Ryszard Woźniak “Green”, 1986, oil on canvas, 190 x 130 cm

Green was painted by Ryszard Woźniak during a European Solidarity Fund scholarship in West Berlin in 1986.

According to the artist, this work is his spiritual self-portrait, revealing the psychological and moral tensions that preoccupied him at the time. This is confirmed by the strong juxtapositions of significant colours, expressive shapes and the clash of centrifugal and centripetal directions in the painting’s composition.

The title green also appears in Woźniak’s other paintings from the 1980s. The Gruppa member uses it in, among others, Healer from the Philippines or Cucumber Man, in Instead of Life, Instead of Death, as well as in Mad Hammer. He uses this colour with the intention of showing a state of a certain suffocation, oppression and change taking place.

The painting was an important part of his “Grand Reserva” exhibition at Galeria Studio in Warsaw in May 2008, after which the painter donated the work to the collection. Prior to the opening of the exhibition, the artist unfolded canvases that had not been seen for over 20 years, confronting the emotions that accompanied their creation. After the exhibition, all of them, with the exception of Green, were re-rolled. The action had a performative dimension and was carefully documented.

Jakub Prange-Barczyński

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