Andrzej Wroblewski at David Zwirner

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This exhibition feels perfectly timed for our world today although it comprises work by a Polish painter who died in 1957 at the age of 29. The work is chilly, almost frozen, but you cannot miss the intensity of feeling. In its brevity some of the work reminds me of Malevich.

A blue driver sits in a blue cab, the vista opening up in front of him is bleached and featureless. It is an unnerving scene, as indeed are almost all of the works. There is quite a lot of dead body blue. It is especially upsetting in the case of the child who seems to be climbing up his seated mother.

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Poland must have been a terrifying place during the artist’s formative years. A very large number of Poles did not survive that time. In one work child stands with his back to the wall and it looks like he is awaiting execution. Liquidation of the Ghetto, painted on the back of Blue Chauffeur, is more specific and correspondingly more horrible.

The sense of cultural trauma is very strong but throughout it is held under tight control. It comes as no surprise to learn that Luc Tuymans is an admirer of the work.

This exhibition closes on 14 April. It should not be missed.

Andrzej Wroblewski is at David Zwirner in Grafton Street until 14 April.

 

 

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