At Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Polish photography is honored

Désymbolisations, 1978 © Armelle Dłubak / Archeology of Photography Foundation, Warsaw

Zbigniew Dlubak (1921-2005) is a self taught Polish painter and photographer who joined at 13, the young socialist-communist movement and was as a result, temporarily fired from school. During the war, he joined the Resistance, was arrested in the Warsaw insurrection and deported to Auschwitz and Mathausen. His art is surprising, both abstract and surrealistic, and finds a perfect showcase at Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.

“Streets are for the sun not for men”, 1948 © Armelle Dłubak / Archeology of Photography Foundation, Warsaw

At the Mathausen concentration camp in Austria, where he worked in the photography lab, he met other fellow artists, Marian Bogusz and Zbynek Sekal, and organised five minute long exhibitions in their dormitories. Later when they were liberated, he spent time in Prag and met all the avant garde artists. Back in Warsaw, he joined a group of Polish artists among whom Tadeusz Kantor.

“Gesticulations”, 1970-1978 © Armelle Dłubak / Archeology of Photography Foundation, Warsaw

His first exhibition was in 1948 and he had already integrated abstract photos into contemporary art, starting a continuous back and forth movement between the two medias and influencing the whole postwar Polish art scene. He became editor of Fotografia magazine in 1953 and increased his influence on the world of Polish photography.

Without title, circa 1970 © Armelle Dłubak / Archeology of Photography Foundation, Warsaw

Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska, who is a curator of photography at Centre Pmpidou, described in perfect French the importantce of this Polish artist who was a conceptual photographer but still believed in the artistic object as social mediator. She helped found the Archeology of Photography foundation in Warsaw who is lending this collection.

Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska, the brilliant curator of the show

All his life, Zbigniew Dlubak searched for truth in art. He taught at Lodz Art school in 1966, exhibited in Warwaw, spent time in New York in 1972, picked up painting again in 1981 with his minimalist « Asymetria ». He fled Poland in 1982 after the Martial law was installed and moved to Meudon near Paris.

He will be shown again in Warsaw in the 1990’s after the fall of the Berlin Wall and dies at home in 2005.

This is one of the last exhibitions to take place on Impasse Lebouis before Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson moves to rue des Archives at the end of the year. Don’t miss it, the space is intimate and perfect for black and white photos. (until April 29)

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