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In his short story, Schulz says: This was meant to be a life under the banner of verse and venture, a life of never-ending illumination and wonder.
It seemed to us that all we had to do was just to draw aside the barriers and limits of conventions, the ruts confining the course of human doings, and then elemental force would break into our lives: Schulz constructs such a republic with his entire artistic activity. He seeks to make it into a spiritual stronghold to withstand the flow of the passing time, the storms of history, eventually death. In the individual dimension of the artist’s life, the stronghold is pulled down by fascist totalitarian regime.
In the spiritual dimension of art, the stronghold stands until today, expanding its influence over vast expanses. The city is a fundamental motif in the works by Schulz. The prototypical city is the artist’s home town of Drohobych, whose everyday life undergoes specific mythologisation in his oeuvre. In prose and drawings, petty trade in his father’s shop, which was so close to the artist’s childhood, becomes transmogrified into a mysterious rite, placing it on the borderline between dream and reality.
Schulz’s imaginary world feeds on everyday life of Drohobych. Disparity between the world of women and that of men manifests itself in everyday street scenes.
The only surviving oil painting by Schulz, titled “A Meeting” and dating from arounddepicts a meeting of a young Hasidic Jew and two women.
It is a meeting of two opposing worlds, one of them provocative and tempting, the other discreetly paying homage to it. Never in Schulz’s drawings is the reality of Drohobych presented literally.
Drohobych was situated close to the centres of the Hasidic movement, hence the motif of “Men of the Great Sanhedrin” recurrent in the drawings by Schulz.
Events depicted in many drawings and prints by Schulz take place beyond the actual time – at the mythical time of the holy spring originating in ancient mysteries and religions.
It is further confirmed by recurrent allusions to the worship of mythical gods: Referring to the topos of a journey which dominated his perception of the world in early childhood, Schulz creates a number of outstanding compositions.
The image of a cart drawn by two horses, passing down the town streets is one of the most frequently occurring images in his drawings, the majority of which are preparatory sketches for the illustrations of a short story titled “The Spring”. In Schulz’s world, the concept of constancy and immemorial order combats the concept of revolution and change. The unchanging form of the world becomes embodied in emperor Franz Joseph, a good-natured demiurge whose world cannot withstand the “spring” revolution.
Schulz’s “Spring” seems to be a version of “The Republic of Dreams” – a safe asylum of youth to which everyone yearns to return. This is what the Pensioner – the title protagonist of another short story by Schulz does: In this part of the exhibition an attempt is made at posing a question, to what an extent Schulz was a “hermetic” artist, rooted exclusively in the cultural environment of the provincial town of Drohobych, and to what an extent an artist assimilating in his works the vast tradition of European arts.
Few are aware of the fact that the author of “Cinnamon Shops” in his imaginings largely drew on the reproduced paintings of Spanish masters, including Velasquez, Goya and Zuloaga. Similarly, many of his engravings contained in the famous “Book of Idolatry” constitute intelligible travesties of works by Italian masters, above all Titian and Veronese.
The artist created a world of his own which was founded on attachment to native tradition and simultaneous dialogue with the tradition of the European arts.
Owing to the unconventional and fascinating artistic design, Schulz’s oeuvre created under the charm of museum arts, as well as the sources of his inspiration themselves are going to be displayed together during the exhibition. In his personal life, Schulz was a lover of women, whom he respected and entrusted with matters related to his artistic activity. During the First World War, Schulz’s family left for Vienna, which offered Bruno an opportunity to get acquainted with the works of the most distinguished Secession artists – Gustav Klimt and Otto Wagner, rephblika well as with those of expressionists such as Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschko.
The world of Schulz is split in two – a world of men and that of women. Degraded and buried in shadow, the lower world is inhabited by men represented by immature youngsters, midgets and old men self-portrait of the artists frequently appearing among them. The famed “Book of Idolatry” became a manifesto of relations between men and women. It is in that place that in Bruno Republjka was born into a wealthy and respected family.
His father Jacob was a textile merchant – a picturesque person, a dreamer and a visionary. His mother was descended form an opulent family of timber merchants and thanks to her practical mind was able to look after the family business.
In his program essay Schulz promoted “mythologising of reality”, which might have been a reaction to mundane provincial life. The artist’s imagination transforms everyday trivial events into ambiguous rites. Ordinary social gatherings escape the actual time and are transmogrified by the artist’s imagination into peculiar Bacchanalia. Nude women sit at the tables, ignoring courtship of naked men grouped crouching under the tables, and now and then generously let them republioa their company.
Such are the works that bryno going to be exhibited. In literary texts and drawings by Schulz, the world is depicted as a mysterious book given as an assignment for man to peruse.
In his program essay “Mythologising of Reality”, Schulz says: For us, the senseless is unreal.
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Each section of reality exists through its contribution to a universal sense. Ancient cosmogonies would express this with a dictum: For us, the unnamed is nonexistent.
To name something – is to incorporate it into a universal sense”. Schulz continued working as a teacher, eking out his earnings with painting pictures, propaganda placards and vignettes.
In the summer ofGermans marched into Drohobych, and in autumn the very same year they relocated all Jews into the ghetto. Schulz and his family moved in there too. Several thousand Jews were to bruho made useful for various republiika before being exterminated. Schulz was employed to order the library of the Jesuits from Chyrov, which had been plundered by Germans. His artistic skills were put to use by a Gestapo official Landau, who had Schulz decorate with drawings the walls of the local Gestapo mess hall and schlz rooms of his own children.
In premonition of danger, Schulz and his friends prepared to escape for Warszawa.
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On the day of his departure – November 19,Schulz went to the Office for the Jews in Drohobych to collect his ration of bread as provisions for the journey. On that very day, the townspeople in the streets of Drohobych were massacred by the Nazi.
This part of the exhibition is going to be dominated by the presentation of the frescoes from the nursery, made by Schulz on Landau’s commission. The paintings depicted scenes which illustrated tales made up by the artist. Schulz deliberately prolonged his work on the commissions so as to increase his chances of survival. After the war, nothing was known of the fates of the frescoes. It was only on February 9,that a German film crew headed by the director Benjamin Geisler discovered the lost mural paintings by Schulz in a tiny pantry of a house known as “Villa Landau” at 14 Tarnowski Street in Drohobych, while shooting a documentary titled “To Find the Paintings”.
The frescoes were uncovered and their authenticity confirmed by experts. In May the uncovered sections of the paintings were taken from Drohobych by representatives of the Yad Vashem Institute, Jerusalem.
The remaining five frescoes are now the property of the Museum of Drohobych, the Ukraine, and are going to be borrowed from the Museum to be displayed at the exhibition. In this part of the exhibition the title “The Republic of Dreams” assumes unexpected meanings. An attempt at saving one’s own life becomes paradoxically combined with decorating the walls of a nursery – building up the sphere of childhood dreams. Hence the dramatic dimension of these paintings which should primarily be treated as the signs of the time in which the great artist was doomed to live, and as a specific memento of Schulz.
Contact About us Main page. Exhibitions Current exhibitions Archive exhibitions Permanent offer. An Old Woman;mural painting, mixed technique; property of the Museum of Drohobych, the Ukraine.