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a.r. group (Przyboś, Strzemiński, Kobro), c 1930.
a.r. International Collection of Modern Art, Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, installation view, 1932.
a.r. group exhibition at the IPS Warszawa, 1933.

a.r. (artyści rewolucyjni; awangarda rzeczywista). Polish group of avant-garde artists that flourished between 1929 and 1936. Its members were the sculptor Katarzyna Kobro, the painters Władysław Strzemiński and Henryk Stażewski, and the poets Jan Brzekowski and Julian Przyboś. It was founded by Strzeminski after he, Kobro and Stazewski left the Praesens group. The group’s programme chiefly reflected the views of Strzeminski. In two leaflets entitled Kommunikaty a.r. (‘a.r. bulletins’) the group declared itself in favour of a ‘laboratory’ version of Constructivism and an avant-garde art that influenced social life in an indirect and gradual manner. It opposed the politicization and popularization of art, which it regarded as a debasement of artistic expression, but the group also believed that rigorous, formal discipline, the organic construction of a work, its coherence, effectiveness and economy of means, made art somewhat synthetic or contrived. From 1933 the group’s announcements regarding its programme appeared in the Lódz art magazine Forma.

a.r. International Collection of Modern Art[edit]

a.r. International Collection of Modern Art donated by a.r. group to the Municipal Museum of History and Art (now Museum of Art; Museum Sztuki) in Lodz opened to the public on 15 February 1931. It included 111 works and represented - as no other contemporary European collection had done - the main movements of avant-garde art, from Cubism, Futurism and Constructivism, through Purism and Surrealism, to Neo-Plasticism, Unism and Formism. It is the first permanent collection of abstract art in a European museum, and opened two years after the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Władysław Strzemiński and a.r. group acquired the works through donations from artist friends and acquaintances around Europe between 1929 and 1932, and supplemented the collection until 1938. The collection in its ideological construct reflects the artistic preferences of Strzemiński, although it is a resultant of many people’s efforts, Stażewski, Brzękowski, Hans Arp and Michel Seuphor among others. In so doing they altered the cultural topography of the whole continent, putting Lodz on the map as a link between Paris, Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow. Equally radical was the idea of a museum based on international exchange between artists. The collection include works from Abstraction-Création, Cercle et Carré, Ernst, Arp, Léger, Picasso, Marcoussis, van Doesburg, Prampolini, Vantongerloo, Schwitters and the Polish avant-garde such as Chwistek, Hiller, Witkiewicz and Szczuka. The museum continuted to exhibit the constructivist works even during communism. The works by Kobro and Strzemiński are now housed in a space designed by the couple in 1948, the 'Sala Neoplastyczna'. [1] [2]


(in Polish)

  • a.r., bulletin, 2 issues, Mar 1930 & Dec 1932.
  • Julian Przyboś, Z ponad, illustr. Władysław Srzemiński, 1930.
  • Katarzyna Kobro, Władysław Strzemiński, Kompozycja przestrzeni, 1931.
  • Katarzyna Kobro, Władysław Strzemiński, Obliczenia rytmu czasoprzestrzennego, 1931.
  • Julian Przyboś, W głąb lasu, 1932.
  • Jan Brzękowski, W drugiej osobie, illustr. Jean Arp, 1933.
  • Jan Brzękowski, Poezja integralna, 1933.
  • Władysław Strzeminski, Druk funkcjonalny, 1935.
  • Jan Brzękowski, Zaciśnięte dookoła ust, illustr. Max Ernst, 1936.


See also[edit]