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Projekt współfinansowany przez Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego w ramach programu ‘Edukacja kulturalna’

Pawel Pierscinski


Pawel Pierscinski has been dealing with the landscape photography for over 60 years now. Almost since the beginning of his career he had focused on the landscape. He is the creator and the most prominent representative of the Kielce School of Landscape. Pierscinski explained: „Kielecka School of Landscape is a broad and simple look on the landscape. For the first time in the history of Polish photography, the camera was used to survey the landscape and analyze its structure created by the farmer, and the documentation confirmed the essential feature of the Polish landscape.”

The most recognizable feature of his works are those taken in black and white, treating landscape in an almost mathematical way, with the strong use of geometry. The most important feature of those works is the composition giving it both the rhythm, and defining method of working with the landscape. Occasionally, one may notice a person in those frames. These are mostly anonymous individuals almost pressed or fused with the landscape. Paradoxically, they give the work a feeling of alienation, while demonstrating the scale of the photographed area.

It is easy to find the references to painting (the author himself often titles his works) in Pierscinski’s works, especially of those painted by Ferdynand Ruszczyc. Like in the paintings of that Young Poland’s artist, in Pierscinski’s works huge role is played by the unique tension and drama, combination of geometry noticeable in the landscape with spectacular weather phenomena: sun shining strongly or storm clouds in a fancy system.

Experiments with the wide – angle lens of Fish-eye type play an important role in the Pierscinski’s workshop. The key element is the composition of the frame, but by bending the horizon works become unreal.

In the late 60’s Pierscinski experimented a lot with the photomontage. He composed his images spatially, he arranged their fragments into geometric forms, which were titled, among others: „Pięciobok”, „Rozeta”, „Szachownia”, „Ugięcie przestrzeni”. From this time also came a series of works referring to the avant – garde experiments of the “new photography” of the interwar. One may find in the works of Pierscinski such as: „Świat bajki”, „Mątwa” or „Nurek” fascination with artists such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray. Many works from this period are characterized by the style of surrealism – the images are puzzling and lack in obviousness, titles of works do not provide answers, but rather introduce a poetic note in almost abstract frames.

In the 70’s one can notice in the works of Pierscinski his attempts to refer to the conceptual trends. Especially in the diptych „Gimnastyka” 1970, that are photographic collages. In the 80’s he returns to the landscape, but still experiments with the form of photos’ presentation. Pierscinski creates mini – cycles and a series of works: „Małe formy krajobrazowe”, „Kielce-Włoszczowa” – by juxtaposing together several works, mostly four (if the component is a rectangle) or nine (if the output is a square).

Pawel Pierscinski published hundreds of texts on the subject of photography and several books, among others, „Pola Pejzażu”, „Między Wisłą a Pilicą” or „Czas Krajobrazu”. He became the initiator of the publication of „Polska Fotografia Krajoznawcza”. He is known primarily for his work in black and white, but he had also published colorful works a few times, remaining, however, far from the style of Kielce School of Landscape.