Log in

Aleksander Kobzdej (Poland 1920‑1972)

Lots to be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 18-19 November 2020

In this sale, we present several important works by Aleksander Kobzdej. These works all belong to his 1960’s period and have never before been offered at auction. They have remained within the same private Swedish collection ever since they were acquired by the present owners family.

Aleksander Kobzdej is regarded as one of the foremost Polish contemporary artists. Born in 1920 in Ukraine, Kobzdej studied in Poland where he would live for most of his life. During the wartime occupation of Poland he began to study painting under Władysław Lam, and after the war he studied at Kraków’s Academy of Fine Arts and began to lecture there in 1951. His early art was closely linked to post-impressionism, but towards the end of the 1950’s, he travelled around Western Europe which influenced his art to become more abstract. Besides painting, he was an active participant in official art reviews, such as the annual Polish National Visual Arts Exhibitions organised in Warsaw by the Ministry of Culture and Art. At this exhibition, Kobzdej presented one of his most famous paintings “Pass me a brick”. Kobzdej was one of the most prominent representatives of the Polish Social Realist group and he was the creator of unique Polish versions of “matter” painting. After travels to Vietnam and China, he began to stray away from the Socialist Realist iconography towards exotic depictions and narrative pieces. This move from the Social Realism became visible in his series of works titled Gęstwiny/Arrays (1955).

In the 1960’s, Kobzdej began to combine the flat compositions with the technique of relief, visible in some of the works included in this sale. The artist layered thick paint and introduced different materials, such as wood, metal or plastic, which linked together two pieces of painted canvas. Two of the works in this sale belong to the series of Szczeliny/Crevices, which are great examples of the ”matter” paintings. Kobzdej continued on with exploring the form of spatial objects, now composed of rectangular parts that seemed to press an untameable, pulpy mass out of an invisible tube.

Aleksander Kobzdej represented Poland at the Venice Biennale in 1954 and the Biennale in Sao Paulo in 1959. Throughout his lifetime, he participated in several prominent exhibitions and is represented at important institutions and private collections worldwide.

View all lots by Aleksander Kobzdej »
Back to catalogue »


Jeanna Ahlin


Modern & Contemporary Art
Phone: +46 (0)734-32 41 45

Sofie Bexhed

Head of Sales

Phone: +46 (0)705-22 61 62

More information