Tadeusz Kantor

Bunkier Sztuki

Tadeusz Kantor always insisted that he was uninterested in inventing new forms of expression. “Everything I do,” he claimed in an interview, “I do from known elements, from known reality, from real objects, saturated with certain conventions [and] essences.” The artist’s role, he thought, was not to invent but to question and destroy conventions and systems. To bring art into life, the artist should challenge established values, regardless of their aesthetic prominence or political cast.

A seminar figure in twentieth-century Polish art, Kantor (1915–90) was always controversial. His admirers saw him as an iconoclast who steered Polish art away from its local context toward uncharted territories. His opponents accused him of uncritically importing artistic novelties to Poland as soon as they occurred in the West and presenting them as the latest word on contemporary art. He was a chameleon-like

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