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Stanisław Dróżdż

*1939 in Sławków, Poland – died 2009 in Wrocław, Poland.

Stanisław Dróżdż worked with short texts and words, or individual elementary objects, drawings and letters, to analyse the reality of language and its visual forms. His works balance on a subtle boundary between drawing and pictorial representations. He used the term 'Pojęciokształty' (figures of meaning) to refer to his work. With his highly conceptual work, he represented an international avant-garde in Poland, the Concrete Poetry. Words and characters are understood as individual forms, which take on visual qualities and transform into images. In 1953, after an international symposium in Stockholm, Concrete Poetry was established as artistic and poetic strategy mainly in Western Europe.

Stanisław Dróżdż represented Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2003 with a large installation 'Alea Jacta Est / The Dice has been cast'. The artist welcomed the visitors to try out their fortune by throwing six dice and to spot the combination on the walls. The walls of the pavilion were covered with nearly 250.000 dice, displaying 46.656 combinations.



Neatly arranged next to each other with the spacing of the individual typewriter strokes and above each other in keeping with the line spacing, the characters on the sheet of paper make up the digit 1 in the work 'Solitude'. They fill a rectangle which creates a graphical form, a formation, a type of serial drawing. They dissolve within the structure and yet always digit 1 or an endless number of individual 1s. They represent an existential equation of solitude.


Stanisław Dróżdż often transferred the templates from his typewriter work to a photography, swapping the black and white values in the process. The character as a conveyor of meaning is then pushed further into the background. It loses its role as part of lettering or a letter and becomes a graphical feature which, in its seriality, forms an image which conveys more associative meanings.

Algebra of Prepositions

A fine horizantal straight black line runs over small pieces of whitened cardboard. Some time the line runs from one side to the other, some time it starts from one side, but goes only half the way. On 24 plates, on each on four levels, such lines are playing out all possible variations and might function as a preposition. Defining the spatial location and arrangement of some object. 'Algebra of Prepositions': through, in-out, of-from, in, varies the linear transcription of four prepositions visually on the small image boards.

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Untitled (Zapominanie)

What Stanisław Dróżdż meant when he referred to 'Pojęciokształty' (figures of meaning) is made clear in pictorial and visual form by Untitled (Zapominanie) and Untitled (Vergessen). Forgetting is presented as a continuous loss of single characters, which could have conveyed meaning, until the whole word has dissapeared.

The Polish artist, who had numerous international contacts and maintained close contact with other artists, is one of the fathers of contemporary art in Poland.

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