FROM LENIN TO JOHN PAUL II:THE STATE OF RESEARCH ON THE WORK OF MARIAN KONIECZNY AND A FEW REMARKS UPON HIS RELIGIOUS SCULPTURES (Polish title below)
(Polish title: Od Lenina do Jana Pawla II. Stan badan nad tworczoscia Mariana Koniecznego oraz kilka uwag o rzezbach religijnych jego autorstwa). Marian Konieczny (born in 1930) is a very controversial figure in the history of the monumental Polish sculpture of the second half of the 20th century. A student of Ksawery Dunikowski and a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad, a member of the Polish United Workers' Party, the vice-chancellor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, an MP to the communist Parliament, he has never enjoyed respect or interest of art critics and historians despite being the author of a number of monuments. The researchers writing on Polish memorial sculpture ignored him pointedly, not being able to forgive him the authorship of The Monument of Warsaw Heroes in Warsaw (1964), The Memorial of Revolutionary Struggle in the Rzeszow Region in Rzeszow (1973) or Stanislaw Wyspianski Monument in Krakow (1981). Despite all his detractors, this very industrious, talented and versatile sculptor, whose preferred mode of expression is realistic, after the dramatic political change of 1989 not only did not disappear from Polish artistic life, but keeps on winning competitions and receiving commissions for new memorials, including religious ones. His works include, among others, the monumental Royal Epitaph for the Metropolitan Cathedral in Poznan (1995) and John Paul II Monument in front of the basilica in Lichen (1999). An objective examination of the biography and oeuvre of Marian Konieczny and similar artists is indispensable for the full picture of the Polish monumental sculpture of the 20th and early 21st century.
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