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The Praesens group was founded on the initiative of the architect Szymon Syrkus who was joined by the fellow architects Józef Szanajca and Bohdan Lachert, painters and former members of Blok, Władysław Strzemiński and Henryk Stażewski, and sculptor Katarzyna Kobro.

In June 1926, the group published the first issue of its magazine, under the title Praesens: revue moderne. Syrkus outlined the programme of the group, “By way of experiment, the architectonic approach provides new opportunities, not only artistic as it might seem, but also social. For architecture changes the social pattern, as the social pattern changes architecture.” The second issue followed in May 1930; both contained many articles of the international avant-garde.

In October 1926, the group opened its first exhibition in Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw. A year later it co-organized the Machine-Age Exposition in New York City showcasing the works of its members, Stanisław Brukalski, Józef Malinowski, Strzemiński, Syrkus, Henryk Oderfeld, Lachert, Lech Niemojewski, Stażewski, and Szanajca.

Like earlier in the Blok group, different views regarding art were upheld by the architects and by Strzemiński and his friends, Stażewski and Kobro. Strzemiński yet again dismissed the utilitarian basis of the architects’ programme and left the group in 1929. Stażewski and Kobro soon followed him.


Interiors of the Treasury Pavilion, PWK, Poznań, 1929


Praesens 1 (June 1926). 31 x 23 cm. PDF (84 MB).
Praesens 2 (May 1930). 31 x 23 cm. PDF (269 MB).

The above PDFs are sourced from Bibliothèque Kandinsky.


See also[edit]


Avant-garde and modernist magazines

Poesia (1905-09, 1920), Der Sturm (1910-32), Blast (1914-15), The Egoist (1914-19), The Little Review (1914-29), 291 (1915-16), MA (1916-25), De Stijl (1917-20, 1921-32), Dada (1917-21), Noi (1917-25), 391 (1917-24), Zenit (1921-26), Broom (1921-24), Veshch/Gegenstand/Objet (1922), Die Form (1922, 1925-35), Contimporanul (1922-32), Secession (1922-24), Klaxon (1922-23), Merz (1923-32), LEF (1923-25), G (1923-26), Irradiador (1923), Sovremennaya architektura (1926-30), Novyi LEF (1927-29), ReD (1927-31), Close Up (1927-33), transition (1927-38).