Instytut Historii Sztuki <Posen> [Editor]
Artium Quaestiones — 24.2013

Page: 231
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/artium_quaestiones2013/0233
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MALARSTWO MATERII DANUTY URBANOWICZ

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artystkę traktować należałoby jako płaską powierzchnię pokrytą mate-
riami w określonym porządku. To właśnie takie rozumienie obrazu —
jako efektu malarskich działań z pozamalarskim medium - zdaje się
określać specyfikę postawy twórczej Danuty Urbanowicz. Ogląd prac
jej autorstwa, jako malowanych materią, wskazuje równocześnie na
istotny aspekt nieuwzględniany w funkcjonujących dotąd definicjach,
który stanowić może czytelne kryterium pozwalające dookreślić dotych-
czasowe odczytania działań polskich artystów, włączanych w nurt ma-
larstwa materii.

MATTER PAINTING BY DANUTA URBANOWICZ
Summary
The works of Danuta Urbanowicz from the late 1950s and early 1960s belong to
the current of matter painting - the traditional painterly matter (paint) was replaced
in them by other, non-painterly materials. The art of Urbanowicz, usually interpreted
by Polish art historians in the context of “modernity” connected with a political
“thaw” after 1956, has been predominantly approached as an expression of a tenden-
cy to enhance the artistic repertoire and related to enrichment of the painting’s
texture shaped in a sculptural, bas-relief manner. The present essay includes analy-
ses of the selected works of Urbanowicz and makes an attempt to characterize the
artist’s specific version of matter painting, which, against the grain of the Polish de-
finitions of that trend, reaches beyond its boundaries.
Using by Urbanowicz fragments of non-painterly matter, such as tin, linen, de-
corative fabrics and lace applications, connected with her strategy of accentuating the
texture of the surface and broadening the range of artistic measures, is definitely an
important feature of her art. Still, interpreting her works only in terms of her artistic
means does not do justice to her explorations. Important were also her specific ways
of creating artworks, often contradicting the standard characteristics of matter pain-
ting, particularly a tendency to reach beyond the painting’s frames and the alleged
proximity to the informel.
The analyses of Urbanowicz’s selected works (Passage. Gate and Epitaph) point
to her tendency to combine together antithetical activities. On the one hand, her re-
jection of the traditional painterly matter to replace it with materials taken directly
from reality suggests an intention to go beyond painting as such, while on the other,
her treatment of the non-painterly elements seems to confirm it. Particular frag-
ments are combined on the surface and often composed on the basis of the geometri-
cal division of the pictorial field. Urbanowicz did not make spatial assemblages, but
two-dimensional compositions which, unlike collages, did not result from imposing
one element on another, but from placing them next to one another. Thus, they acqu-
ired meaning as new, integrated surfaces, close to regular painting. The works of Ur-
banowicz are visually complex and uniquely attractive, since they can be interpreted
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