The “Transport Cases” exhibition presents the works by four artists – Leoš Wertheimer, Henryk Kondratowicz, Piotr Drożdżak and Artur Waszczyński. Their works are linked by their subject and each of them depicts a means of public transport. While seeing them, we can not only study the pieces themselves but also feel the joy together with the authors stemming from the act of creation and the passion for one’s activities.
Leoš Wertheimer was born in 1956 in Přerov, Czech Republic. He graduated from an automotive secondary technical school and commenced work as a railroad fireman afterwards. This, however, did not last long, as he was diagnosed with a mental illness. During therapy, as he was 41 years old, a therapist asked him to start painting. He certainly did, and he took the railways as the subject of his works straight away. Initially, he was interested in historical steam locomotives, but over the years he began painting railway stations and landscapes more and more often as well. He is not, however, the only person to have chosen such a theme.
Piotr Drożdżak was diagnosed with autism soon after he was born. This entailed a series of trips to the Children’s Health Institute in Warsaw that lasted for nine years. His first journey by train turned out to be such an extraordinary event that he decided to express it on paper. Ever more drawings were created after each subsequent journey, with every one of them becoming even more accurate than the previous one. As it turned out, the artist’s photographic memory allows him to easily copy the reality that surrounds him. Nowadays, his works are exhibited all over Poland.
Henryk Kondratowicz worked, among others, in a shipyard and in a forest district as a woodman. When he turned 28, he had an accident during logging, which left him with a damaged spine. As a consequence, he had to quit any physical work whatsoever. His adventure with painting began in 1988 because of the news he was watching. From that moment on, he began the arduous creative process about which he has the following to say: “My paintings, sent to America, Africa and the European Union, are sold at the highest prices, and thanks to the sales, as part of the mission to save the entire world, the global economic situation is improving. You can see it with the naked eye, the streets are more even, the houses are prettier, the children from Africa are no longer bloated from hunger”. Since 2014, the artist has only been painting indestructible airplanes that are to prevent air crashes from happening.
Artur Waszczyński, the fourth and the last co-author of the exhibition, is primarily fascinated by public transport. He creates drawings, but also albums and calendars, which he prepares with incredible accuracy. In his works, he uses a multitude of colours and techniques to present a specific phenomenon.
The works by these artists are not easy to classify, yet they remain interesting, as the departure from traditional artistic and aesthetic forms does not result from a deliberate rejection of cultural achievements, nor is it a manifestation of rebellion or alienation. Even though the artists do not imitate the official art, or enter into a discourse with it, they surprise the viewer with their aesthetic maturity. It is the manner of how they express themselves and their unrestricted imagination that make art connoisseurs and enthusiasts take delight in these very works.
Curators of the exhibition: Katarzyna Kościelny and Sonia Wilk
12 September 2020 – 7 March 2021
- Muzeum Śląskie w Katowicach ul. T. Dobrowolskiego 1
- Type of exhibition: Temporary