Before the Hunt | Collection Co–selection

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Edward Dwurnik

Before the Hunt

painting; oil on canvas; 210 x 135.5 cm

Before the Hunt is a typical example of Edward Dwurniks painting. A city landscape permeated with cold blue light, littered with massive heads parts of fallen monuments? lying between the buildings. People with guns and hounds are preparing for a hunt. The crooked, armed figures create an atmosphere of terror the way in which they are positioned, and the car blocking the road, suggest people, not animals, will be hunted.

The painting depicts the tension between society and PRL authorities. By combining elements of documentary and symbolic painting, Dwurnik shows a more general condition of violence, the normalizing of evil and turning people against one another.  

Edward Dwurnik graduated in painting and graphic design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1970. He produced circa 10,000 drawings and 3,500 paintings, most of them as part of larger series, the most celebrated of which are Hitchhiking, Athletes, and Blue Cities. At the start of his career, Dwurnik developed a well-recognizable style of figurative painting, using simplified, quick drawings and a kind of primitivism. He often placed his protagonists in a city landscape shown from above, in a deformed perspective, accompanied by a dreamlike accumulation of objects, among which head-statues regularly appeared as signs of totalitarian power. He mainly depicted everyday life in Poland, shaped by successive breakthroughs, starting in the 1970s like, for example, the series From December to June (19901994), in which he commemorated 96 people murdered by the authorities in 19811989.