression needs to affect and perfect the painting technique, It is not only the result of a technically adapted method, but closely related and dependent on the artistic experience and filtering. Therefore, Zakrzewski is studying essays on painting techniques and technologies used in Renaissance and other époques with utmost precision and care. This accuracy and a ‘painting sense of hearing’ used in applying successive layers of glazing confirm the need of returning to solid experiences and secrets of classical painting as well the ambition of achieving technical perfectness.

Women painted by Roman Zakrzewski bring about the idea of noble concentration and meditation. Very thoroughly composed and premeditated in the most meaningful and indispensible details, they make an impression of fine-spoken standstill and sophisticated elegance. Every arrangement of hands, folding of arms, bend of the neck, profile of a cheek, combination of the hair, opening or closing of fingers, create precise logic of directions, contrasts, rhythms and accents. It may be certainly stated that Zakrzewski is aiming at personification of the ideal of world uniformity and saving the eternal desire – the highest good of a returned love of a woman.

Zakrzewski paints slowly, methodically thinking about each element and detail of the composition, his intellect controlling the natural elements of his intuition. Despite this, his portraits are permeated with lyricism and mysterious ambience of the most subtle shades of feminine sensuality. The woman created by Zakrzewski combines an ideal of beauty and immaculateness. She tends to be mature and calm or girlish and shy. Adapted to her role, she does not attempt to pretend or coquette. She enchants with the glamour of her natural femininity in a spiritual reverie. She enchants, but at the same time creates a distance like a worshipped sacredness. She is a Madonna on the height of mystic adoration.

In Zakrzewski’s artistic attitude lies a kind of constantly hidden secret originating from strongly convincing sublimation. By its simplicity and magnetism, it allows for perceiving in a woman dominant and eternal truths. Thus it brings one closer to the pure experience of good and beauty lying in the feminine ideal. Similarly, an image of the soul was a Byzantine icon created according to stylistic rules of the canon permeated with mystical experiences. " I try not to lose the spiritual dimension. I have a spiritual ideal which I am aiming at ", says Roman Zakrzewski. " The art must exist in the area of sacrum, as the ultimate beauty is sacred ".

Paintings created in the recent years show that the artist has been heading inside the time. He has been attempting to benefit from historical achievements of the art of painting from the past époques. He is inspired by early-Renaissance paintings (portraits), and also later masterpieces created by Italian and Dutch masters. Not only is he mastering the aspect of achieving colour-based brightness and harmony, but also adapting the secrets of past masters to his needs and means of expressions in the area of purely technical formula. After all, he paints contemporary women, and the modern era is a manifest of social infatuation with feminine aggressiveness and maladjustment of women to their natural roles. Therefore, in the times of mass-media, inquisition, disseminating destitute dummies of the most intimate and poignant values, an image of a true, mature and glamorous woman is needed. I am convinced that portraits painted by Roman Zakrzewski show us the strength, beauty and majesty of a woman, the effect of her alluring physical nature and graceful garment is as well as the inner power, glamour and life-giving secret.

Stanisław Tabisz, Architecture & Business, no. 5 (May 1998).

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