Advanced search Advanced search

Zdzislaw Beksinski, ZY, 1987

add Your note 
Lot description Show orginal version
Estimations: 83 945 - 116 591 EUR
Additional fees: +5% / 3% Droit de suite
89.0 x 92.0 cm - oil, board Signed on reverse: ZY | BEKSIŃSKI

On the reverse, on the reinforcement of the plate at the top, a sticker of Alicja and Bożena Wahl Art Gallery.

Image exhibited:

- Alicja and Bożena Wahl Art Gallery, Warsaw XII 1987.

Reproduced image:

- Beksinski 4 (introduction by Wieslaw Banach), BoszArt, Olszanica 2017, p. 48, color ill. (dimensions 92 x 86);

- Beksinski - Dmochowski, Letters 1999-2003, 1st edition, Warsaw 2017, il. on color inserts;

- filmed account of the exhibition at the Alice and Bozena Wahl Art Gallery in December 1987 (http://www.dmochowski, (1'12'' - 1'17'').

In December 1987, the Alicja and Bożena Wahl Art Gallery in Warsaw's Żoliborz district held another exhibition of Zdzisław Beksiński at this location, which was very popular. It included fourteen works created in 1987, among them the featured painting. The motif of the head (along with the human figure, the cathedral, the cross) returned repeatedly in the master's paintings. This was related to the universality of the theme, giving room for numerous interpretations and refinement of the painting technique.

In the paintings you are talking about, I play with something called "variation" in music. For a variation to be legible, it must have a theme that is immediately recognizable and simple. You can't write a variation on an unfamiliar theme or one that is too complicated, because then all the fun is for naught. (...) This is why the face is such a fascinating phenomenon. We could recognize each other by our elbows or fingernails, because there are significant anatomical differences there too, but after all, we recognize each other by our faces. We recognize faces in the shapes of clouds and spots on the wall, as if the first factor analyzing our looking is to distinguish: is what I see a face or not a face? The face is an ideal - because universal - subject of painting variation. Sometimes I have doubts that I haven't gone too far with my variations. If I suspect that the face I have painted is too much like a dog, I invite someone to the studio and ask: did I get this dog? If he says: to me it rather resembles a face, it means that I have not yet overdone the variation.

An excerpt from an interview with Zdzislaw Beksinski in the program Rozmowy na nowy wiek broadcast by TVP 1 in 2003

Zdzislaw Beksinski (Sanok 24 II 1929 - Warsaw 21 II 2005) studied at the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology from 1947 to 1952. He was a self-taught artist who achieved an unquestionable position in Polish contemporary art, confirmed by the presence of his works in prestigious exhibitions and museum collections. He was initially involved in photography, which he had been interested in since his student years, after 1956 gaining recognition as a creator of photograms with an aesthetic based on textural effects. In 1958-1962, he created abstract paintings-reliefs of rich texture, mainly metal, which are a variation of matter painting. Toward the end of this period, he created openwork forms with figure shapes and full-bodied sculptures in metal. The next stage of his work was 1962-1974, when he devoted himself mainly to drawing. In the 1960s he drew with pen and ink figural compositions characterized by caricatured deformation of figures. From the late 1960s, he created charcoal and crayon drawings, a monochromatic variant of his parallel painting work. Since 1974, he has dealt almost indivisibly with painting. His distinctive style was based on technical perfection, accompanied by an extraordinary vision. He painted a post-disaster world, marked by the stigma of death and decay. His paintings are populated by figures and creatures with admittedly human or animal shapes, but with the characteristics of phantoms, automatons or decaying corpses. The artist did not give his paintings and drawings titles (except for ordering symbols), thus emphasizing his lack of interest in the literary side of the depictions. He himself said that when painting he completely surrenders to the vision, "photographing" it. In recent years, he has incorporated electronic image generation techniques into his artistic technique, which he used to create computer photomontages. Beksinski's art, which has been exhibited and discussed many times, arouses extreme emotions among experts and the public.
The largest, systematically replenished collection of his works in the country is in the Historical Museum in Sanok, abroad - in Paris, in the possession of Piotr Dmochowski, who has been collecting works and promoting the artist's work since 1983. He organized individual exhibitions of Beksinski's works at, among others, Galerie Valmay in Paris in 1985, 1986 and 1988, as well as a permanent exhibition at Dmochowski's own Galerie - Musée-galerie de Beksinski, which existed from 1989 to 1996. He also published monumental albums of the artist in 1988 and 1991.
In Poland, Beksinski's monograph by Tadeusz Nyczek was published by Arkady in 1989 (second edition in 1992). In the spring of 2005, a major exhibition of Beksinski's paintings took place at the Abbotsford Palace in Gdansk Oliva, and the director of the Sanok Museum Wieslaw Banach published a comprehensive monograph on the artist.

Since October 2016, an exhibition of 250 works (paintings, drawings, photographs) by Zdzislaw Beksinski from the private collection of Anna and Piotr Dmochowski has been permanently installed at the Nowa Huta Cultural Center. Meanwhile, a permanent exhibition of 30 Beksinski paintings from the Dmochowskis' collection has also been on display at the Archdiocese Museum in Warsaw since June 2021.

(Photo: Piotr Dmochowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, )
Contemporary Art Auction
16 June 2024 CEST/Warsaw
Start price
69 955 EUR
83 945 - 116 591 EUR
Hammer price
92 340 EUR
Hammer price without Byuer's Premium
76 950 EUR
Views: 319 | Favourites: 5


Contemporary Art Auction
16 June 2024 CEST/Warsaw
Lots bidding

All lots are listed to bid

Buyer's premium
OneBid does not charge additional fees for the bidding.
Bid increments
  > 100
  5 000
  > 500
  10 000
  > 1 000
  100 000
  > 2 000
  200 000
  > 5 000
  500 000
  > 10 000
Terms and Conditions
About the Auction
About the Seller
Agra-Art SA
Wilcza 70
00-670 Warszawa
+48 22 625 08 08
+48 22 745 10 20
Opening hours
11:00 - 18:00
11:00 - 18:00
11:00 - 18:00
11:00 - 18:00
11:00 - 18:00
11:00 - 15:00