by Maurycy Gomulicki
"Melancholy" by Maurycy Gomulicki has been exhibited in the Sculpture Park at the Królikarnia Palace since October 2019. The artist, known for his love for intense colour and quoting classical and contemporary motifs, tests with it the possibilities of the interpenetration of visual codes from various epochs and traditions. The sculpture covered with iridescent varnish changes its colour depending on the perspective and makes its surroundings unreal. “The raw block with a tempting, almost frivolous painting reminds us of a special kind of sweetness that this hue of sadness brings—it touches our hearts, reminds us that we have a soul,” as the artist describes his work in an interview with Ewa Łączyńska-Widz, the curator and director of the Art Exhibitions Office (Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych, BWA) in Tarnów.
Gomulicki has created a three-dimensional variation on a mysterious element present in Melencolia I, one of Albrecht Dürer’s engravings dating back to 1514. In the central part of the picture, next to the figure of a female angel sitting with her head down, there is visible a rhomboidal block in clear contrast to the rest of the composition. Despite many attempts to interpret the symbolism of the polyhedron its meaning remains unclear. “When it comes to the sentimental aspect of my love affair with Dürer it was his engravings along with Gustav Doré’s woodcuts and lithographs from the Brockhaus’ Konversations-Lexikon that made me decide to apply to the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. I didn't plan to be an artist or a designer, I wanted to be an engraver. I was going to spend my life pleasantly losing myself for long hours in details, letting the needle wander in the thicket of lines appearing on the metal plate, which I did quite consistently during my studies,” adds the artist.
"Melancholy" is one of Gomulicki’s sculptural installation artworks designed to be placed in public space. These include: Queen (2019) at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko and the installation art titled Sanktuarium [A Sanctuary] (2011) at the Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture at the Królikarnia Palace, a Branch of the National Museum in Warsaw, designed for the Rotunda room at the palace. The work was commissioned by BWA in Tarnów and was exhibited in the local Strzelecki Park. It will be exhibited in front of the Królikarnia Palace until 2022.
The exhibition of Melancholia is an opportunity to recall the artist’s other work, i.e. Typologie sentymentalne [Sentimental Typologies] photo series (1999) from the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw. Colour-saturated shots of female lips actually turn out to be portraits of mannequins from shop windows.
Maurycy Gomulicki (born in 1969) is an artist, designer, photographer, collector and anthropologist of popular culture. He works with the media such as photography, sculpture, installation art, video and animation. He is also involved in graphic design and book illustrations. He has created a number of artworks in public space. He graduated from the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He continued his studies at Universitat de Barcelona, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan and at Centro Multimedia del Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico. In many of his projects he engages in a dialogue with eroticism, pornography and fetish. The artist lives and works in Warsaw and in Mexico City.