Conceptualism: Stanislaw Drozdz

Stanislaw Drozdz – a Polish artist and poet. Belongs to the most distinguished representatives of concrete poetry, pre-cursors to that movement in polish art. The artist was fascinated by the word-isolated, analyzed in its autonomy, without either a concrete linguistic context or relationship to reality outside of language. He created his first concrete poems at the end of the 1960′s. He called his works “ideaforms.” The term introduced by the artist stems from the spatial formation of words, numbers, symbols, and produces a sense of the discipline that he studied. Dróżdż arranged them in two- and three-dimensional space, keeping in mind that “traditional poetry describes an image. Concrete poetry writes in images.” In his works he often made reference to metaphors of play – called to mind both by the context of language (one of his exhibits was called, simply, “Language is a game”) and in an existential context somewhat reminiscent of the leitmotif of Bergman’s Seventh Seal (works such as “Checkers, Chess”). “between” and “Alea iacta est” are considered Dróżdż’s most spectacular works. In 1977, Dróżdż created in Gallery Foksal an interior whose white walls were covered in a grid of black letters taken out of the word “between,” and arranged by chance. The word itself, however, did not once appear in the register of consecutively appearing letters. The artist, as it were, invited the viewer inside the text and inside the word “between.”

He represented Poland at the 50th Art Biennale in Venice in 2003. At the center of the Polish pavilion stood a billiards table, on which lay six dice. On a sheet of instructions prepared in 40 languages, the artist invited viewers to a throw, and consequently, a search for the resulting combination on the walls of the pavilion, covered entirely in dice. The winner was he or she who, from 46,656 possible combinations of dice, was successful in finding his or her own.


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