exhibition opening 01.18.2019 (Friday), 6 PM
exhibition open until 03.10.2019
„Rysio was then 17, and was aware of what was going on around him. He had a feeling that he would not survive the war and, as he said, it did not matter to him. He only wanted to save his work from destruction”.
„Who Are You, Mr Grymek?”
Ryszard Apte, a young Cracovian artist of Jewish ancestry who died during the Holocaust, and his works re-emerged 10 years ago. Then, Gerard Piasecki from Wieliczka, a descendant of the family who hid the Apte family during the war, for the first time showed the world the school notebook in his possession. An inconspicuous one, signed “Ryszard Apte. 1939/1940”. It contained approximately 30 drawings, and among them – a cycle entitled “Anxiety.”
The notebook was in the hands of the Piasecki family for several decades, after Ryszard himself, foreseeing his own death, handed it to Mrs. Piasecka. It was kept among old photos, documents and other souvenirs. It had not been shown to anyone before because it recalled painful memories: Bolesław, Gerard’s grandfather, died in the same year as Ryszard Apte. The notebook became a symbol of pain and suffering for the family, a reality that they wanted to forget about.
“Anxiety” is loose pages with drawings that miraculously have not been destroyed. More than a dozen visions of death and an equal number of the evidences of life. Thanks to them, Ryszard Apte has not disappeared without a trace; thanks to them we can see what he saw – the everyday reality of the fulfilling apocalypse.
Coordinator: Magdalena Urbańska
Original exbition’s curators: Anna Janeczko, Kinga Sozańska
Consultation: Tomasz Strug
Scientific consultation: Edyta Gawron PhD
We are thankful to Mr. Gerard Piasecki for lending the Galicia Jewish Museum Ryszard Apte’s works.
The exhibition belongs to the Galicia Jewish Museum in Cracow.