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eng Automatic Translation

Władysław Strzemiński

1893 – 1952

Artist, avant-garde artist, theorist, critic, designer. unism theorist in abstract art. Member of the First World War, Knight of St. George.

The most important role in defining his own creative concepts was played by constructivism. However, his views differed from the constructivist slogans of subordinating art to considerations of public benefit. Vladislav defended the ideas of the autonomy of art and the right to "laboratory purity" of artistic experiments. He agreed with the need to combine art and social life, but at the same time he recognized the modeling role of art in relation to all forms of human activity. For the first time he formulated the principles of "unism" - a constructivist concept that affirmed the unity of color, line and rhythm in painting. He paid great attention to functional graphics and typographic art.


Selected events

Selected artworks

Associated institutions

Articles on KALEKTAR

Associated Documents


Selected dates:

November 9 (21), 1893

Born in Minsk (Russian Empire, today the Republic of Belarus) in the family of a Polish nobleman and lieutenant colonel of the Russian Imperial Army Maximilian Benedikt Strzheminsky. Mother - Eva Rozalia, nee Olekhnovich.


The father considered for his son the only worthy military career, 11-year-old Vladislav was sent to the 3rd Moscow Cadet Corps (since 1908 - the 3rd Moscow Emperor Alexander II Cadet Corps).


Nikolaev Engineering School in St. Petersburg. He graduated from college with the title of engineering lieutenant.


In July of the same year, he was assigned to the Osovets fortress sapper company (in the Bialystok region), where he was caught by the outbreak of war. With the outbreak of hostilities in the area of the fortress, the construction of new and strengthening of old positions continued. The Osovets fortress sapper company was reinforced and deployed into two separate companies: the 1st and 2nd. Lieutenant Strzheminsky is appointed to the 2nd company. Finding itself on a ledge of the front in a semi-encirclement, from September 1914 the garrison was forced to live under bombing and enemy attacks, including repelling two general assaults in September 1914 and in February-March 1915. Recalling the siege of the fortress many years later, Strzheminsky will characterize everyday life in Osovets as a place of "hunger, stench and particularly vicious lice" (Polish "głodu, smrodu i powszechnie pleniącej się wszawicy").

July 19, 1915

He was awarded the Order of St. Stanislav 3rd degree with swords and a bow.

July 24 (August 6), 1915

The Germans began the third general assault on the fortress , which was preceded by a massive gas balloon attack with chlorine. In the selfless counterattack of the defenders of the fortress struck by gas, the 13th company distinguished itself with the soldiers and officers of the fortress garrison who joined them under the command of Lieutenant Kotlinsky. The events of that day were later given the name "Attack of the Dead" in journalism. The company combat log for that day, among other things, indicates: “At the end of this dashing attack, Lieutenant Kotlinsky was mortally wounded and transferred command of the 13th company to Lieutenant of the 2nd Osovets sapper company Strezheminsky, who completed and completed the work so gloriously begun by Lieutenant Kotlinsky ". The next day, July 25 (August 7), the Highest Decree is dated on the assignment of Lieutenant Strzheminsky Vladislav Maksimilianovich Georgievsky weapons. After leaving Osovets, the 2nd sapper company was reorganized into the 39th Separate sapper company and by the spring of 1916 was in positions near Pershay, now the territory of the Pershay village council in the Republic of Belarus.

Night from 6 to 7 May 1916

During the mortar shelling of Russian positions, one of the mines hit the trench where the Strzheminsky platoon was located. From a close explosion, he received multiple severe injuries . In the field hospital, he was forced to amputate his right leg entirely and his left arm up to the elbow . The eyes were also affected , the right one subsequently never fully recovered. After the operation, Strzheminsky was evacuated to Moscow for further treatment.

May 24 (June 6), 1916

According to the previous submission, the Supreme Order was signed to award Strzheminsky the Order of St. George 4th degree .


Treatment and restoration of motor functions took a long and difficult time. Strzheminsky was tormented for a long time by phantom pains in the amputated limbs. He also experienced pain from prostheses and was forced to walk only on crutches for the rest of his life. Becoming completely disabled at the age of 22, Strzheminsky had to try to find a new goal in life. 18-year-old Ekaterina (Katarzhina) Kobro , the daughter of a wealthy shipowner from Russian Germans Nikolai von Kobro (mother - nee Evgenia Rozanova), worked as a sister of mercy in the officer's department of the hospital. According to Katarzyna's nephew, Georg Kobro, it was she who "infected" Vladislav with her passion for art.


After the October Revolution , he headed the art department at the People's Commissariat of Education (Narkompros) of the RSFSR and at the same time taught with Vladimir Tatlin at SVOMAS (Free Art Workshops). During these years he was an active supporter of the Suprematism proclaimed by Kazimir Malevich.


Marriage with Katarzyna Kobro .


Organized and managed in Smolensk a branch of the UNOVIS group .


Together with his wife Katarzyna Kobro, he moves from the RSFSR to Poland .


As an artist, critic and organizer, he played a leading role in the Polish constructivism movement.


Strzheminsky and Kobro take part in the organization of the Warsaw avant-garde group Blok ("Block"), which also published the magazine of the same name. In it, the artist for the first time expressed his thoughts on the creation of a new avant-garde movement "unism" , which was finally formalized in the book "Unism in Painting" published by him in 1928.


He was a member of the Warsaw Praesens society and largely determined its ideological platform.


He organized the group "ar" (revolutionary artists or real avant-garde), which included E. Kobro, artist G. Staevsky, poets Yu. Pshibos and Ya. Bzhekovsky. The group has staged several exhibitions, published a newsletter of the same name and a library of supplements, formed the International Collection of Contemporary Art, which is acquiring the status of state art .


On the initiative of the artists of the "ar" group, the International Collection of Modern Art created from 1929 to 1932 was transferred to the museum in Lodz .


He was a member of the international avant-garde association Abstraction-Creation .


Created a cycle of picturesque "Architectural Compositions" .


He painted still lifes, urban landscapes, cubist compositions, created a series of seascapes, in which he relied on a scientific analysis of the physiological and psychological processes of visual perception.


Executed a cycle of lithographs "Lodz without functionalism" . He paid great attention to functional graphics and typographic art, developed a special course on functional printing for his students.

September 1939 to May 1940

Hiding from the outbreak of war, he lived with his family in the city of Vileyka (Belarus). He worked at the local high school. In Vileyka, Strzheminsky created the first of the military cycles of drawings called "Western Belarus".


He worked at the local gymnasium in Vileyka. He created the first of the military cycles of drawings called "Western Belarus" . Then, using the German roots of his wife, the family returns to Lodz , by that time occupied by Nazi Germany. During the German occupation, while in Lodz, annexed to the Reich, following his wife, he declared himself a person of Russian nationality. After the war, in this case, proceedings were conducted on the withdrawal of Polish citizenship, but was terminated by the prosecutor's office (Kobro was convicted by the court in 1949, but acquitted a year later).


Became the initiator of the creation of the Łódź High School of Arts , which now bears his name. Since 1946, he headed the department of spatial arts in it, lectured on the history of art, composition, led a functional graphics studio and arranged summer classes in the open air.


He was suspended from teaching by order of the Minister of Culture for inconsistency with the dogmas of socialist realism. During this period, his marriage to Katarzyna Kobro broke up. He was left without any source of income. He was hired to paint signs. C Buried at the Old Cemetery in Łódź. His tombstone was designed by Karol Chorek in 1962 (refurbished in 2013) [6].

December 26, 1952

According to Andrzej Sapia's documentary Give a Brick, or Polish Socialist Realism by Andrzej Sapia, Strzeminski died of starvation as a victim of the communist system in the People's Republic of Poland, which prevented artists who opposed socialist realism from working. However, tuberculosis was the immediate cause of death . He was buried in the Old Cemetery in Lodz.


The book "The Theory of Vision" was published, on which he worked in the last period of his life, already in the hospital, with the help of a group of former students.


Founded in 1945, the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, where the artist taught, was named after Vladislav Strzeminski .

May, 2013

A sculptural composition dedicated to the memory of Strzheminsky was installed in Vileyka .


A film by Andrzej Wajda dedicated to Władysław Strzeminski "After-images" is released .



Author of the book "Unism in Painting" , 1928

Author of the book "Composition of Space: Calculation of the Space-Time Rhythm" , 1931

Author of Functional Font , 1935