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Updated : 25/07/2002

IN THE SHADE OF OBLIVION: ABOUT THE PRE-WAR CREATIVE OUTPUT OF WANDA CHELMONSKA (1891-1971)

W. Chelmonska "The Procession" (1930)
"History of art has given us numerous examples of how difficult it is to stand equal with the father whose famous name one has inherited, even if the successorís talent and artistic achievements are equally great, and it might seem just as important for the next tens of years of the history of painting. Wanda Chelmonskaís creativity, although sharing her fatherís love for the Polish folk people and folk culture, by no means resembles that of the great painterís. The heiress to the famous surname, the daughter of Jozef Chelmonski, only seemingly may be said to have had the road to her own career paved. Any attempt to critically assess her creative output was bound, at a certain stage, to juxtapose and compare her with father, to assume the same measure placing side by side two clearly different artistic individuals. Obviously no such comparison should be drawn here, at least for the sake of the fact that Wanda Chelmonska was never her fatherís student. He himself recognised a talent in his child and wanted its qualities to be respected and it was his desire for the talent to develop in its own natural way. So he was not her master . However, it is not for the fatherís gift and achievements in the history of Polish painting that Wanda Chelmonskaís creativity has come to be forgotten. It was never marked so strongly as to gain its own standing as an important phenomenon in Polish art. The artist had all the potential to become a visible part of the XX c. Polish painting history already before the World War II. It never happened, though. Her creativity preceding the war and following it clearly falls into two distinct periods, two separate lives where the former had been unnaturally interrupted at the peak of its development and the latter, the post-war one, was given no mention.[...]"

W. Chelmonska "The Theatre Box" (1925)
Author:
Jan Wiktor Sienkiewicz
Download the entire article (English): In the shade of oblivion.doc  

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