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Stanisław Ryszard Kortyka (born in 1943 in Szewce near Sandomierz) studied at Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Sztuk Plastycznych (State Higher School of Fine Arts) in Wrocław – painting and drawing in prof. Zbigniew Karpiński’s atelier, painting design in architecture in Alfons Mazurkiewicz’s atelier. He obtained a degree with a honorary mention in l969.
As a professor he runs Painting and Drawing studio at Akademia Sztuk Pięknych (Fine Arts Academy) in Wrocław and at Instytut Sztuk Pięknych (The Fine Arts Institute) at Uniwersytet Zielonogórski (The University of Zielona Góra). He edited four poetry collections in the Ossolineum publishing house: Po tamtej stronie/On the Other Side (l968), Czerwień studzienna/Redness of a Well (l973), Sytuacje metaforyczne – obrazy z pamięci/Metaphorical situations – Pictures from Memory (PWSSP in Wrocław, 1978) and Pod światło/Against the Light (1981).
Kortyka’s painting in its stylistics is close to surrealism – sensuous and reflective. The artist makes use of the emotionally marked colour ranges, softend painting matter and refined mat textures. By using them he depicts shots of the world cut by multiplied lines of the penetrating horizons and creates anamorphic, the gradually ordered spaces that evokes images known from Yves Tanguy’s canvas. Kortyka’s compositions, however, attract us with another kind of nostalgia, melancholic yearning and emotional warmth, which seems to be the most important mark of the painter’s style and personality.
The starting point for the artist from Wrocław is the inspiration with a real landscape. By reducing some elements of the landscape natural composition to horizontal courses, Kortyka goes away from a depiction to a metaphor and a landscape abstract. This trait allowed some critics (e.g. Dominik Krzysztof Łuszczek, Renata Rogozińska) to perceive his painting in the context of para-religious art that deals with ‘spiritual’ contents. It was also supported by Kortyka himself and his re-interpretation of the Passion themes as well as his reflective attitude noticed in his poetry. Kortyka’s artistic and poetic works quite often own an elegiac character. They suggest inevitable variability, erosion, fading away the borders between forms and space. They evoke sadness, nostalgia, awaiting the unexpressed and the unknown. The picture titles as Ten czas już minął/This Time Has Passed, Było minęło/It was, It Passed, or Światło tamtego lata/The Light of That Summer are the visible signs of a retrospective, the proof of desperate going backwards and returning to the emotions that constitute the painter’s memory preserved also in his drawing and photography.