new-york

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz

Robert Miller Gallery

Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz was one of the key figures of the Modernist avant-garde in Poland. Under the pseudonym Witkacy, he was a renowned playwright whose darkly comic plays presage the theater of the absurd. Between his birth in 1885 and his suicide in 1939 (on the day the Soviet army marched into Poland) he produced philosophical and theoretical writings, novels, and a large body of paintings and drawings, many executed under the carefully recorded influence of peyote, mescaline, and cocaine.

With this recent show we learn of his early and abiding fascination with photography as well. From the age of thirteen, Witkacy made portraits of friends and relatives and photos of improvisational “life theater” works, as well as a body of self-portraits, eventually filling over a dozen albums. None of these was exhibited during Witkacy’s lifetime, and the albums, along with many other works,

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