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Tadeusz Peiper - Pope of the avant-garde

Yesterday, at the National Museum in Warsaw, the exhibition “Pope of the Avant-Garde. Tadeusz Peiper in Spain, Poland, Europe” was opened for visitors.

The exhibition presents the relationship between avant-garde art and literature in the early 20th century, taking as a point of departure the oeuvre of Tadeusz Peiper, an eminent poet, critic and theoretician of art.


Tadeusz Peiper was born in 1897 in Podgórze (today, a district of Krakow). He could have followed the footsteps of his father, Abraham Markus Peiper, a lawyer. He chose a different career, however. He went down in history as a founder of the “Zwrotnica” (The Switch) periodical and as a prominent personality of Central European avant-garde.

However, not many people are aware of his ties with the Spanish and Spanish-speaking avant-garde circles. Between 1915 and 1920, Tadeusz Peiper lived in Madrid. At that time, the capital of Spain was the home of Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Guillermo de Torre, Vicente Huidobro, Rafael Barradas as well as Polish artists like Józef Pankiewicz and Jan Wacław Zawadowski.

The curators of the exhibition will lead the viewer through Paris of 1914, the cosmopolitan circles of artists and writers in 1915-1921 Madrid and the Formist and Futurist Krakow, through avant-garde and civilizational utopias of the 1920s to their demise and the gradual rise of catastrophism preceding the outbreak of World War II.

The exhibition reflects artistic alliances and the effects of Peiper’s cooperation with the outstanding artists of the avant-garde.

The exhibition displays paintings, prints and sculptures by masters of the European avant-garde, including the works of such artists as, for instance, Vytautas Kairiūkštis, Francisco Bores, Albert Gleizes, Louis Marcoussis, Leon Chwistek and Leon Dołżycki.

 The exhibition will be on display in Warsaw until 5 September 2015. Then, it will be presented in Madrid.

Edit.: K. Bielawski
Source: information materials of the National Museum in Warsaw