MIKAEL LEVIN / MAREK SZWARC

(2014)

In 1921 my grandfather, Marek Szwarc (1882-1958), then a young Polish artist recently arrived in Paris, spent the summer in Lectoure, a small, remote town in the south of France. This visit seems to have been to be a pivotal moment in his life, laying the foundations for his identity as an artist based on a very strong linkage between spirituality, faith, and creativity.

I have no memories of my grandfather, as he died when I was very young, but I grew up surrounded by his paintings and sculptures, and I often heard about Lectoure.

In 2013 I spent some time in Lectoure as a way try to better understand how his ideas on the relationship between spirituality and creativity took shape, and, through him, to think of what that means for me.

The following is a selection from works exhibited in Lectoure in the summer of 2014. For this exhibition I assembled various elements: photographs and videos I made during my visit, a selection of Marek's painting from Lectoure from 1921, a selection of vintage photographs of other works by Marek, some documents, etc.

I did not see my going to Lectoure as a return, and the work I did there was not a response to my grandfather's. Rather, I see this body of work as a way of extending, almost a century later, my grandfather's reflection on the place of spirituality in creativity.



Related Links:

View QUEST on Vimeo.
Read Louis Vauxcelles on Marek Szwarc.
See the Marek Szwarc website.

List of works:

Still life. 2013. Gelatin Silver print. 17.5 x 23.5 inches. Edition of 5.

Still life. 2013. Gelatin Silver print. 23.5 x 17.5 inches. Edition of 5.

Sanctify to Me Every First Born. 1925(?). Vintage print of bas-relief by
Marek Szwarc.

Abundance 1924(?). Vintage print of bas-relief by Marek Szwarc.

The Reconciliation (Jacob and Esau). 1927. Vintage print of bas-relief by
Marek Szwarc.

Wall. 2013. Gelatin Silver print. 8.5 x 11.5 inch image on 16 x 20
inch sheet. Edition of 5.

Wall. 2013. Gelatin Silver print. 11.5 x 8.5 inch image on 20 x 16
inch sheet. Edition of 5.

Marek Szwarc. Still Life. Lectoure, 1921. Oil on canvas. 26 x 20 inches.

Marek Szwarc. View of Lectoure. 1921. Oil on canvas. 26 x 20 inches.

Still from Quest. 2014. Black and White Video. Silent. 70 minute loop.