An Initiative for Art and Research


Władysław Strzemiński (1893–1952) was a Polish artist and theoretician who was born in Minsk (now Belarus).

He studied art in Moscow in 1919, and with his wife artist Katarzyna Kobro, he actively participated in the radical left avant-garde movement in Russia. In 1921 he returned to Poland, where Strzemiński continued his experiments in abstraction; he is considered one of the founders of Polish Constructivism. In 1927 he created the theory of Unism, defining the unity of an art work as the lack of any contrast. Strzemiński was cofounder of the State Higher School of the Visual Arts, Łodź, as well as of several artist groups. In 1948–1949, he created a series of abstract paintings under the title “Afterimages,” representing solaristic shapes on the retina. In 1950–1952, Strzemiński turned to the “realism of cognition,” which he hoped to develop in new socialist Poland. His major theoretical work, Theory of Vision, where he combines an analysis of the physiology of vision with Marxist dialectics, was written in the 1930s and 40s and published only in 1958. Strzemiński died in 1952 in Łodź.