Abstract painting was one of the most important phenomena in the history of 20th-century art. Its transformations were closely followed, different trends were meticulously listed, theories were formulated. Works in which artists combined the abstract and the figurative – by representing objects or people – attracted incomparably less attention.

During the lecture, the beginnings of the abstract-figurative formula in European and American art will be reviewed, including selected pieces by Włodzimierz Zakrzewski, Marek Chlanda and Jarosław Grulkowski.

However, the primary aim of the lecture will be to reflect on the notion of artistry in works based on this combination. It does not stem just from the concurrent presence of abstract and figurative elements in one work, but above all from their mutual relationship, especially in a way that reveals their surprising community.

Dr Michał Haake: an art historian and critic, professor at the Institute of Art History of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, member of the Karl Jaspers Society of Poland, contributor to Arteon magazine