Theonly large solo exhibition of Bronisław Wojciech Linke's art was held in 1963at the National Museum in Warsaw. Since then, with the exception of the Aprilshow at the Museum of Independence in Warsaw, only a few smaller retrospectivesof the artist’ work have been held in Poland. The exhibition at the WrocławCity Gallery aims at recalling the art of this unjustly forgotten propagator ofmetaphorical realism.
Bronisław Wojciech Linke was born in 1906 in Dorpat (today Tartu, Estonia). From 1917 to 1919 he witnessed turbulent political events, first the February Revolution followed by the beginning of the Bolsheviks' rule, then the invasion of the German army fighting with the Red Army and the Estonian struggle for independence. In 1919, together with his father and brothers he settled in Kalisz, where he graduated from a gymnasium. Soon, however, he left his family home to take up a job and learn artistic craft in Toruń and Bydgoszcz. Next, he studied industrial design in Krakow and painting in Warsaw. He was a graphic artist in the pre-war “Szpilki” magazine and an illustrator for “Dziennik Ludowy”. The artist and his wife Anna Maria Linke were forced to flee from the German-occupied Warsaw in 1939. Owing to Hitler’s caricatures by Linke published in the Polish and foreign press in the 1930s the artist was included on the lists of people recognised by the Gestapo as enemies of the Third Reich. Despite their escape to Lviv the artist and his family were first sent to a camp in Dubowa village in the Republic of Chuvashia and then to Orsko, where he worked in industrial plants and painted propaganda and advertising banners. Thanks to Maria Dąbrowska's intervention the Links were repatriated to Warsaw in 1946. The view of the ruined capital inspired the famous drawing series entitled “Screaming Stones” – a portfolio published with a foreword written by Maria Dąbrowska. The artist died on the 6th of October 1962 in Warsaw. The artist has remained in public memory mainly owing to his paintings, such as The Bus or The Sea of Blood.
In 2018 Linke returned to the Baltic States where he grew up and began his artistic career with exhibitions at the Estonian Viinistu Art Museum and the Latvian Academy of Fine Arts in Riga. The next stage in his posthumous journey is the City Gallery in Wrocław, where the Polish audience will have the opportunity to see artworks of this prominent Polish 20th century artist. The pieces exhibited in Wrocław come from the collection of the Museum of Independence in Warsaw. It is the second largest collection of Linke's works in Poland and abroad after the National Museum in Warsaw.
“Bronisław Wojciech Linke” exhibition will present a small number of pre-war works from Silesia cycle, created using artist’s own technique, along with pieces from Screaming Stones series that combine watercolours and gouache with drawing and blending, as well as posters and drawings dating from his mature period and intended for the press.
“Bronisław Wojciech Linke” exhibition at the City Gallery in Wrocław will last until the 7th of December 2019.
The exhibition is curated by Krzysztof Stanisławski.
Photos from the opening:
Video from the opening: