Christmas in the art of Michał Kliś
The Christmas prints of Michał Kliś – often smaller than a wafer, whiter than a wafer and as fragile as a wafer – are a sign of the artist’s great heart.
He has been gifting them to his friends for 30 years. Now, they can be viewed at the exhibition at the Museum of the History of Katowice. Michał Kliś is a former rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice and has been related to the school throughout his career.
Watching these delicate, tiny prints is like watching the world – the snow-covered Beskid Mountains – through a little hole scratched in a frosted window. We focus, like in the Professor’s prints, on a fragment of the reality and we look for familiar shapes in the whiteness. Are they real or do they belong to the supernatural world? Borders blur at Christmas, this is the time to stop and meditate. A world covered in snow feels closer to heaven, as presented to us by Michał Kliś. We are given a unique opportunity to see an extensive collection of the prints: Christmas-themed wood engravings and linocuts, and some of the matrices. However the author, who has a keen understanding of the Beskid folklore, cannot renounce its colours. Remaining within the scope of Christmas themes, he creates large colourful works in the traditional tempera technique, with the honesty and authenticity of the mountain people – writes Monika Michen.
The exhibition of Professor Michał Kliś’s graphic art is a long-anticipated event, especially in the context of the approaching Christmas holidays and the accompanying joy of joint celebrations and the relations with our nearest and dearest. The collection of over 60 miniature prints, executed minutely using the relief printing technique (wood engraving and linocut), show the author’s artistic mastery and has already acquired its history. It is a common understanding that the artists prepares a new print for each exhibition, and we will not be disappointed this year.
Michał Kliś executes great subtlety and delicacy in outlining the silhouettes of the Holy Family, angels, people visiting the manger or going to the Midnight Mass, and merry processions of carolers. The show includes also Christmas-themed drawings and posters, creating a warm and festive spirit.
It will be open until 2 February 2019.