Stanisław Dróżdż

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Born 1939 in Sławków. In the late 1950s he moved to Wrocław, where he stayed for the rest of his life. Graduated from philology at the University of Wrocław in 1964.

"In the times of my secondary school and my university studies the idea had often recurred to me: why is it so that a poem, a story, a novel etc. begin just in some given place and come to an end just in another one? - so I have set my mind on producing works that are devoid of such a feature, confining myself to the pure text."

In 1964 he started writing poetry, and in 1967 ideaforms [pojęciokształty: poezja konkretna]--works on the border of poetry and the visual arts. Next year he debuted at the now-nonexistent Galeria Pod Moną Lizą in Wrocław, since 1971 he has regularly collaborated with Warsaw's Foksal Gallery and other galleries. His texts were realized in the form of manuscripts, photographic prints, computer prints and spatial installations. Using words, numbers and letters he aimed to develop a new visual and semantic qualities; and use a minimum of text to maximise the associative content. Dróżdż's texts are highly varied: there are letter texts, word texts (e.g. Klepsydra [Sandglass], Zapominanie [Forgetting], 1967), digit texts (e.g. Samotność [Solitude], 1967), sign texts (e.g. Niepewność-wahanie-pewność [Uncertainty-Hesitation-Certainty], 1968), and texts-objects (e.g. między [between], 1977). In 1979 he has edited a book Concrete poetry: A Selection of Polish Texts and Documentation 1966-1977 [Poezja konkretna: Wybór tekstów polskich oraz dokumentacja z lat 1967-77]. In 2005 he exhibited computer prints of his concrete poetry on thirty boards at the Foksal Gallery. In 2009 there was a retrospective exhibition of his work at the National Museum in Wrocław, travelled to other locations. His works are part of collections of the National Museum in Wrocław, Museum of Art in Łódź, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, and outside of Poland.

"...poezja konkretna polega na wyizolowaniu, zautonomizowaniu słowa. Wyizolowaniu go z kontekstu językowego, wyizolowaniu go także z kontekstu rzeczywistości pozajęzykowej, żeby słowo jak gdyby samo w sobie i dla siebie znaczyło. W poezji konkretnej forma jest zdeterminowana treścią, a treść formą. Poezja tradycyjna opisuje obraz. Poezja konkretna pisze obrazem". [..concrete poetry consists in isolating the word, making it autonomous. In isolating it from the linguistic context, as well as from the context of the non-linguistic reality, so as to make the word signify in itself and unto itself. In concrete poetry form is determined by content, and content by form. Traditional poetry describes an image. Concrete poetry writes with it.]

In the 70s and 80s he collaborated with a typographer Michał Bieganowski.

He was a member of the Association of Polish Fine Artists [Związek Polskich Artystów Plastyków].

In 2003 he represented Poland at the 50th Venice Biennale with his work Alea iacta est. The walls of the pavilion were covered with about 250,000 slightly enlarged (3x3 cm) rolling dice, demonstrating all the possible combinations that can be obtained by throwing a set of six dice. In the centre of the space stood a billiard table with exactly such a set. In a user manual printed in 40 languages the artist invited the viewer to roll the dice and then find the combination obtained among the 46,656 possible results on the wall.

He has been active in animating the concrete movement in Poland, and has organized numerous theoretical symposiums focusing on concrete poetry. His poems have been published in numerous magazines and exhibition catalogues in Poland and abroad.

Died 2009 in Wrocław.



  • Monograph, Wrocław, 2009. Catalogue for his retrospective exhibition the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. Includes essays by Grzegorz Dziamski, Tadeusz Sławek, and Elżbieta Łubowicz.
  • Dyskurs 10, Academy of Fine Arts, Wrocław, 2009. An issue dedicated to Stanisław Dróżdż. PDF articles

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