Still Life

Benon Liberski

  • type of object: painting
  • date: 1962
  • material/technique: oil, fibreboard
  • dimensions: 75,5 x 79 cm
  • inventory No.: M-188
  • image licensed under: CC BY-SA

Benon Liberski’s recognisable style was formed around 1960. In 1962, he joined the Realist Painters Group, of which he was, along with Jerzy Krawczyk, the most prominent representative. The formation of this grouping is sometimes regarded as an attempt to revive socialist realism in Poland. Such labels, however, do not fit Liberski’s painting, who was an open-minded artist — he exhibited with both realists and modern painters. The Still Life described was also created that year. It is a monochromatic painting, treated in a Cézanne-like manner, devoid of the artist’s characteristic violent juxtapositions of colour. The presence of politically charged elements in Liberski’s paintings — flags, banners or newspapers — derives from socialist realist painting. In this still life instead, we find a reference to The Plague by Albert Camu, an existentialist associated with the Thaw. The painting is in the tradition of vanitas still lifes — fresh fruit and a jug of water contrast with the inscription ‘plague’. Other compositions are similar in character. Sometimes the vegetables lie on newspapers with the headline ‘the war continues’, other times on magazines full of warnings. Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and Camus’ Exile and the Kingdom also appear in subsequent images.

Karolina Zychowicz

translated by Paulina Bożek

Image published as part of the Operational Programme Digital Poland: Open Zachęta financed by European Funds

Other works by artist in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy Guerillas
    GuerillasBenon Liberski1962
  • Zdjęcie pracy Łódź
    ŁódźBenon Liberski1962
  • Zdjęcie pracy Łódź
    ŁódźBenon Liberski1962
  • Zdjęcie pracy
    Benon Liberski1959
  • Zdjęcie pracy Landscape /Łódź/
    Landscape /Łódź/Benon Liberski1963
  • Zdjęcie pracy My Recollection — Katowice Steelworks
    My Recollection — Katowice SteelworksBenon Liberski1973
  • Zdjęcie pracy My encounters - North harbour
    My encounters - North harbourBenon Liberski1974
  • Zdjęcie pracy Nude
    NudeBenon Liberski1974
  • Zdjęcie pracy Coking Plant
    Coking PlantBenon Liberski1974
  • Zdjęcie pracy Berlin 1945
    Berlin 1945Benon Liberski1975
  • Zdjęcie pracy Portrait of Einstein
    Portrait of EinsteinBenon Liberski1980
  • Zdjęcie pracy Still life
    Still lifeBenon Liberski1982

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  • Zdjęcie pracy Oval
    OvalZbigniew Tymoszewski1962