March 1, 2013

ARTCHAT | Goodbye Gieniu!

On December 30th 2012, Eugeniusz Mucha – the brilliant artist, a decent person, and a very good friend of mine has passed away.

Eugeniusz Mucha during his the last vernissage in Gologorski Gallery

As I remember clearly, I saw Mucha’s paintings for the first time in the 70’s.  I was still a student at the Academy of Fine Arts that time. That day, I went to see two exhibitions in Bunkier Sztuki. The exhibition of Eugeniusz Mucha took place on the first floor of the gallery. At the same time, on the second floor, there was an exhibition of a very well-known Polish artist – Władysław Hasior. I knew and admired Hasior’s creations, but Mucha’s paintings were absolutely shocking. That was something totally unexpected for me as a young, incipient artist. I could even say that I was horrified when I saw those artworks. What I saw on that exhibition was a series of paintings with very strange, disproportionate figures, lots of red and blue colors used, strange themes of artworks, bizarre presentations of Jesus Christ.

And, to be honest, I didn’t like it. I left the exhibition with mixed feelings – I was disgusted, but also deeply moved.

I couldn’t get over that experience for a long time, until I met Eugeniusz Mucha himself. We met each other at our mutual friend’s place. That friend is Leszek Dutka, also an artist.  Once a week, he has been organizing regular meetings for his friends in his workshop at Kościuszki Street. 

During those meetings, we were drinking vodka with juice in small glasses and tea in beautiful cups. Leszek and his wife Halszka were serving everything they were able to get in those difficult communistic times. Sometimes it was bread with lard, an ordinary sausage, or just a home-made cake. All of us have also brought anything we could, like Oolong tea (the only one that we could get that time), or eucharistic wine (which we bought in devotional articles shop called Veritas, on Sławkowska Street).

I will never forget the atmosphere of those meetings and the way we were talking and spending time with such great artists as Witold Damasiewicz, Jurek Panek, Zbysław Maciejewski and Eugeniusz Mucha. Nowadays, there’s no meetings like those we used to have, and nobody talks like we used to talk. Those days are gone. No turning back.

We were young artists, talking (without any complex) to our older friends – renowned artists.
Today, our older friends are leaving us slowly, one by one. They’re gone to the Lord. And we seem to forget how it used to be when we were young. We seem to forget those meetings, sharing ordinary sausage and eucharistic wine.

The result of those meetings was the idea of opening the gallery by me and my friend, Dominik Rostworowski. He joined us on those unforgettable meetings. And that’s how it all started – my adventure of being the gallery owner, and also my artistic cooperation with Eugeniusz Mucha.

Looking back, I think I could say that it was a tough time for Polish artists. Because of the martial law in Poland, we had to organize the exhibitions in the cultural and political underground. Our gallery became an artistic recess for those who rejected the communism. Nevertheless, I believe it was a beautiful time for us all – so many astonishing exhibitions, so many astonishing artists: Mucha, Obrzydowski, Sroka , Folfas, Leszczyńska-Kluzowa, Rodziński, Ania and Staszek Wejman, Jurek Panek , Dominik Rostworowski and me. There were so many, that it’s not even possible to recall all the names.

Today, probably nobody remembers those times. Nowadays, commerce dominates the atmosphere and people’s relations. After many years, me and Dominik Rostworowski decided to separate and run two individual galleries. Leading my own gallery, I continued my cooperation with Eugeniusz Mucha. So many years, so many meetings. We met many times in his workshop and also in my gallery. After one of group exhibition, to which I invited Mucha, he gave me his painting – a beautiful erotic picture. It’s still hanging in the most honored place of my apartment. I can’t imagine my life without this amazing painting.

About a year ago, I organized one of Mucha’s  last exhibitions (click here to see the post from that exhibition). Then, Gieniu called that exhibition the last one. Today, I feel sadness when I realize that he won’t be visiting me in my gallery on Grodzka Street again, and, looking at my daughter’s painting won’t say : “What a great painting!  Someone very courageous must have done that – such a beautiful color!”. I never told him that my daughter was the author of that painting, and today, I truly regret it.

Marian Gologorski and Eugeniusz Mucha
Pa, Gieniu! Goodbye, Gieniu, I will miss you much!
Hope to see you on the Green Meadows…
Marian Gołogórski

To read more about the last exhibition of Eugeniusz Mucha in Gologorski Gallery check out our blog.

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