Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)
CHIEF IDEOLOGIST OF THE FORMISTS
PLAYWRIGHT AND NOVELIST
ART THEORIST AND CRITIC
PHOTOGRAPHER AND ILLUSTRATOR
PHILOSOPHER AND VISIONARY
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
On 24 February in Warsaw, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz "Witkacy" was born, son of Stanisław Witkiewicz (painter, writer, architect, creator of the "Zakopane style") and Maria née Pietrzkiewicz (music teacher).
Due to Stanisław Witkiewicz's father's illness, the family moved to Zakopane. Witkacy's father was an ardent opponent of the school system, annihilating the individuality of the student. Therefore, he himself managed his son's education, organising private lessons for him, often conducted by university professors and outstanding artists. He also supported young Witkacy's independence in choosing his own interests.
studied at the School of Fine Arts and Jagiellonian University
Against his father's will, he began his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, first in Jan Stanisławski's studio and then in Józef Mehoffer's studio. The imagination of young Witkacy was strongly influenced by art Witold Wojtkiewicz
On 21 February, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz's fiancée, Jadwiga Janczewska, committed suicide. It is known that Jadwiga was pregnant, and Witkacy was panicked by the consequences of giving birth to a child whose future aroused the worst fears in him. It is also said that there were misunderstandings between the fiancées over an alleged flirtation with Karol Szymanowski. Since this tragedy happened after the fiancé's quarrel, Witkacy blamed himself deeply for it.
The proposal to travel as a photographer to New Guinea with Bronisław Malinowski was to tear him away from his deep depression. In July, they reached Australia, where they learned about the outbreak of World War I. After a dispute with the expedition's companion, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz returned to Europe, where he enlisted in the Russian Tsar's army (an elite infantry unit), because he believed that in a new armed conflict, Poles should fight for independence by fighting on the Slavic side, not on the Germanic side.
dismissed from the army, due to wounds sustained at the Battle of Stochod (among the enemies of the Russian army there were also troops of the Polish Legions of Józef Piłsudzki)
Return to Zakopane, he started to paint and write intensively. He was accepted into the group of Formists, and the first exhibitions and theatre premieres also began
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz married his granddaughter Juliusz Kossak - Jadwiga Unrug, however, was not a successful marriage. Constant conflicts made Jadwiga move to Warsaw. However, the unsuccessful marriage turned into a deep friendship with time. Stanisław and Jadwiga visited each other frequently, and from Witkacy's correspondence to his wife nearly 1300 letters have been preserved
he gave up oil painting in favour of pastels, he also founded "Firma Portretowa S.I. Witkiewicz", which was his main source of income
in the summer Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz fell in love with Czesława Oknińska-Korzeniowska with reciprocity
He created the foundations of his own philosophical system - contained in "Concepts and statements implied by the concept of Existence". He also dealt with literary criticism, published and reviewed articles, and met Zofia Nałkowska, Witold Gombrowicz and Bruno Schulz at the time. For his literary work he received the Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature.
The outbreak of the war found Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz in Warsaw, where he began his efforts to join the army. However, he was rejected on account of his age and state of health.
On 18 September, in the village of Jeziory in Polesie, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz committed suicide when he learned about the Soviet Union's attack on Poland. Together with him, Czesława Oknińska-Korzeniowska also pursued her life, but - unlike Witkacy - she survived despite taking a strong dose of luminal. Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz was buried in a rural cemetery in Jeziory (today Ukraine).