The political thaw of the second half of the 1950s brought an extraordinary revival to Lublin’s artistic circles. Its most famous expression was the activity of the “Zamek” (“Castle”) Group, which was composed of both artists (including Tytus Dzieduszycki, Włodzimierz Borowski, Jerzy Durakiewicz, Jan Ziemski, Przemysław Zwoliński, Krzysztof Kurzątkowski) and critics (Wiesław Borowski, Jerzy Ludwiński, Hanna Ptaszkowska).
The exhibition presents the works of the artists of the “Zamek” group in the context of modern art and in relation to other artistic circles (Krakowska Group, 55 Group, 4F + R Group) as well as later conceptual experiments presented in the Labirynt (Labyrinth) gallery in Lublin. Artists associated with the “Castle” group searched for the properties of the contemporary style, preferring individual gesture and non-geometric abstraction, and also discovered new image qualities – concrete, structural – by arranging careful and expressive compositions from non-painting materials. The idea of an image-object, developed with a diversified texture, understood as a whole, evoking emotions and offering various sensory experiences, manifested the freedom of creation as a reaction to the compulsion of the socialist realist image. At the same time, the insightful studies of critics published in “Struktury” placed the work of the members of the group in the mainstream of the European avant-garde. The works of artists of the 1950s heralded profound transformations in the art of the 1960s towards optical and kinetic images, environment and process art.
Through the arrangement – the effect of movable frames and walls – the exhibition evokes the fundamental assumption of structural painting related to the operation of the material, three-dimensional form of an image-object. The open composition of the exhibition corresponds both to the historical conditions of exhibition experiments and serves as a background that highlights the still current and attractive artistic language shaped by the members of the group.