By the late 1920s in Europe new art directions were regarded as already completed phenomena, a part of “avant-garde tradition.” Such views were expressed by Jean Arp and El Lissitzky’s in their book Kuntismen, and by Amédée Ozenfant’s in Art. Bilan des arts modernes en France. Similar opinions were also voiced by Jan Brzękowski, a Polish poet and critic, who regarded this time as a period of “establishing certain values” rather than new breakthroughs. In this article I discuss Brzękowski’s strategies as a spokesman of modern art, an intermediary between the Parisian artworld and Polish avant-garde, an author connected with constructivism, and also with surrealist circles in Paris. My main focus is his magazine “Sztuka Współczesna – L’Art Contemporain” and his series of articles “Mileages,” in which he summarizes the developments of modern art. Conscious of the “wearing up” of avant-garde ideas and critical about seeking “novelty” for its own sake, Brzękowski tried to establish a progressive position based on the idea of formal discipline and creative construction. While rejecting a mimetic conception of art, he argued for abstract artistic form that would be “anchored to the bottom of life,” thus emphasizing the interplay of abstract and figurative elements and their dialectic.
Keywords Jan Brzękowski  L’Art Contemporain  awangarda  krytyka artystyczna  prasa artystyczna  surrealizm  sztuka abstrakcyjna
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DOI 10.18778/0208-6107.36.01
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