The Magazine Formiści and the Early International Contacts of the Polish Avant-Garde (1919–1921)

Przemyslaw Strożek

Przemysław Strożek is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences and Research Associate at the Archive of the Avant-gardes in Dresden. He has published extensively on the European avant-garde, among others: Marinetti i futuryzm w Polsce (1909-1939), ISPAN, Warszawa 2012; Modernizm – Sport – Polityka, ISPAN, Warszawa 2019, and has curated exhibitions on Enrico Prampolini (Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, 2017), Dziga Vertov (Arsenal Gallery in Białystok, 2017) and Avant-garde Theatre in Central and Eastern Europe (Quadriennale Prague, 2019). This essay was first published in 2013 in Rocznik Historii Sztuki, volume XXXVIII. It emphasises the importance of the periodical Formiści (The Formists) (1919-1921) within the context of the early Polish and international avant-garde. Formiści became a platform for the exchange of progressive ideas developed in parallel across Europe, a vehicle facilitating the flow of information on the latest developments in the arts in Poland and internationally, arguing for an artistic revolution in Polish culture, adapting to the changes that took place in the immediate aftermath of the First World War. (KKW)

The Magazine Formiści and the Early International Contacts of the Polish Avant-Garde (1919–1921)

Przemysław Strożek


In recent years, the study of modernism and the avant-garde has begun to tend towards a comprehensive approach to literary and artistic transformations and their relationship to the geopolitical changes that occurred after 1918. If past research focused mostly on the study of the reception of particular exhibitions and the analysis and interpretation of the work of certain artists and tendencies, today the avant-garde is often considered in relation to collective plans for modernisation, leading to the creation of modern identities in the pan-European sphere. New research has turned to the nations of Central Europe, the so-called New Europe, in which the creation of the foundations for independent existence were associated with sweeping economic and cultural changes and the realisation of thorough programmes of modernisation.[1] Steven Mansbach’s pioneering 1999 study Modern Art in Eastern Europe: From the Baltic to the Balkans ca. 1890–1939 proposed a broad geography of the Eastern-European region and highlighted the significance of artistic exchange between its local centres.[2] Timothy Benson’s ground-breaking 2002 exhibition at the LA County Museum of Art, Exchange and Transformation: Central European Avant-Garde, 1910–1930, can be seen as a development of this set of concerns, digging deeper in this new research direction.[3] Its key idea was to reveal the historical processes that led to the formation of local artistic circles, defining international artistic and intellectual exchange between particular cities and regions. The overarching idea of the cultural supremacy of a Western-centric ‘Old Europe’, with Paris as its centre, was called into question and contested after the creation of new nations after 1918, by the dynamic developing centres of the New Europe.[4]

In framing research in such a way, particular attention has been paid to the significance of magazines, which were a forum for circulating the modernist attitudes of particular groups. The third volume of The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines, compiled by an international team of scholars and published in 2013, represented the first complex and critical analysis of pre-war European modernist magazines. The project leaders avoided writing the history of the avant-garde in the form of the study of particular ‘isms’ and foregrounded the need for deeper research into the process of the formation of particular groups, in view of the so-called sociology of modernisms.[5] In their introduction, the editors drew on Raymond Williams’ and Alain Badiou’s observations concerning the significance of friends and people with shared interests forming artistic groups to manifest their ideas through organised activities. Badiou argued that ‘“the avantgarde” means a group, even if it is a handful of people, … a group, motivated by strong personalities, which are not keen to share power’.[6] The vociferously-imposed opinions of the leader of a particular group could either cement its position in the international circuit, lead to its break up or result in the formation of splinter groups. Above all, magazines became the principal medium of activity of avant-garde groups and a platform for programmatic statements and discussion, alongside individual works and exhibitions. They were tools for the popularisation of new ideas, a means for artists to enter into the field of public discussions and confrontations with the receivers of their art. Most importantly, they formed a network of artistic-intellectual exchange, the swiftest means available for the flow of information concerning the most recent avant-garde experiments.[7] The term ‘avant-garde’ itself, referring to the military meaning of the vanguard, suggests that a given group of artists and writers, sensing a shared affinity and solidarity, wished to take the lead in the field of theory and creative practice. The fulfilment of this desire was possible thanks to magazines, which effectively pointed to the vitality of given groupings.

The Oxford publication fills a gap in modernism studies, ascribing an important role to the magazines that formed avant-garde consciousness in particular societies, countries, regions, and urban centres, with special attention to the changes taking place in the geopolitical sphere of the first half of the twentieth century. In Poland, one of the first group publications and a first sign of the promotion of a new Polish art abroad, designed to make contact with other avant-garde groups, was the magazine Formiści (The Formists), published in Kraków between 1919 and 1921. Despite clearly paving the way for the appearance of subsequent avant-garde magazines and groupings in Poland (including Futurism, Nowa Sztuka (New Art) in Warsaw, and later Zwrotnica (Railway Switch) in Kraków and Blok in Warsaw), the magazine has not been the subject of deeper research to date.

The first mention of the Formist group and its contribution to efforts to reanimate artistic life in the first years of independent Poland was before the Second World War. In the catalogue of the Salon Modernistów (Modernist Salon) of 1928 in Warsaw, Władysław Strzemiński associated Formism with the birth of the Polish avant-garde.[8] In his text ‘On Modern Art’ of 1934, he clearly marked it apart from the contemporary search for new expression in Polish art: ‘The main postulate of Formism was pure form. This differentiated Formism from other contemporary tendencies in art and facilitated its successors’ relatively simple passage from object-based to abstract art’.[9] Four years later, in the March edition of Głos plastyków (The Artists’ Voice), Jan Cybis introduced Formism to the canon of Polish twentieth-century art:

The editors of Głos plastyków have been aware of the importance of Polish Formism from the outset. In the issue that follows, they can at last devote more space to it … and at the same time create the most authentic of sources for future researchers—for we are sure that Formism will enter the history of Polish art as one of the most animated contributions.[10]

More substantial accounts, giving a holistic image of the work of the group (by Mieczysław Porębski, Joanna Szczepińska, Joanna Pollakówna, Stefan Morawski, Halina Stępień, Irena Jakimowicz, and Zofia Baranowicz), have, likewise, revealed the importance of the influence of Formism on the development of the Polish avant-garde and presented their relationship to Paris, which was, for them, the centre of European art.[11] This research is very valuable today and conforms to a certain traditional model of documentary studies of the avant-garde based mostly on local sources, tracing national and international influences and conflicting critical views as to the artistic value of young Polish art. Małgorzata Geron has noted the need for a new approach to research on Formism, however, and the need for studies to adapt to the latest research-trends, which might capture the activities of the group in the context of the parallel development of avant-gardes across Central Europe.[12]

Research on Formiści magazine is therefore particularly urgent today. Like the aforementioned art historians, Tadeusz Kłak and Andrzej K. Waśkiewicz, experts on avant-garde magazines in the literary field, have also referred to the mouthpiece of the Formist group.[13] Marek Bartelik has been the art historian to pay most attention to Formiści, noting that it was an eclectic magazine and that it was not driven by any political aims.[14] Several decades separate Bartelik’s 2005 publication Early Polish Modern Art and the new comprehensive studies of the Central-European avant-gardes from the aforementioned Polish publications. The previous generation’s concerns—to determine the factors that influenced the creation of Formism, exhibitions organised, poetic works published—are now problematised, against the backdrop of geopolitical and social changes in the New Europe. In view of new tendencies in avant-garde studies, the Kraków mouthpiece of Formism, published in the years 1919–1921, has proved even more significant than was previously thought.


Formiści in Search of International Contacts

1917 has generally been taken to be the year of the birth of the Polish avant-garde: the date of the first artistic events of a programmatic nature and the date of the founding of the group of Polish Expressionists.[15] Before the outbreak of the First World War, its members—the brothers Zbigniew and Andrzej Pronaszko, and Tytus Czyżewski—wished to create a certain bridge between the Młoda Polska (Young Poland) tradition and the three most important groupings of art in Europe: Futurism, Cubism, and Expressionism. The Polish Expressionists’ name was a declaration of belonging to a broadly-conceived tendency of new European art, while also pointing to national consciousness on the eve of Poland’s regaining of independence.

At their founding moment, the Polish Expressionists had no stable publishing outlet to enable them to popularise their efforts to renew Polish art. Reproductions of their work initially appeared in the Poznań magazine Zdrój (Source), and the first manifestoes and statements on Expressionism and Futurism were published in catalogues and in the Kraków artistic magazines founded after the First World War. The first issue of the magazine Maski (Masks), of January 1918, carried Zbigniew Pronaszko’s article ‘On Expressionism’. Leon Chwistek published his study ‘The Multiplicity of Realities in Art’ in the first four issues of the same magazine in 1918 and then as a book in 1921.[16] In 1919, the magazine Wianki (Wreaths) carried Tytus Czyżewski’s article ‘On the latest currents in Polish Art’, in which the author noted that ‘searching for new forms and the desire to create a contemporary style have become paramount in the minds of almost all the youngest artists’.[17] This ‘contemporary style’ was ultimately given the name Formism. The name appeared in 1919, permanently replacing the somewhat accidental term ‘Polish Expressionists’.[18] It referred to a shared feature of Futurism, Cubism and Expressionism: a new approach to questions of form. This became the feature that allowed for the incorporation of all new artistic tendencies within the framework of one name.

With the official appearance of the term Formism, Zbigniew Pronaszko, Chwistek and Czyżewski ceased collaborating with Maski and Wianki. These magazines were published to a high standard, rich in content, and illustrated with Secession-style ornament in the spirit of Stanisław Wyspiański. Besides Formist drawings and paintings, Maski and Wianki also reproduced the work of the Młoda Polska artists Jacek Malczewski and Józef Mehoffer. Their graphic style referred to the tradition of pre-war literary-artistic publishing houses in Kraków: Życie (Life), Rydwan (Chariot) and Museion. They continued to use Secession-style forms, classicising and popular stylisations.[19] Their illustrations and ornamentation reflected the specificity of the Młoda Polska era and delivered little innovation in terms of graphic layout.[20] Both Maski and Wianki, with which the Formists had collaborated until the middle of 1919, were therefore anachronistic in relation to the artists’ programme. The catalogue Formiści. Wystawa III (Formists. Third Exhibition) at the Association of the Friends of the Fine Arts in Kraków (Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie–hereafter TPSP), published in September 1919, was markedly different. It broke with modernist ornamentation and was characterised by less attention to the quality of the publication. It was to be the germ of Formiści, the magazine, which moved away from the graphic solutions adopted by Kraków magazines to date.

The editors of the new magazine, Czyżewski and Chwistek, wrote: ‘Encouraged by the positive reception of the catalogue of our third exhibition, we have decided to publish a monthly magazine devoted to our work’.[21] The editing team of Formiści were initially based at 5 Czysta Street in Kraków, at Czyżewski’s apartment. Czyżewski published the first two issues with Chwistek, and the rest with Konrad Winkler, a painter and theorist of the movement, author of a treatise on Formism in relation to new tendencies in art.[22] These were the only three editors to publish programmatic statements presenting the Formists’ ideas against a backdrop of contemporary changes in Polish and European art. Not a single text by Zbigniew Pronaszko, the main theoretician of the ‘pre-Formist’ period, appeared in the magazine.[23] As of the publication of the first issue, he no longer published his own theoretical deliberations, only presenting his sculptural works on the pages of Formiści. The magazine’s profile was mostly shaped by Czyżewski, who was less interested in theoretical treatises on Expressionism.

The founding of the Kraków magazine was soon enthusiastically hailed by the Zdrój circle in Poznań, which had previously published reproductions of works by the Polish Expressionists:

A little magazine called Formiści has appeared in the displays of bookshops. This event, this bold, manly move, should be greeted with joy. A very humble beginning, a few pages in the form of a leaflet. But what does that matter? Despite technical problems, the issue carried three quite decent reproductions.[24]

print of figures in black and white with text below
Fig. 7.1.(Left) Jan Hrynkowski, published cover for Formiści 1 (October 1919). Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. Fig. 7.2. (Right) Leon Chwistek, published cover for Formiści 2 (April 1920). Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.

The first issue of Formiści (fig. 7.1), sixteen pages long, was published by the Museum of Industry (Muzeum Przemysłowe) in Kraków in October 1919, with a similar graphic layout to the earlier catalogue. Its cost was five crowns. The magazine was intended to be issued monthly, but over the course of almost two years only 6 issues appeared. This state of affairs was the result of a lack of funds, already mentioned in the second issue of the magazine (fig. 7.2), which consisted of just twelve pages, cost fifteen marks and appeared after a six-month interval, in April 1920.[25] The third issue, which probably also served as the catalogue of the fourth Formist exhibition (Formiści. Wystawa IV) held at the TPSP Kraków (January–February 1921), was the same length and price.[26] It was only with the last three issues, priced between fifty and sixty marks (issues four (April 1921), five (May 1921), and six (June 1921)) that Formiści turned into a monthly, mostly thanks to the patronage of the sculptor Feliks Antoniak, who returned to Poland from Paris in 1920.[27] It was officially noted that the magazine was published in an edition of one thousand, and its dimensions were increased from 17 x 12 cm (issues one and two) to 22.5 x 15 cm (issues four, five, and six).

The situation in ruined Europe after the First World War had a significant influence on the impoverishment of societies and artistic circles, and the first issues of Formiści serve as a clear example. Theoretical statements, poems, and reproductions of works were arranged in such a way as to fit as much content as possible onto the surface of the limited number of pages. According to Bożena Lewandowska, the layout of the magazine was clear and transparent, devoid of the vignettes and ornaments so generously lavished, for example, on the contemporary publication Zdrój.[28] In completely breaking with the Secession-style typography characteristic for Młoda Polska magazines in Kraków, the editors of Formiści based their publication on French magazines under the patronage of Guillaume Apollinaire. It was not just the Formist covers, designed by the group members themselves (Jan Hrynkowski, Czyżewski, and Chwistek), that played a decisive role in the magazine’s innovative appearance, but, above all, the graphic arrangement of certain texts, especially the poetic compositions of the editor-in-chief.[29]

Czyżewski had encountered the poetic work of Apollinaire when he visited France, before the First World War. Apollinaire published the journal Chronique des grands siècles de la France as of 1912, and was later involved in the journal Les Soirées de Paris, which was ‘a grouping of several dozen poets, musicians and futuro-Cubist painters … The poets who belonged were: Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Luc Durtain, Blaise Cendrars, Birot, Margotin and many others’, as detailed by Czyżewski in his June 1919 article ‘The Poetry of the Expressionists and Futurists’.[30] Czyżewski’s text presented the new poetic centres that had emerged in Russia, Italy, and Germany, as well as in France. In addition to getting hold of Les Soirées de Paris during his stay in Paris, he was also able to see issues of the Florentine Futurist paper Lacerba, in which Apollinaire included the poems ‘Final Chapter’ and ‘Snuff’. Czyżewski went on to translate these and to publish them in the catalogue of the fourth Formist exhibition, the third issue of the magazine, and the last issue of Formiści, respectively.[31]

The first issue of Formiści carried Apollinaire’s poem ‘Hunting Horns’ in the original French, as well as texts by Czyżewski and an extensive theoretical treatise by Chwistek entitled ‘The Enemies of Formism and their Psychology’. The text took up half the issue, which was also why little space was devoted to the reproduction of works of art or to literary works. The second issue was shorter, but richer in terms of content. It opened with a theoretical text by Chwistek entitled ‘Formism’, in which the author explained the difference between French Cubism and the enquiries of the members of the Polish group. In his opinion, the Cubists had been the first to recognise consciously that the perception of the real object can appear fluid, in this way creating their own, original style. He added that, ‘in Poland, a different style is beginning to emerge, [one] which is ours alone’, drawing on the words of Louis Marcoussis, who had been tasked with publicising Formism in Parisian artistic circles.[32] Czyżewski hoped by way of his intervention and mediation to make lasting contact with Paris, and so undertook to acquire him as foreign correspondent to Formiści. A letter from Marcoussis, written in December 1919, was published in the second issue of the magazine in April 1920. The correspondent described an array of events associated with post-war avant-garde circles in Paris. The text specifically mentions that he was personally informing these circles of the first experiments taking place in Poland: ‘I told Polish and French colleagues about your efforts; they were very interested in them. I will send you news from here, as long as you continue to intend to publish Formiści from time to time’.[33]

The publication became an essential aspect of the group’s activity for Czyżewski, promoting their work, making and maintaining contacts, as well as keeping up to date with artistic news from France. Marcoussis sent the editors of Formiści issues of the magazine Nord Sud (North South) as well as reproductions of his own work (one of these must have been the portrait of Apollinaire published in the second issue of Formiści) and of the Polish artists’ community active in Paris: Alicja Halicka, Moise Kisling, and Henryk Hayden.[34] He also included translations of Pierre Reverdy’s ‘The Bell’s Speech’ and ‘Wing’, translated by Leopold Zborowski. These appeared alongside Czyżewski’s translation of Apollinaire’s ‘Ocean of the Earth’ in the second issue of the Kraków magazine.

The correspondence sent by Marcoussis devoted considerable attention to the artistic magazines published in Paris, among these Nord Sud, which appeared from 15 March 1917 to October 1918. As such, by the time he wrote, Marcoussis was writing about a magazine that had ceased publication a year previously:

Besides Roch Grey (Russian), Tristan Tzara (Swiss), [Vicente] Huidobro (Spanish), all the remaining contributors [to Nord Sud] were French citizens. Two of these, Apollinaire and [Georges] Braque, even had to have their skulls patched up, they had been so badly treated. The theoretician of the group (at least in verbal terms) was the youngest of all—Reverdy, while the leader was Wilhelm Kostrowicki of the Wąż family, nicknamed Apollinaire … of the other magazines that are out, there is also [Pierre-Albert] Birot’s comic Sic … There is the properly managed monthly, Littérature. In a few days’ time an issue of Action which sounds promising is due to appear.[35]

The magazine Sic to which he referred, which appeared in the years 1916–1919, as well as to the first series of Littérature, published by Louis Aragon, André Breton and Philippe Soupault (1919–1921), promoted the poetry of the Dadaists and future Surrealists. Action, edited by Florent Fels between November 1919 and June 1922, was opposed to the Dada aesthetic. Marcoussis’s article, penned at the end of 1919, did not yet take into consideration one of the most influential magazines of the French interwar avant-garde, L’Esprit Nouveau. Founded in 1920 and published by Paul Dermée, Amédée Ozenfant and Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) L’Esprit Nouveau was the mouthpiece of the Purists, and more significant as a platform for statements about art than other magazines published at the time, bringing together innovative circles in French poetry.

In the first five issues of Formiści, the French poets Apollinaire, Reverdy, and Paul Éluard were the only representatives of new European literature. It was undoubtedly the poetic interests of Czyżewski that drove the choice of translations of poets from France. Their poems were to be found in the midst of a much greater number of works by young Polish poets, who were able to make an appearance in the literary circles of Kraków thanks to Czyżewski. Among others, Bruno Jasieński and Stanisław Młodożeniec established a close collaboration with Formiści as of the second issue, having returned to Poland from Russia following the Bolshevik revolution. They sought to make a breakthrough in Polish literature, and Czyżewski’s magazine was the only place open to them for lasting collaboration and the publication of their works at that time. By mid-1921, Jasieński, Młodożeniec, and Czyżewski had begun to appear together as a group, calling themselves Futurists. However, they never formed their own independent magazine to serve as a platform for their presentation as a group, and they only published their programmatic manifestos as leaflets.

From the fourth to the sixth issue, the circle of collaborators of Formiści numbered over 20 people. The following were listed in the fourth issue: Feliks Antoniak, Leon Chwistek, Tytus Czyżewski, Henryk Gotlib, Ludgard Grocholski, Jan Hrynkowski, Bruno Jasieński, Muhamed Hilmy Kulenović, Ludwik Lille, Louis Marcoussis, Stanisław Młodożeniec, Tymon Niesiołowski, Artur Prędski, Andrzej Pronaszko, Zbigniew Pronaszko, Władysław Skoczylas, Kazimierz Tomorowicz, Wacław Wąsowicz, Konrad Winkler, Józef Wittlin, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Kamil Witkowski, August Zamoyski, Jan Zaruba, Leopold Zborowski, and Jan Żyznowski.[36] By the fifth issue, Skoczylas was no longer listed, while Michał Kucharski and Władysław Roguski had been added. The sixth issue also listed Tadeusz Peiper, Anatol Stern, Aleksander Wat, and Julian Rot-Czerwiński (Julian Rottersmann). Formists from Kraków, Warsaw, and Łódź were all involved in contributing to the magazine, along with young Polish poets and musicians, and collaborators from abroad: Kulenović, Marcoussis, and Zborowski. The list of collaborators did not include the names of all the authors of the works and poems published on the pages of the magazine. Formiści did, however, list the names of people who did not publish in the magazine, such as Andrzej Pronaszko, Roguski, Skoczylas, and Wat. Although a majority of collaborators were artists, the Polish poets were the ones who set the tone in Formiści, carefully selected by Czyżewski, the editor-in-chief, with responsibility for the profile of the magazine.

print of figure surrounded by flowers and plants
Fig. 7.3. André Derain, published cover for Formiści 6 (June 1921). Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.

The first five issues of Formiści were basically consistent in terms of content. The editors wrote the theoretical section, the literary section was dominated by the work of the Kraków Futurists and French avant-garde poets, and the illustrations were mostly reproductions of works by the Formists themselves, as were the covers (designed, in turn, by Hrynkowski, Chwistek and, on two occasions, by Czyżewski). The sixth and final issue was different: Wat, Stern, and Peiper joined the community of collaborators. It was largely a review of developments in European literature, also containing discussions of the latest currents in literature and art. Issue 6 (fig. 7.3) opened with a text by Winkler ‘On the New Pathways of Art’, concerning two different ‘styles’ of contemporary art. The first path was the experiments of the Cubists and the artists associated with Valori Plastici, the second was the ‘machine art of the Tatlinists’, which broke with the idea of easel painting and adopted ‘three dimensional machine forms’.[37] Winkler also referred to the interest aroused in Western Europe by the exhibition of the work of Russian artists:

The travelling exhibition of the latest Russian art which is creating such a sensation in Germany at present, reveals the sheer elemental force of creative instinct as well as a clear propensity for mysticism. Could this be a transfusion of young Russian art into the veins of the outmoded cultures of the West? In any case, the extraordinary tempo of the development of contemporary Russian art in conditions as difficult as the present is worth pausing to reflect upon. We find, in this art, the two opposite axes of all today’s creative tendencies. And while the art of the Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin in search of aesthetic values discovers in the construction of the machine the logic of some sort of new beauty, Russian Expressionism represents a sincere return to the sphere of the anatomy of the spirit. The musical symbolism of colours in Kandinsky and many others is the extreme antithesis of the intellectual construction of form by the first branch of artists.[38]

It seems that Winkler took his information about Russian art from an article by Konstanty Umański published in the Munich magazine Der Ararat in January 1920. This emissary of Soviet culture presented the two axes mentioned by Winkler in the text ‘New Artistic Directions in Russia: Tatlinism or the Machine-Art’.[39] Indeed, the article in Der Ararat was one of the first texts about the new Soviet art to be published outside Russia.

The text by the editor of Formiści presented new tendencies in art which only coincided to some extent with the choice of works reproduced in this issue of the Kraków magazine. The works presented in the magazine were by André Derain, Pablo Picasso, Aleksandr Archipienko, and Norah Borges, the painter and graphic artist, sister of Jorge [Luis] Borges. The literary section was much more developed and included a survey of new poetry from France (Apollinaire), Germany (Yvan Goll), Dada poetry from France and Germany (Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Hans Arp), Futurist poetry from Italy and Russia (Aldo Palazzeschi, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Velimir Khlebnikov) and the latest poetry from Spain (Humberto Rivas). The authors of the translations were Tytus Czyżewski, Anatol Stern, Tadeusz Peiper, Julian Rot-Czerwiński and ‘RO-dada’ (the latter two both being pseudonyms of Julian/Julius Rottersmann).

Peiper’s participation in Formiści proved to be significant for establishing foreign contacts. In 1921, he returned to Poland after years spent in Spain, returning via France and Germany, where he became familiar with the latest tendencies of the avant-garde there.[40] He most likely left Spain in the spring of 1920. On his return to Poland, he maintained contact with the editors of the magazine Ultra, the mouthpiece of the Madrid avant-garde. Among them were the aforementioned Rivas and the Polish artist Władysław Jahl. As of the tenth issue of Ultra, from 10 May 1921, Peiper featured as the Polish correspondent of the magazine. He received the fifth issue of Ultra, published on 17 March 1921, at his Kraków address. A woodcut by Norah Borges from this number, as well as Rivas’s ‘Ocean’, were published in the last issue of Formiści in June 1921. Exchange between the Formists and the Ultraists also flowed in the opposite direction. The sixteenth issue of Ultra, published 20 October 1921, carried information about the issues of Formiści that had been received (the fourth, fifth, and sixth), characterised as ‘the mouthpiece of Polish avant-garde artists’ (‘el órgano de los artistas polacos de vanguardia’). The eighteenth issue, published 10 November 1921, included an article by Peiper on Leon Chwistek’s book The Multiplicity of Realities in Art (Kraków).[41]

Information about Formism was published in Ultra after the collapse of the Kraków magazine, which ceased its activities in June 1921. In November, the Warsaw-based Nowa Sztuka became the platform for nationwide exchange between the Polish and the Madrid-based circles of the literary avant-garde, leading to the integration of the Kraków and the Warsaw circles of new poetry. Its editors were, among others, Peiper and Stern, who met as translators of avant-garde works in the last issue of Formiści. After the collapse of the ephemeral Nowa Sztuka, which published only two editions, Peiper wanted to continue it in Kraków, though in the end, in its place, he founded Zwrotnica, in 1922 (fig. 7.4).[42]

print of figure on skis with text around
Fig. 7.4. August Zamoyski, published cover for Zwrotnica 4 (February 1923). Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.

In November 1921, the same month as the founding of Nowa Sztuka, an article by Julius Rottersmann entitled ‘Polish Formism’ appeared in the Munich magazine Der Ararat. Rottersmann came from Kraków and was associated with German and Polish Zionist circles. After the end of the First World War, he wrote for the Viennese and Berlin-based magazine JerubbalEine Zeitschrift der judischen Jugend (Jerubbaal: A Magazine for Jewish Youth). His name could also be found on the pages of the Jewish youth monthly Moriah, published in the years 1919–1920 in Kraków. In one of his articles for Jerubbaal at that time, Rottersmann pointed out that the path of Zionist activists to the radical transformation of Jewry must lead in the direction of mythical Zion, which is not a ‘copy of Europe with its lies, hypocrisy and imperialist-capitalist aims’.[43]

There is a good deal to suggest that Julius Rottersmann was connected with the Kraków Formists and concealed himself in the pages of the magazine under the pseudonyms Julian Rot-Czerwiński and RO-dada. His translations of new German poetry appeared in the sixth issue: Yvan Goll’s ‘Director of the Cine-Theatre’, Hans Arp’s ‘Cloud Pump’, and Aldo Palazzeschi’s ‘Afterlife’.[44] He also published an extensive text entitled ‘The New Poetry and Theatre in Germany’, in which he paid a considerable amount of attention to the work of Georg Kaiser, deeming him a master of new German theatre. Rottersmann prepared a translation of Kaiser’s play Gas (Gaz) for performance at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre, directed by Teofil Trzciński, on 22 April 1922. This was one of the first few presentations of avant-garde theatre from abroad on the Kraków stage. It remains unclear whence Rottersmann received permission to translate the play. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that he maintained very good contacts with the literary and artistic avant-garde circles in post-war Germany. Thanks to these, he had a copy of the fourth issue of Der Ararat, from 1920, on the basis of which Winkler composed his article ‘On the New Pathways of Art’. Rottersmann may have shown it to the editor of Formiści, when the latter was preparing his article.

Der Ararat, which initially appeared in the form of a political leaflet, had, by 1920, become an influential magazine presenting new European art. The title suggested a connection to Jewish culture, but the magazine was not radically engaged in propagating Zionism. The editor of the magazine, Hans Goltz, noted that it was ‘above all Germany, which had created the elevated idea of world literature, which was called to once again lay the foundations for the international—or, better—supranational pathways of art and spirituality, diluted by war’.[45] Goltz was the owner of the gallery Neue Kunst, at 8 Briennerstrasse in Munich, which showed, among others, Lyonel Feininger, Hans Richter, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and George Grosz. The magazine he edited published materials devoted to German Expressionism from the Weimar Republic and, above all, new art from Czechoslovakia, France, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. A notice about the magazine Formiści appeared in the list of foreign publications in the October 1921 issue of Der Ararat, subtitled Organ der jungen Kunstler und Dichter Polens (Mouthpiece of the Young Artists and Poets of Poland).[46] In an article in the November issue, Rottersmann provided an outline of the Polish group, stressing that the young artists had initially been called Expressionists, but that in the autumn of 1919 they had taken the name Formists, because the earlier term did not fully reflect their research interests. He devoted most of the article to presenting individual artists:

Leon Chwistek, who was also the first theoretician of the whole movement and has recently published a new study on the multiplicity of realities, drew on the experiences of the Futurists in his first paintings, though using their achievements entirely independently … He is more of a draughtsman than a painter, and is interested above all in formal questions, which, alongside the question of colour, are also those that absorb the new artists. Formism is another return to pure painting, which, according to Chwistek, has discovered and shaped a new reality, namely that of the imagination (in contrast to the reality of the impression in Impressionism).

Tytus Czyżewski is one of the most promising and engaged Formists. He was a Cubist before Matisse and Picasso (his Cubist head of Christ is from as early as 1905) … He is the most abstract artist of the whole group, though not only as a painter, but also as a poet … In searching for new forms, he has abandoned painting and the flat plane of the picture and creates—perhaps for the first time in the history of visual art—compositions on multiple planes which can be located between painting and sculpture. SalomeLandscape with the Sun (Krajobraz ze słońcem), Study of a Head (Studium głowy), Composition of Forms I and II (Kompozycje form) are historical testimonies of the development of new art …

Henryk Gotlib came to Formism, as he himself claimed, by way of architecture … He is the only Formist who introduces Impressionist problems to art, and form is suffused with light.

Jan Hrynkowski is the best graphic artist among the Formists and is immensely accomplished in this field. A few lines can create unexpected effects. His painting is also extraordinary. Here and there we can discern the influences of German Expressionism, though these have been taken on board in an entirely individual manner.

Tymon Niesiołowski, the first spokesman of new art in Poland, is a first-class painter. He paints like van Gogh, Cézanne, Wyspiański, Botticelli, Puvis de Chavannes, or sometimes like Pechstein or Eberz …

Zbigniew Pronaszko, the ‘Polish Archipenko’, is a first-class sculptor. One could write about the Cubist monumentality of his sculptures. He is also a wonderful painter, perhaps the first to introduce Cubism to Polish painting. His paintings are reminiscent of the art of Derain, though they have the powerful effect of sculpture.

Konrad Winkler is a real Polish Cubist, one of the youngest of the Formists … Cubist studies of heads are typical of his work; he creates entirely new representations from elements of form which draw on incidental light and function in an abstract manner. There is something Dadaistic lurking at their heart. Winkler is also the author of the first Polish monograph on Formism and is currently preparing a work on Polish art in German. He is the organiser of the whole movement in Poland and edits the magazine Formiści with Czyżewski.[47]

In the remainder of the article, Rottersmann devoted most of his attention to Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), stressing his multifacetedness as a theoretician of art, a playwright, a philosopher, and an explorer.[48] Rottersmann mentioned the translation of Witkacy’s plays into German by Lilli Marmorek, associated with Viennese Expressionism. Like Winkler’s intended work on Formism in German, this collection was also probably never published. Rottersmann was very impressed by Witkacy’s work and wrote an enthusiastic review of a performance of The Water Hen (Kurka Wodna) at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, which was published in the third issue of Zwrotnica in November 1922 (a magazine with which the Formists, and Witkacy, in particular, collaborated).[49]

Rottersmann concluded his article in Der Ararat by announcing his intention to publish an article about artists in Warsaw. This only ever proved to be an intention, as ‘Polish Formism’ was published in the penultimate issue of Der Ararat, and the editors devoted the final issue of the magazine to Asian art. Rottersmann’s article was the only such extensive survey of the work of the Polish Formists to be published in a foreign journal at the time the group were active. It was illustrated with reproductions of works by Chwistek, Czyżewski, Gotlib, Halicka, Niesiołowski, and Pronaszko. Rottersmann played an important role in the exchange of information between the Polish avant-garde and the avant-garde abroad.

A list of all the articles published in the penultimate issue of Der Ararat was included in the Parisian L’Esprit Nouveau, but neither this magazine, nor any other of the mouthpieces of the French avant-garde ever published a fuller essay on the work of the Formists.[50] Rottersmann’s publication was mentioned by Winkler in his 1927 book Formiści Polscy (The Polish Formists), but there is not a word about it around 1921 in the new literary-artistic magazines SkamanderPonowa (Renewal), nor, interestingly, in Nowa Sztuka, whose editor was initially Chwistek.[51] It is worth noting, however, that, in 1922, the Lublin journal Lucifer announced:

Of the German magazines devoted to art, Der Ararat is particularly noteworthy. One issue of this magazine, from the end of the preceding year, carried a reproduction of our Formists, Pronaszko, Witkiewicz et al.: the above were accompanied by a very brief profile of the movement. Der Ararat is primarily interested in young artists and in artistic phenomena.[52]

Almost a year and a half after Rottersmann’s article, information about the Formists appeared in the Belgrade literary magazine Misao (Thought) of 16 January 1923. An extensive article by Konstanty Perić was carried focusing on the work of Polish poets from three centres: Warsaw, Poznań, and Kraków. The author had been living in Poland at the time, and a year later published a study in Lwów on Kazimierz Brodziński and Serbian folk song.[53] In his text for Misao, Perić devoted most attention to Julian Tuwim and to the Skamander group, as well as briefly introducing information about the mouthpieces of the Polish avant-garde, Zdrój and Formiści, neither of which still existed by 1923. Of the Formists, he named Chwistek, Hrynkowski, Zamoyski, and the Pronaszko brothers, and devoted most attention to Tytus Czyżewski. He noted that the magazine had stopped appearing, and that its place had been filled, in 1922, by Zwrotnica, which became the Formists’ new tribune.[54] If Rottersmann had devoted most attention to artists and to the theatrical experiments of Witkacy, for Perić, Formiści was, above all, the mouthpiece of the latest Polish poetry. It is worth stressing, once more, that its editors took as their model foreign avant-garde literary magazines (initially Nord Sud, and then Ultra). Years later, in his memoirs, Czyżewski wrote that ‘Formiści was a model for and a breakthrough in Polish literature’.[55]


Formiści and its Role in the History of the Avant-Garde

‘Poland was fortunate in regaining her political independence at a time and in circumstances in which her revival coincided with the revival and birth of new social and aesthetic values in Europe’, wrote Tytus Czyżewski in the fourth issue of Formiści, noting parallel tendencies in other countries, as they, too, progressed along the path to the rebirth of art and poetry.[56] The large number of groupings and avant-garde journals in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, and Paris testified to this. In Budapest, the Activists’ magazine MA was founded, edited by Lajos Kassák, the leader of the Hungarian avant-garde; in Prague, the group Tvrdošíjní produced the magazine Červen (June), which published Josef Čapek’s translations of Apollinaire; in Serbia there was Zenit; in Spain, Ultra. Founded in October 1919, Formiści became a platform for the presentation of avant-garde poetry and art, in parallel with the activities of other European groups and magazines. It was not just a tribune for programmatic statements and for the work of the Formists, but also a site for the formation of international contacts and for the exchange of avant-garde thought between many centres. The axes of exchange planned by Czyżewski were intended, above all, to link Kraków to the Parisian literary-artistic avant-garde. Yet his ambition was not fully realised. The Parisian advocate of Formism, Louis Marcoussis, only contributed to the journal once. Although the Kraków artists maintained contacts with France and with the Paris ‘colony’ of Polish artists, they were not well known in Paris, and the exhibition Jeune Pologne at the Musée Crillon took place a year after the magazine had folded. Though the exhibition was important, as it represented the first demonstration of the achievements of the Polish avant-garde in Paris, it appeared repetitive and delayed, for, by then, Cubism was a thing of the past.[57]

At the time of the publication of Formiści, Paris still appeared in Czyżewski’s eyes to be the centre of the most important and most innovative developments, not only in the domain of art, but also, above all, in literature. Captivated by the shadow of Apollinaire, he became the first leader of the Polish poetic avant-garde to unite, by way of his magazine, the entire progressive movement, mostly in the literary field. The future publishers of Futurist leaflets, Jasieński and Młodożeniec, and the publishers of the later avant-garde magazines Nowa Sztuka (Stern) and Zwrotnica (Peiper), were brought together thanks to him, on the pages on his magazine. Although Formiści emerged as the continuation of an exhibition catalogue, and also represented a group of painters and sculptors of the same name, there were very few reproductions of paintings and sculptures or statements about visual art published on its pages. The path chosen by Czyżewski, making contact with foreign centres and taking French literary periodicals as his model led to a break with the aesthetic of Młoda Polska, still present in the painting and sculpture of the Formists. The magazine itself, founded almost in parallel with LittératureZenit and Ultra, was in itself a manifestation of modern tendencies, and went some way towards transplanting avant-garde attitudes onto Polish soil. It was the sixth issue that proved to be ground-breaking, presenting the latest poetry and art from abroad, including the latest manifestations of Russian Constructivist art, still defined at the time as ‘Tatlinism’ and ‘Machinism’. It was thanks to Stern, Peiper, and Rottersmann, who has been forgotten today, that intellectual and artistic exchange was established between Kraków and Warsaw, Madrid and Munich. After the folding of Formiści in June 1921, the Warsaw Nowa Sztuka took on the task of establishing international contacts, followed by Zwrotnica in Kraków, which, paying attention to the emergence of Constructivism, laid the foundations for the birth, in 1924, of the Warsaw group Blok, with its magazine of the same name. Edited mostly by Mieczysław Szczuka, it published the so-called Kurier Bloku, carrying information on the latest developments in the art of the European avant-gardes.

Rising and folding, magazines in Poland constituted a platform for collaboration between individual groups in Warsaw and Kraków in the name of establishing a common front of new art in Poland. Another priority was to enter into the international network of progressive ideas, represented by European avant-garde magazines, as would be proved in a more advanced form by Blok, inscribing itself into the modernising programmes of the New Europe and propagating the leftist ideology of international Constructivism. Blok was a more mature publication in editorial terms, and more modern in its world-view than Formiści. Nevertheless, it was Czyżewski’s magazine that was the first to make the case for the need to establish international contacts. Providing information about the latest tendencies in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Spain, about the latest branches of international Futurism (Italy, Russia), international Dada (France, Germany) as well as ‘Tatlinism’, a foil for the phenomenon of Constructivism, the Kraków magazine deliberately promoted new literary and artistic tendencies, in order to persuade readers of the need for a revolution in Polish culture and an adjustment to its transformations after 1918. The significance of international exchange between different local centres was stressed, in line with the modernising plans of Central Europe, which, at the beginning of the 1920s, came to be known as a focal point for dynamic literary and artistic transformations, stimulating the development of the latest tendencies of the inter-war avant-garde.

Translated by Klara Kemp-Welch


[1] Andrzej Szczerski, Modernizacje. Sztuka i architektura w nowych państwach Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej 1918–1939 (Łódź: Muzeum Sztuki, 2010), p. 6.

[2] Steven Mansbach, Modern Art in Eastern Europe: from the Baltic to the Balkans, 1890–1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

[3] Timothy O. Benson (ed.), Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation 1910–1930 (Los Angeles and Cambridge, Mass.: Los Angeles County Museum of Art and MIT Press, 2002).

[4] Sascha Bru, Jan Baetens, Benedikt Hjartrasson, Peter Nicholls, Tania Ørum, and Hubert van den Berg, ‘Introduction. Borderless Europe, Decentring Avant-Garde, Mosaic Modernism’, in Sascha Bru, Jan Baetens et al (eds.), Europa! Europa? The Avant-Garde, Modernism and the Fate of a Continent (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2009), pp. 3–20.

[5] Peter Brooker, ‘General Introduction’, in Peter Brooker, Andrew Thacker, Christian Weikop, and Sascha Bru (eds.), Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Europe 1880–1940, vol. 3 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 14.

[6] Alain Badiou, The Century, trans. Alberto Toscano, (Cambridge: Polity, 2007), p. 133.

[7] In Between worlds: A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes, Timothy Benson and Éva Forgács use the term network in relation to the creation of mutual contacts and links between the various centres of the avant-garde in different cities.‘The avant-gardes of Central Europe are mapped here as a network of cosmopolitan cities in which art movements embodied the tension between the regional and the cosmopolitan: Bucharest, Budapest, Cracow, Dessau, Łódź, Prague, Poznań,
Warsaw, Weimar, Zagreb – all of these had direct links to Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, Moscow, Vienna, or Paris’. Timothy O. Benson and Éva Forgács, ‘Introduction’, in Benson and Forgács (eds.), Between Worlds: A Sourcebook of Central European Avant-Gardes, 1910–1930 (Cambridge, Mass., and London: MIT Press, 2002), p. 22.

[8] Władysław Strzemiński, ‘Nasza wystawa…’, in Almanach. Katalog. Salon Modernistów, exhibition catalogue (Warsaw: Drukarnia Robotnik, 1928), p. 1.

[9] Władysław Strzemiński, ‘Sztuka nowoczesna w Polsce’, cited in Zofia Baranowicz (ed.), W. Strzemiński. Pisma (Wrocław, Warsaw, Kraków, and Gdańsk: Ossolineum, 1975), p. 206.

[10] Jan Cybis, ‘Polski formizm’, Głos Plastyków, 5/8–12 (1938): p. 5.

[11] Mieczysław Porębski, ‘Dwa programy (z problematyki formalizmu w plastyce dwudziestolecia międzywojennego)’, Materiały do Studiów i Dyskusji z Zakresu Teorii i Historii Sztuki, Krytyki Artystycznej oraz Metodologii Badań nad Sztuką 1/1–2 (1950): pp. 51–76; Mieczysław Porębski, ‘Formismo polacco’, La Biennale di Venezia 8/32 (1958): pp. 26–36; Joanna Szczepińska, ‘Historia i program grupy „Formiści polscy” w latach 1917–1922’, Materiały do Studiów i Dyskusji z Zakresu Teorii i Historii Sztuki, Krytyki Artystycznej oraz Metodologii Badań nad Sztuką 5/3–4 (1954): pp. 201–250; Joanna Szczepińska, O polskim formizmie (Warsaw: CBWA, 1973); Stefan Morawski, ‘Ankieta o formistach polskich’, Rocznik Historii Sztuki 9 (1973): pp. 299–355; Joanna Pollakówna, Malarze i podpalacze (Warsaw: PWN, 1971); Joanna Pollakówna, Formiści (Wrocław, Warsaw, Kraków, and Gdańsk: Ossolineum, 1972); Halina Stępień, ‘Formiści polscy’, in Aleksander Wojciechowski (ed.), Polskie życie artystyczne w latach 1915–1939 (Wrocław: Ossolineum, 1974), pp. 563–567; Zofia Baranowicz, ‘Formiści’, in Baranowicz, Polska awangarda artystyczna 1918–1939 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Artystyczne i Filmowe, 1975), pp. 19–72; Irena Jakimowicz (ed.), Formiści, exhibition catalogue, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie (Warsaw, 1989).

[12] Małgorzata Geron, ‘The Formist Group (1917–1923). Trends in research and the assessment of Polish avant-garde art in the 20th century’, in Jerzy Malinowski (ed.), History of Art History in Central Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, vol. 2 (Toruń: UMK, 2010), p. 162.

[13] Tadeusz Kłak, Czasopisma awangardy 1919–1931, part 1 (Wrocław, Warsaw, Gdańsk, and Kraków: Ossolineum, 1979); Andrzej K. Waśkiewicz, ‘Czasopisma i publikacje zbiorowe polskich futurystów’, Pamiętnik Literacki 74/1 (1983): pp. 31–79.

[14] Marek Bartelik, Early Polish Modern Art: Unity in Multiplicity (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), p. 83.

[15] The very titles of the first post-war studies of the avant-garde clearly signalled the year 1917. Helena Zaworska, O nową sztukę, polskie programy artystyczne lat 1917–1922 (Warsaw: PIW, 1963); Andrzej Lam, Polska awangarda poetycka: programy lat 1917–1923 (vol. 1: Instynkt i Ład; vol. 2: Manifesty i protesty: Antologia) (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1969).

[16] Leon Chwistek, ‘Wielość rzeczywistości w sztuce’, Maski 1/1, 2, 3, 4 (1918). Leon Chwistek, Wielość rzeczywistości (Kraków-Jasło: Zakł. Graf. Wisłoka, 1921).

[17] Tytus Czyżewski, ‘O najnowszych prądach w sztuce polskiej’, Wianki 1/2 (1919): p. 11.

[18] The first exhibition of Polish Formists was organized in Warsaw in April–May 1919, but the name Formists was defined in the catalogue of the third exhibition of Formists, held in Kraków in September–October 1919.

[19] On the history of Młoda Polska artistic magazines, see: Katarzyna Kulpińska, Szata graficzna młodopolskich czasopism literacko-artystycznych (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo DiG, 2005).

[20] Bożena Lewandowska, ‘U źródeł grafiki funkcjonalnej w Polsce’, in Juliusz Starzyński (ed.), Ze studiów nad genezą plastyki nowoczesnej w Polsce (Wrocław, Warsaw, and Kraków: Ossolineum, 1966), p. 204.

[21] The editors, ‘Od formistów’, Formiści, 1/1 (1919): p. 16.

[22] Konrad Winkler, Formiści na tle współczesnych kierunków w sztuce (Kraków: Księgarnia Fridleina, 1921).

[23] Before 1919, Zbigniew Pronaszko published the important theoretical treatise ‘On Expressionism’, which can be seen to prefigure the Formists’ programme. See: Zbigniew Pronaszko, ‘Przed wielkim Jutrem’, Rydwan 3/1 (1914): pp. 125–129; Pronaszko, ‘O ekspresjonizmie’, Maski 1/1 (1918): p. 15.

[24] S.E., ‘Z Krakowa’, Zdrój 3/9/6 (1919): p. 126.

[25] In Austro-Hungarian Kraków, crowns were used until the end of 1919. The Polish mark became legal tender on 15 January 1920 for the whole territory of independent Poland.

[26] The third issue, supposedly published in November 1920, has not been found to this day. It seems that the third issue served as the catalogue of the fourth Formist exhibition, containing not only reproductions of works, but also, among others, poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, and was akin to the published journal in content and form. This is the view held by Tadeusz Kłak. See: Kłak, Czasopisma awangardy, p. 13.

[27] Pollakówna, Formiści, pp. 94–95; Bartelik, Early Polish Modern Art, p. 90. Feliks Antoniak showed his work at the Fourth Formist Exhibition in 1921. The Formists also published a reproduction of one of his works. Formiści 2/4 (1921): p. 11.

[28] Lewandowska, źródeł grafiki funkcjonalnej w Polsce, p. 206.

[29] Piotr Rypson, Książki i strony. Polska książka awangardowa i artystyczna w XX wieku (Warsaw: CSW, 2000), p. 15.

[30] Tytus Czyżewski, ‘Poezja ekspresjonistów i futurystów’, Goniec Krakowski 2/153 (1919): p. 2–3.

[31] Guillaume Apollinaire, ‘Ostatni rozdział – Un dernier chapitre’, in IV Wystawa Formistów (I–II 1921), p. 2; ‘Tytoń za dwa sous’, Formiści 2/6 (1921): p. 5.

[32] Leon Chwistek, ‘Formizm’, Formiści 2/2 (1920): p. 3. Before leaving for Paris, Marcoussis studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, in the years 1900–1902, in the studio of Józef Mehoffer. He may already have come across Czyżewski, who was beginning his studies in the same studio in 1902. Marcoussis settled in Paris in 1903.

[33] Louis Marcoussis, ‘Korespondencja z Paryża’, Formiści 2/2 (1920): p. 12.

[34] Marcoussis, ‘Korespondencja z Paryża’, p.12.

[35] Marcoussis, ‘Korespondencja z Paryża’, p.12.

[36] ‘Współpracownicy’, Formiści 2/4 (1921): (back cover).

[37] Konrad Winkler, ‘Na nowych drogach sztuki’, Formiści 2/6 (1921): p. 3.

[38] Winkler, ‘Na nowych drogach sztuki’, p. 3.

[39] Konstanty Umanski, ‘Russland. Neue Kunstrichtungen in Russland. Der Tatlinismus oder die Maschinenkunst’, Der Ararat 1/4 (1920): pp. 12–13.

[40] Stanisław Jaworski, ‘Przedmowa’, in Tadeusz Peiper, Tędy. Nowe Usta, Teresa Podoska and Stanisław Jaworski (eds.), (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1972), p. 6.

[41] Tadeusz Peiper, ‘Cartas de Polonia. Una nueva teoría del arte’, Ultra 1/18 (1921). See also: Emilio Quintana and Ewa Palka, ‘Jahl v Paszkiewicz en Ultra (1921–1922). Dos polacos en el nacimiento de la vanguardia espańola’, RILCE 11/1 (1995): p. 138.

[42] Peiper wrote: ‘I have decided to edit a magazine. When the publisher of Nowa Sztuka withdrew financial support after the second issue of Nowa Sztuka, I thought about continuing the magazine in Kraków, but besides external obstacles, this was rendered impossible by the unfortunate introduction [he is referring here to the introduction by Anatol Stern, Nowa Sztuka 1 (1921) – P.S.]. To prevent this from overshadowing my work, I created an entirely new magazine’. Peiper, Tędy. Nowe Usta, pp. 314–315.

[43] Julius Rottersmann, ‘Tatiger Geist. Zionismus und Aktivismus’, Jerubbaal, 1/8–9 (1918): p. 302.

[44] Originally published: ‘Dyrektor Kinoteatru’, Die Aktion no. 51–52 (1917); Die Wolkenpumpe (Hannover: Paul Steegemann, 1920); Vedute dal Paradiso in the collection L’incendiario (Milano: Edizioni di Poesia, 1910), respectively.

[45] Hans Goltz, ‘Der neue “Ararat”’, Der Ararat 1/4 (1920): p. 1.

[46] ‘Zeitschriften’, Der Ararat 2/10 (1921): p. 267.

[47] Julius Rottersmann, ‘Der Polnische Formismus’, Der Ararat 2/11 (1921): pp. 284–288.

[48] Rottersmann, ‘Der Polnische Formismus’, p. 288.

[49] Julius Rottersmann, ‘Kurka Wodna – St. I. Witkiewicz (Teatr im. Słowackiego)’, Zwrotnica 1/3 (1922): p. 83. Witkacy’s archived correspondence shows that Rottersmann and he were in personal contact. This is one of the few traces in Poland enabling us to discover the identity of the Formiści collaborator. Janusz Degler wrote that Rottersmann was a Kraków tradesman, who engaged in theatre criticism and journalism on the side. He was among Witkacy’s circle of friends. See: Janusz Degler, Witkacego portret wielokrotny (Warsaw: PIW, 2009), p. 428; Degler (ed.), S. I. Witkiewicz, Listy do żony (1923–1927) (Warsaw: PIW, 2000), p. 242.

[50] L’Esprit Nouveau 2/14 (1922): p. 1680.

[51] Konrad Winkler, Formiści Polscy (Warsaw: Nakład Gebethnera i Wolffa, 1927).

[52] J. L., ‘Za granicą – Niemcy’, Lucifer 2/2–4 (1922): p. 33.

[53] Konstanty Perić, Kazimierz Brodziński i serbska pieśń ludowa (Lwów: Nakładem Towarzystwa Naukowego, 1924).

[54] Konstanty Perić, ‘Najnowsza Polska Poezja’, Misao 2 (16 January 1923): pp. 123–130. See also: Stanislava Barac, Avangardna Misao. Avangardne tendencije u casopisu Misao u vreme uredjivanja Ranka Mladenovica 1922–1923 (Belgrade: Institut za književnost i umetnost, 2008), pp. 119–121.

[55] Tytus Czyżewski, ‘Mój formizm’, Głos Plastyków 5/8–12 (1938): p. 14.

[56] Tytus Czyżewski, ‘Pogrzeb romantyzmu – Uwiąd starczy symbolizmu – Śmierć programizmu’, Formiści 2/4 (1921): p. 13.

[57] Anna Wierzbicka, We Francji i w Polsce 1900–1939. Sztuka, jej historyczne uwarunkowania i odbiór w świetle krytyków polsko-francuskich (Warsaw: IS PAN, 2009), pp. 319–320.

DOI: 10.33999/2019.23