Bolesław Stawiński was the son of a textile worker from a poor workers’ family in Łódź. He had to work hard physically as a teenager to support his family financially, particularly during the period of prolonged strikes at factories. That experience left a strong imprint on his later artistic practice, in which Stawiński often addressed social issues by portraying the working-class world, workers’ manifestations, and impoverished and homeless individuals. During his painting studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, he became affiliated with the leftist, politically engaged, avant-garde Kraków Group, whose members shared his sensitivity to social matters and interest in modern artistic forms. In the watercolour painting Demonstration, Stawiński employs simple synthetic means to depict protesting workers’ masses merging to form an abstract composition, thus critically portraying the reality of Poland in the mid-1930s, marked by economic crisis and rising authoritarianism.
Bolesław Stawiński (b. 1908 in Łódź, d. 1983 in Bytom) – Polish painter and draughtsman. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków between 1928 and 1934, where he became an active member of the Kraków Group. His paintings mainly allude to Postimpressionism. Stawiński painted portraits, still lifes, landscapes and café scenes, using characteristic simplified forms and a subdued colour palette. In the 1930s, he also created politically and socially engaged works on paper and abstract compositions. After World War II, as a repatriate, he found himself in Bytom, where he remained for the rest of his life pursuing his artistic work and teaching at the 2nd Department of Propaganda Graphic Arts in Katowice.