Auguste Zamoyski


 

 

S.I. Witkiewicz, A Portrait of August Zamoyski 1918. Coll. Museim of Central Pomerania in Slupsk.

"What I call "Art" is this disinterested effort which seeks to render the absolute intelligible, to have us touch it, identify with it...

"Art thereby is... neither entertainment, nor aesthetic activity, nor a tool for social action. It is the fuit of the noblest investigation,
a disquieting mystical experience, and the comprehension or rather appropriation of matters of reality,
through authentic emotion, anchored in the most disinterested means possible in the love of creation and the Creator,
merging with Him, in an inseparable co-naturalism, with the aid and by means of the art that we create,
albeit with all kinds of discernible (and thereby multiple) nuances".

Auguste Zamoyski - "Beyond Formism"


 

August Zamoyski was born in 1983 in an eastern Poland that was then occupied by the Russians. He was to go on to cherish his love of his homeland through thick and thin.

 

His vocation as a sculptor found its expression right from childhood, in spite of family opposition.  Descendant of a famous Polish family, he was an aristocrat in bearing, culture and open-mindedness, uprightness and sense of duty. 
He was Catholic by belief.

 

His contribution to the Polish avant-garde movement from 1916 to 1924 was above all artistic, as Zamoyski had always kept himself apart from the political and reformist commitments of his friends. 
He helped create a new formist Polish art.

 

A cutter in stone and wood, with which hi sculpted his first formist works, he also took a lively interest in the different stages of bronze casting and was as much a craftsman as an artist.

August Zamoyski belonged to the breed of creators who opt for sculpture right from the beginning of their artistic career. His position constituted a revolt against the conventional schemes applied in art. He was all too aware of the problems of European art in his time, and found affinities with the German expressionists, then the Polish formists.

 

Zamoyski fashions his individualism through his surroundings.  Facial features are built into a Cubist synthesis, and sculpture is no longer a simple portrait, but an idea of modelling “that reaches out towards a pure form”.

 

Forms which merge, Entre Deux, forms with a cadence of curves, softness and roundness, simple forms with no posturing, right up to the sacred sculptures that constitue the crowningachivement of his "drama of human existence". Generalised forms evolve into religious scenes charged with expressiveness and ecstasy, such as the Pieta, the Resurrection, and the Ascencion, wihich stands out for its complex structure of softly modelled surfaces, shaped so as to make the most of the values derived from the shifts of light and shade.

 

Zamoyski’s work is practically unknown in France, even though he lived in the country  for some thirty years,
between 1924 and his death in 1970.

 

The essence of his collection, the sculptures, sketches, and a considerable supply of archive material, were stored away by the artist’s widow, Mrs Hélène Zamoyska, in their country house in St-Clar-de-Rivière near Toulouse,
France, where he kept his studio.

 

In 2002 Hélène Zamoyska donated this heritage to Sylvanès Abbey.