Zamoyski, the metaphysics of form

On 11 July 2019, by Sophie Reyssat

Avant-garde Polish sculptor August Zamoyski was committed to Formism.

August Zamoyski (1893-1970), Tête de Franz Lowy (Head of Franz Lowy), 1922, bronze with nuanced brown patina, signed, stamp of the founder Valsuani, h. 49 cm.
Estimate: €30,000/50,000

Eschewing conformity, sculptor August Zamoyski quickly took an interest in Cubism and abstraction, embraced by his native Poland’s artists and intellectuals as early as 1910. In his search for pure form, art had a metaphysical dimension. He and other artists sharing his ideas participated in the creation of Formism, a movement whose theoretical groundwork had been laid by his friend Witkacy (1885-1939) in his 1919 essay New Forms in Painting and the Misunderstandings Arising Therefrom. In 1921, the year he made this sculpture, Zamoyski discussed his ideas in an article published in the magazine Zwrotnica. Absolute beauty, he wrote, does not exist. Canons change depending on periods, intellectual movements and technical means. He believed that the perfection of the latter had brought sculptors to a dead end. Since every possible avenue of representation had already been explored, they had to turn away from naturalism and return to pure form. However, after experimenting with abstraction, Zamoyski concluded that it did not offer enough expressive possibilities, so he proposed a third way: "Joining the absolute harmony of nature and pure form, that is my problem". To succeed, it was necessary to cast away conventions and the desire to imitate to keep only the need to sculpt.

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