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Program of the Painting Studio XII

The program of this studio is based on the premise that the most important objective of art didactics is to care about the growth of students' individual relationship to art and their self-reliance in the discovery process of fine art subjects.

Painting is a domain of emotions, thinking and self-expression. It requires personal engagement, creativity and imagination, but also responsibility and self-criticism. The quality of artwork depends on the authenticity of the artist's creative motivation and thus on the truthfulness of his issue with the world. The pillars of the painting craft are: drawing competencies, sensitivity to colour, ability to formulate an artistic plan and knowledge of technique. The craft of painting is also based on an openness to new visual technologies, sensitivity to the iconographical layer of pictures, knowledge about classical and modern art, awareness of the need to redefine the notion of “painting” and that of deepening form in relation with the contemporary world.

The realisation of specific semester and annual tasks is connected to other kinds of activities, namely discussions, reading, meetings, artistic and scientific trips as well as outdoor sessions. Complementary to the program is participation in extra-curricular initiatives outside of the University and in public space projects that enrich the artistic standpoint with values of social commitment, personal non-profit and responsibility.

Detailed information on undergraduate and graduate studies can be found in the Charter of Painting Studio XII (2023/24).

Prof. Janusz Marciniak

Themes for 2023/24


1. Studies from nature

A series of works (3–4) based on the study of a still life. Painting from photos is acceptable, but it is recommended to develop drawing skills and color sensitivity by observing nature directly.


2. Self-portrait / portrait

A self-portrait study can be based on the observation of a reflection in a mirror or a self-made photograph. In the case of a portrait, the model can be a person from our studio.


3. AI

Check the possibility of using artificial intelligence to design and create a painting about artificial intelligence on this basis.


4. Concert

Create a painting that will be an attempt at an artistic interpretation of a piece of music you have chosen yourself.


5. Game

Paint a picture inspired by one of the computer games or digital culture in general.


6. The war in Ukraine (continuation of the topic from the previous academic years)

Get acquainted with the iconography of anti-war art (old and contemporary). Create a painting about the war in Ukraine. The best paintings will be reproduced on the website https://www.24-02-2022.pl/


7. Ecology (continuation of the topic from the previous academic years)

Create a painting that will focus on global warming and other threats to the environment which sustains us. Make sure that the picture is not just a short illustration of the problem, but a thoughtful, personal statement. The visual form of this statement should be as important as its content.


8. Own theme

Suggest several projects (4-6) on self-defined topics. It is best if the topics are related to the main field of study (including architecture, graphics, design, sculpture) or other personal interests.


We start the work on each topic by preparing several different projects on paper. The aim of the design is a sketch but legible representation of the idea, defining the composition of the painting, its format and colors. Projects proposals are a necessary basis for dialogue and feedback about ideas and concepts. This year, each student will set themselves the dates of the implementation of topics. The order in which topics are taken upon (with the exception of studies by nature) is arbitrary. The basis for a credit and assessment of the winter semester will be the implementation of a minimum of 5 topics. The basis for credit and assessment of the year will be the implementation of all topics. 


The program for students in the last year of undergraduate and graduate studies will be discussed with each of them separately and will be related to the topic of the diploma thesis.


The classes will include a photography workshop preparing students to produce paintings reproductions and document artistic activities. Our program will also include discussions, meetings and exhibitions. 


Recommended reading 

Dora Apel, Memory Effects. The Holocaust and the art of secondary witnessing

Marc Augé, Oblivion

Daniel Aresse, On n'y voit rien. Descriptions 

Alain Badiou, L'Éthique 

John Berger, Ways of Seeing 

Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty

Pierre Bourdieu, Raisons pratiques. Sur la théorie de l’action

Jolanta Brach-Czaina, Szczeliny istnienia

Józef Czapski, L'oeil, essais sur la peinture

Jacques Derrida, La Vérité en peinture 

Didi-Huberman, Devant l'image: questions posées aux fins d'une histoire de l'art 

Didi-Huberman, Écorces

Wiesław Juszczak, Zasłona w rajskie ptaki

Ireneusz Kania, Ścieżka nocy

Eric Karpeles, Almost Nothing: The 20th-Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski

Primo Levi, The Periodic Table (Il sistema periodico)

Emmanuel Lévinas, Difficile liberté 

Thomas Merton, The Asian Journal

Piotr Piotrowski, Toward a Horizontal Art History 

Susan Sontag, On Photography 

Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

David Sylvester, Interviews With Francis Bacon: The Brutality of Fact

Krzysztof Wodiczko, City, Democracy and Art

Krzysztof Wodiczko, The Abolition of War

List of recommended movies

Anselm Kiefer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGkyVUuRly8

Bacon's Arena, dir. Adam Low

Baraka, dir. Ron Fricke

Gerhard Richter, dir. Corinna Belz

Krzysztof Wodiczko / Socioesthetics, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ylf2XTeto8

Lucian Freud. Painted Life, dir. Randall Wright, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA6yGLydWtc

Mark Lombardi. Art and Conspiracy, dir. Mareike Wegener

The Price of Everything, dir. Nathaniel Khan, https://ninateka.pl/vod/dokument/cena-wszygo-nathaniel-kahn/

Rome, dir. Federico Fellini

Samsara, dir. Ron Fricke

Turner. Simon Schama's Power of Art, dir. Carl Hindmarch

Waste Land, dir. Lucy Walker

List of selected ecological films

The Heart of Eternity, dir. Michael Madsen

A recipe for defeat, dir. John Webster

Encounters at the End of the World, dir. Werner Herzog

The Age of Stupidity, dir. Franny Armstrong