Wacław Szpakowski

Rhythmic Lines Animations: http://lookat.nazwa.pl/szpakowski/strona/rhythmical-lines-animations

Wacław Szpakowski (1883-1973) was a Polish architect and engineer who created a distinct idiom of abstract drawing, first conceived in notebook sketches in the 1900s and developed systematically in a series of works made with an ink pen on tracing paper between the early 1920s and 1940s.

Szpakowski worked in complete isolation, indifferent to the art of his time; yet his project is fundamentally modernist in its aspiration to find the simplest possible means for expressing the underlying order of the universe, one that approaches a scientific investigation in its formal rigor and systematic nature. Calling his works “drawings of linear ideas,” Szpakowski created symmetrical patterns of a continuous geometric line; invariably 1 mm thick and 4 mm apart, it always starts on the left side of the page and ends on the right. For Szpakowski, the line’s relentless trajectory across the surface of each sheet is merely a fragment of its endless rhythmical movement through space and time. He invited viewers to ‘decipher’ what he called ‘the inner content’ of his drawings by following the course of the ‘broken line’ across the surface of the page, “just like one composes the words of a text out of individual letters.” For Szpakowski, the utter simplicity of his creative means and the viewer’s ability to decipher the meaning of his drawings by retracing the process of their making, constituted two essential characteristics that set his works apart from decorative patterns. Szpakowski called for a mode of sustained looking, through which the viewer’s perceptual apparatus would become tuned into the ‘cyclical rhythms of phenomena.’

Seen today, Szpakowski’s work anticipates seriality, accelerated temporalities and the increasing density of visual memory. Resembling circuitries or digitally generated...
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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