Ryszrad Grzyb Placebo

Ryszard Grzyb

Born in 1956 in Sosnowiec. Studied at the State School of Arts in Wrocław, in the workshop of prof. Zbigniew Karpiński (1976-1979) as well as at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts’ school of painting (1979-1981). Gained his diploma under the tutelage of prof. Rajmund Ziemski. After his studies, worked as an assistant in the Painting and Drawing Work-room of the Industrial Design Department of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

From 1982-1992 was a member of Gruppa (Paweł Kowalewski, Jarosław Modzlewski, Włodzimierz Pawlak, Marek Sobczyk, Ryszard Woźniak), with whom he often exhibited and took part in actions. Was also co-founder and editor of Gruppa’s publication “Oj dobrze już”. The fruit of Gruppa’s underground period became works on paper whose expressive form corresponded to the engagement with which the artists belonging to Gruppa acted in defense of freedom and voiced their opinion over political, national or artistic questions.

The next stage in the painting of Grzyb is marked by the appearance of animals on his canvases: rhinoceroses, rabbits, butterflies, turtles. The ancient theme of the animal is captured by the artist in a decorative form, characterized by a riot of colors, geometric shapes and richness of ornaments. Their poeticism, grotesqueness and sensuality reflect the worldview of the artist, in which the painter’s exposition is characterized by magical thought and a totemic philosophy, related to both contemporary and primitive cultures, of unity between the individual and the cosmos.

Besides painting, he also occupies himself with poetic creation, having debuted while a still student in Wrocław. He published his texts in “Nowy Wyraz,” “Miesiecznik Literacki,” in “Oj dobrze już,” as well as in the publication “Sztuka Najnowsza,” “Co słychać” and “Young Poets of a New Poland.”

In 2004 he began the multimedia project “Zdania napowietrzne” (“Airy Phrases”), for the purpose of which he collects short poetic phrases, “absurd haiku,” as he calls them, and places them in contexts entirely alien to poetic experiment: on billboards, postcards, pencils, mugs. He also turns them into neon signs and information boards. By appropriating space that is intended for a different type of communication, the artist strengthens their power of transmission, evoking its own sort of suspense.

Exhibition at Propaganda:


Painter Wrote

Oh, It’s All Right Now

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