• Informel i sztuka mediów. Na przykładach twórczości Józefa Robakowskiego

Informel i sztuka mediów. Na przykładach twórczości Józefa Robakowskiego

Łukasz Guzek
Google Scholar Łukasz Guzek


Informel art and media art based on Joseph Robakowski’s work

In the second half of the 1950’s, abstract expressionist Informel became the leading trend in Polish art and it kept that position throughout the decade of the 1960’s. Informel lost its dominant position only the only under the influence of conceptualism, rising from the beginning of the seventies, but even in the 1970’s, it was still the mainstream in official art. Photo-film media played the key role in the emergence of conceptual art as a separate mainstream media. One of the most important artists who greatly contributed to the development of conceptual art in Poland in early seventies, was Józef Robakowski. However, his artistic path begins at the end of the 1950’s and it coincides with the chronology of the reception of Informel and later conceptual art. Initially, Robakowski concentrated on photography. He produced luxographies and chemigraphies, however, he also developed his own technical procedures. He was interested in self-production of images automatic creative process – the process that was beyond the control of an artist. He used photographic methods, although visual forms produced that way were connected with Informel. His photographic experiments from the beginning of the 1970’s were connected with structural trend in photography and film. Structuralism was considered as the study of the internal structure of artwork and extracting its formal and technical components as independent artistic issues. The most important structural issues was to expose the creative process, i.e. revealing the performative character of artwork. Visual expression and the expression of gesture, action, also belong to basic Informel issues. Films by Robakowski are also based on direct action. The camera operates in isolation from eyes and images are formed beyond conscious control of the artist. Just like in the photography, the essence of creativity moves from the image onto the process. The artist is an important element of art. His physical and psychological condition becomes the basis of cinematographic images. Interpretation of images is connected with a person. Robakowski concentrates on light effects. It is a structural problem because it still is the basis of the creative process in film and photography, but also it is a sign of expression or image energy, as Robakowski often said. He considers ‘Eenergy’ as the key-word in photography, film, performance and his paintings. Image as a sign of the expression is the key to understanding and interpreting of Informel painting. For Robakowski – a media artist, Informel became a kind of ready made art. Informel painting was not important to him; it only indicated the problems of media art in his work.

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