The Directory of Artists

Jerzy Treliński

Jerzy Treliński is representative of a dominating stance within the milieu of the £ód¼ Art College (today Academy of Fine Arts). This stance is directed towards a tradition which stems from a previous tradition represented by Russian constructivism and Bauhaus. It refers to abstraction but also strongly stresses its connection with graphic design.

At the beginning of the 70s, when Treliński was starting his artistic career, this tradition forged connection with the stronger and stronger influences of conceptual art. For Treliński painting is a marginal activity. He is above all a designer. At the same time he is able to draw out artistic consequences from a designer’s practice. Treliński has been connected with the Academy of Fine Arts in £ód¼ for his entire artistic life, he was even its Rector. However his most radical conceptual art works were completed outside of the school.

A sign of this activity external to the £ód¼ Art College was the founding of the 80x140 Gallery in Spring 1971 in the Artists’ Club of the Polish Visual Artists’ Union in the basement of a tenament house at 86 Piotrkowska St. in £ód¼. On the wall on area was marked measuring 80x140, which was a typical format for graphic works. The gallery became a façade of broad artistic work, which embraced the works by Treliński and other artists. It was also active in the network of conceptual galleries in the 70s.

The very first project to take place already showed a critical character of undertaking. In the work entitled Sheets bookkeeping (May 1971) 700 sheets of A4 paper were placed on tables. Every day sheets were counted in the morning and in the evening and their balance was made. They were counted with witnesses and the details scrupulously written down. After 18 days the balance was zero and the action finished. The artist’s commentary was: “I do it to make myself aware that I’m doing it. I want to confirm my creative readiness”. Subsequent works confirmed that. “We are doing” – was an ad which appeared in the Dziennik £ódzki newspaper (no. 225, 22.09.1973) – it was put there by Trelinski, Tadeusz Piechura and Andrzej Pierzgalski. The activity entered the public area, by the illegal placing of a large format sign GALERIA 80x140 on the facade above the entrance to the sports hall in £ód¼ on the Politechnika Avenue. The most radical and risky interventions were during the May 1st parades for example: The Parade in 1974 when he joined the parade holding a sign TRELIŃSKI and Function (1977) when he joined the parade with a band on his arm printed with the sign TRELIŃSKI, similar to the one that the functional security personnel had. He directed participants of the parade by repeating almost whispering “move on”. Function was the last work by Treliński under the banner of the 80x140 Gallery.

In 1972 Treliński started to develop the project Autotautologies. The name TRELIŃSKI in the form of a graphic sign was placed on objects and placed in various situations. The series started with an artistic book consisting of 224 pages, printed only with the sign TRELIŃSKI. There was also the sign TRELIŃSKI on a postcard and a stamp, a tie, a pillow, a shoe box, a poster, flags decorating the city, swimming costumes and the sign was also placed in the landscape. In the National Museum in Warsaw objects which belonged to the Autotautologies series were displayed in a cabinet in the context of works in the gallery of medieval art. The project remains open.

See more: £ukasz Guzek, „Najbardziej radykalne postawy w ruchu galerii konceptualnych lat siedemdziesi±tych. Galeria 80x140 Jerzego Trelińskiego i galeria A4 Andrzeja Pierzgalskiego” [The most radical attitudes within the movement of "conceptual galleries" in the 70s. Jerzy Treliński's Gallery 80x140 and Andrzej Pierzgalski's Gallery A4] Sztuka i Dokumentacja no.4 (2011): 49-68. 

£ukasz Guzek

Realization: Dianthus
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