Jerzy Kolecki, an artist painter from the Wróblewski and Wajda generations, remained a little known figure outside his local milieu. An outstanding artist who created a modern artistic vision in the puppet theatre in Rabka that would be in line with the best traditions of Polish painting, illustration and graphic design. While managing the theatre in Rabka in the 1960s and 1970s, he created several dozen stage designs, also working for most other puppet theatres in Poland. He also designed invitations and posters, which today surprise with a modern form and attention to every detail of workmanship. In the minds of curators and art lovers, Jerzy Kolecki appeared thanks to the works of artist Paulina Ołowska who rediscovered his posters and contributed to their presence in the international art circulation through exhibitions and quotes included in his own projects, including in a mural on the facade of the Museum of Art building. Nowoczesna in Warsaw in 2014. Later, Kolecki’s works were also presented at the monographic exhibition at the BWA Gallery in Tarnów in 2017.
Stach Szabłowski, the curator and art critic, writes about his style and creative attitude: a kind of “disinterested modernity” (…) Kolecki’s modernism becomes disinterested in the sense that it does not serve to update one’s own artistic position or fulfil personal ambitions, or to “expand the language of art”, but deepen the sensitivity of the audience, creating the widest possible space for their imagination. This assumption builds to a large extent the quality of Kolecki’s visual creations, which returns so convincingly as an object of contemporary interest. The artist’s argument is an undeniable artistic talent, but equally the involvement of this talent in the realization of the rare case of a peripheral modernity utopia fulfilled ”.
The album includes reproductions of original designs and posters, archival photos of dolls and scenery, and contemporary photos of preserved dolls. The illustrations are accompanied by texts by Stach Szabłowski, prof. Bożena Frankowska, as well as a record of a conversation between Karol Hordziej and Jerzy Kolecki in the last year of the artist’s life.
The book was created with the funds of a scholarship in the Young Poland Program of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in 2017.