• April 9, 2013
  • 55

About Andrzej Strumiłło bibliophile portfolio of illustrations “Drawings – Horse”

fot. wilnoteka.lt

I was born in 1927 in Vilnius. My father had come from Minsk Region, my mother from Švenčionys district. I spent my childhood next to Žeimena and Lakaja Rivers. I visited my aunt Emilia in Santok very often. Vilnius, Lida and Navahrudak are the cities of my adolescence. I have lived in Poland since 1945. I had attended Kraków Academy of Fine Arts, Faculty of Painting, then Łódź and Warszawa. I worked in all aspects of visual art. I travelled many times to Asia. I was the head of graphic art studio by United Nations’ General Department, New York City in 1982-1984. I built a house near the Juodoji Ančia River in the Sejny County. I breed Arabian horses. I presented them at many exhibitions in many countries. My friends are activists, scientists and artists from Lithuania. I organized my own first exhibition in free Lithuania in Čiurlionis Museum in Kaunas, Museum of Photography in Šiauliai and Druskininkai, as well as few exhibitions in Vilnius in “Arka” Gallery and in the Vildziunas Center of Sculpture, with whom I keep active relations. My series of drawings for Czesław Miłosz “The Last Poems” was shown in Kaunas and Vilnius. I organized the international open air painting in Suwałki Region with the Lithuanian painters and sculptures participating. I made stage scenery for “Orfeo and Eurydice” opera for Lithuanian National Opera in Vilnius. Me, Miłosz and Venclova initiated and authorized the monumental “The Grand Duchy of Lithuania Books”.

The horses were historically used in warfare, working activities such as agriculture and transportation, as well as they were the mankind friends and objects of worship. The winged Pegasus was symbol of love of beauty and creator of inspiration. Centaur was the communion of man and horse for the ancient people. A horseman became a classical romantic leitmotif. He was born – like Aphrodite – from classical elements, water and fire, according to ancient beliefs and was equally beautiful. My personal relationship with the horse is some tens years old. I have been breeding Arabian horses for twenty years. My first mare came from Mlechy family (drawn by the young Juliusz Kossak); she was a granddaughter of notable Bandoli and El Passa from Janów Podlaski Stud, the oldest Polish stud farm of Arabian horses. There were many outstanding artists in Polish painting history, who painted horses. Each of these horses had their own character and was marked by author’s personality. There were different horses painted by Piotr Michałowski, different by Juliusz Kossak and different by my friend Ludwik Maciąg. I have been drawing the horses as well, when illustrating the Caucasus and Asian literature, but it was marginal theme in my work.

I felt indebted towards the Arabian horses. I was happy with the birth of every foal, success of every colt, beauty and grace of every filly. I made 10 sheets of cardboard illustrations dedicated to Eastern horse theme in 2012, supporting my imagination by Dorohostajski and Czapski works, great romantic Mickiewicz and Słowacki poems, Arabian poet Imru’ al-Qays works and Quran verses quotes. They were drawn by pen, brush and drawing ink. These techniques and the black ink are my favorite for years. I got to know them when travelling to the Far East since 1954.

I am aware that my drawings are sketchy. They are far away from my desire and accomplishments in painting, which is baroque in expression on one hand and yearning to severity, symbol and minimalism on the other hand. An addition of Arabian ornament, gold and handwritten text justify the illustrative character of the drawings. They are carefully published as the bibliophile portfolio of illustrations, size of 35 x 48 cm, by ambitious Wydawnictwo [Publishing House] Edyta Wittchen edytawittchen.pl

Source: http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/o-tece-bibliofilskiej-andrzeja-strumilly-quotkonquot

Tłumaczenie Jadwiga Granowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Jadwiga Granowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 

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