In the 1930s, Leopold Lewicki created numerous interventionist works on paper, using synthetic, precise means of expression. During that period, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, where he became affiliated with the avant-garde, politically engaged Kraków Group. Lewicki was among the group’s participants with the strongest engagement in radical leftist political activity, himself a member of the Communist Party of Poland. His expressive communist-oriented works, which resemble satirical pieces by German Expressionists, offered a trenchant critique of Poland’s socio-political reality in the 1930s. The graphic prints presented in the exhibition allegorically depict the consequences of the economic crisis and social inequalities (Third-Grade Funeral, Class Struggle), portray the life of the working class and its struggles (Factory, Strike, Demonstration), and criticize the militarization of the state and authoritarian repressions (Soldiers, Behind Bars).
Leopold Lewicki (b. 1906 w Burdiakowce near Tarnopol, d. 1973 in Lviv) – Polish painter, graphic artist, sculptor and author of drawings, co-founder of the Kraków Group. He studied sculpture, painting and graphic arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. In June 1932, his works were censored and removed from the end-of-year exhibition at the academy, while the artist himself was arrested. Lewicki created politically and socially engaged graphic prints and experimented with Constructivist-inspired painterly and sculptural forms. In 1935, he was imprisoned for six months for radical political activity. In 1941, he was deported to Central Asia, where he worked as a teacher. After the end of World War II, Lewicki returned to Lviv and continued his artistic practice until his death in 1973.