Edward Krasiński had his first solo exhibition at the age of 40 – but went on to become one of the most influential Eastern European artists of the 20th century. For those not familiar with his work (this exhibition at Tate Liverpool is, after all, the first UK retrospective), Edward Krasiński is an introduction to the astonishingly gestural sculptures of an artist who captured movement in stillness with great humour and wit. Adopting some of the experimental techniques with which Krasiński himself staged exhibitions, the installations on show re-stage his innovative use of plinths, the hanging spears that appear to translate some of the principles of Futurism into sculpture, and a room full of mirrors banded about with Krasiński’s trademark blue Scotch tape.
This tape was used by Krasiński throughout much of his practice, even featuring in his home-cum-studio space. Here, it becomes a unifying line, connecting works either spatially or visually; for instance, the tape determines the layout of a set architectural paintings featuring shapes that have some of the visual trickery of Escher about them. The exhibition also includes a group of rarely exhibited early works created between 1962 and 1965. The cumulative effect is one of elegant playfulness, works that are unadorned yet not austere and combine to make the best exhibition of several currently on show at Tate Liverpool.