Stanisław Osostowicz

In 1927, Stanisław Osostowicz took up studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, where he became affiliated with the artistically radical, socially sensitive and politically engaged, communist-oriented Kraków Group. Osostowicz’s watercolour and gouache paintings from that period critically portray the social and political reality of Poland in the 1930s, recording the radicalization of stances, escalating violence and mounting repressions by the state. His works were often themed around manifestations, strikes and fights. He depicted the dynamics of street incidents by means of thick clusters of lines and shapes, frequently founding his compositions on a marked opposition between two conflicted sides and underscoring ideological differences through the use of colour (Anti-Fascist Demonstration, Street Riots II, A Brawl at a Bar II). Osostowicz also sometimes employed the collage technique, creating pieces reminiscent of works by Berlin Dadaists, in which he ironically addressed current political events in Poland and Europe as well as criticized the progressing militarization and rising authoritarianism of the state (Anti-Fascist Satire I, Anti-Fascist Satire II).

Stanisław Osostowicz (b. 1906 in Tarnopol, d. 1939 in Warsaw) – Polish painter, draughtsman and graphic artist, member of the Kraków Group and collaborator of the Cricot Theatre. Between 1927 and 1932, Osostowicz studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Arrested multiple times for his radical political activity, he was expelled from the Trade Union of Artists in 1937 for political reasons. Osostowicz is known for his sharp, engaged works on paper and expressively painted colourful landscapes and scenes from small-town life. He moved to Warsaw in 1937, where he died during bombing in 1939.

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