Leszek Sobocki. Portraits of Cracovians

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Friday, October 15, 2021, 6:00 PM - Sunday, January 9, 2022

A representative display of portraits and self-portraits by Leszek Sobocki. The exhibition comprises paintings executed over the course of the last two decades. Some of them will be shown for the first time. The artist captures both likeness and expression of his sitters.

Portraits of Cracovians constitute the most numerous group at the show. Since  2001 Leszek Sobocki has been creating images of people from his immediate surroundings. The choice of the sitter is most often determined by spiritual, artistic and intellectual affinity, sympathy for someone’s activity. In this way the artist creates a subjective galaxy of the residents of Krakow.

Leszek Sobocki’s art is dominated by self-portraits. We can find conscious allusions to painting from the Baroque and Young Poland periods, which are most salient in the Agony series. The artist displays particular affinity with Jacek Malczewski in the sense of metaphorical expression and exposition of the ego. The gaze of both artists is always directed towards the viewer. Sobocki employs this effect more radically; he does not seek symbolic themes, but focuses on commenting the current social and political situation. His self-portraits represent critical, ironic and sometimes moralistic attitude. Self-portraits from the series Football Hooligans or works alluding to LGBT bullying have been created in this spirit. This belief in the social responsibility of the artist was consolidated in the peak period of the Wprost Group’s activity (1966–1986).

Leszek Sobocki (b. 1934)
Visual artist and writer. Pursues painting, graphic art, drawing, assemblage. Studied graphic art and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (diploma in 1959 in Professor Wacław Taranczewski’s studio). Co-founder and member of the Wprost Group. Participant of the independent culture movement. His works are, among others, in the collections of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Albertina Museum in Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje and Polish national museums.

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