madrid

View of “Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto/Verso,” 2015–16. From left: The Lovers, 1956; Man with Three Heads, Figural Composition no. 1477, ca. 1956; Fan, Abstract Composition no. 1137, n.d.; Mother with Dead Child, 1949. © Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation.

Andrzej Wróblewski

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

View of “Andrzej Wróblewski: Recto/Verso,” 2015–16. From left: The Lovers, 1956; Man with Three Heads, Figural Composition no. 1477, ca. 1956; Fan, Abstract Composition no. 1137, n.d.; Mother with Dead Child, 1949. © Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation.

THOUGH LITTLE KNOWN to global audiences, the work of painter Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–1957) has long been feted in his native Poland as an important bridge between the Constructivist-dominated prewar avant-gardes and the existentialist and figurative traditions of the 1950s. And there is a lot of work to fete indeed: When he died in a mountaineering accident at age twenty-nine, Wróblewski left behind some two hundred canvases, an oeuvre that is striking for its diversity as well as its size. As the artist’s recent retrospective demonstrated, his brush roamed widely, gregariously. He reflected powerfully on the horrors of war—for example, in the shadowy, dread-infused Liquidation of the Ghetto, 1949, with its cadaverous freedom fighter, lifeless child, and prone, hysterical woman clumped claustrophobically together. But the retrospective also included pictures of Chagallesque

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