Kazimierz Adamski started his creative struggle with sculpture in the early 1990s and belongs to the middle-aged generation of artists. It was almost from the very beginning of his artistic career that be became a personage of substantial importance in the Kraków artistic milieu and managed to make the first foray into the circle of long renowned Kraków sculptors free of an inferiority complex. Moreover, his participation in sculpture competitions and artistic projects realized as individual commissions were to prove equally successful in the future.
His studies at the Academy of Fine Arts were for Adamski a period of organizing his experience and a time of artistic reflection, but - most of all - it was the period of regular, consistent study. He was far from accepting the formal concepts proposed by the Academy indiscriminately while forming his artistic technique, although eventually he acquired all the technical skills which gave him the necessary background for making his own definite artistic decisions. For the budding sculptor, the academic period was also the period of negation: be rejected the old, outdated classics; he defiantly rebelled against the political aspect of the art created by his own master - Professor Marian Konieczny - since be was put off by that sphere of art, although many years later he was to admit that the artistic technique offered at that time managed to defend itself in the discussion with non-artistic arguments. Similarly, the artistic experiments in which he participated while studying at the studio run by Professor Antoni Porczak became very trendy in the early-l990s media, however, they did not bring the young sculptor artistic satisfaction. The evaluation of those experimental actions has not changed with the passage of time, nevertheless, the experience thus gained has remained an important factor in the broadening of the artist`s knowledge and the strengthening of his attitude which allowed Adamski to discover his own path of artistic experimentation without any factual shortcomings. In the end, it was the fact of winning the competition for the design of the highest distinction awarded by the City of Kraków - the Cracoviae Merenti (Merited for the City of Kraków) medal that defined the future, mature form of Adamski`s art. His medal featured the name of the city, the cartouche with Kraków`s coat of arms and the panorama of the city on the obverse and the portrait of Queen Jadwiga of Poland (modelled after the famous portrait by Jan Matejko) on the reverse. The first prize reassured Adamski that the path of artistic development he bad chosen was the right one.
The direction and the forms of sculptural art that he had thus chosen made him in fact the creator of artistic phenomena permanently rooted in the atmosphere of the city. For many years now Adamski`s art remains in a constant relationship with the reality surrounding it: it documents the present time, but - more than anything else - it reveals the fragmented picture representing the psychophysical relationship between the artist and his working place: the way in which the cityscape, the history of the place, the environment, the local events as well as the emotions, people and institutions accompanying them affect him. Through his active participation in the creation of that unique atmosphere, Adamski also remains the co-author of the picture of the cultural and artistic activity of the city, and maybe one day his art will become the source of information and knowledge about the city`s history. Therefore, we might venture to say that the Kraków he presents is in fact the sculptor`s personal city. As the artist himself explains, "I find it easier to work when I understand the city (...) I can make every element myself, eyen with my eyes shut, however, every little mechanical mistake, every line which goes wrong, changes the entire meaning" The sculptural achievements of Adamski classified as the art of small bas-relief are not associated with any particular public or exhibition space, although commemoration is their traditional and basic role. Medals, as well as other small forms of sculpture arc cast in bronze (and, therefore, quite durable), yet they remain anonymous. Regarded in those categories, they arc classified - just as they would have been centuries ago - within the boundaries of elitist art which, definitely, yields to the "pure" plastic arts, such as sculpture proper or painting, not to mention the "plastic culture" which nowadays has become omnipresent. Medals commissioned by specific institutions and organizations have, potentially, a broader range of audiences and may, as in the case of Adamski"s art, play an educational role, both in the sphere of fine arts and the understanding of history. However, some people (those holding highly extreme views) deny medallic art the name of an "art proper" claiming that it is born as an effect of craftsmen`s production. The kind of medallic art practiced by Adamski demands extraordinary manual skills, a steady hand (both during the preparation of the drawing and, later, during the work over the bas-relief), and - most of all - original artistic ideas. Transforming those ideas into tangible reality is by no means easy, since it must be based on the skilled (in fact, extremely economical) use of the means of artistic expression and the limited space of the composition.
Both the content and the form of Adamski`s art reveal his deep respect for tradition. While working on his technique as a medallist, the author does not cut himself off the roots of the old art. For centuries medals - due partly to their structure, and partly to their scale - have been the form of art which achieved its final artistic form only via the contact with individual patrons. Today, it is also on the latter that the responsibility for the final shape of the piece of sculptural art rests, since the patron`s suggestions and the solutions he proposes often prove extremely binding on the artist. Therefore, if mutual agreement is the priority, it is good to have the same ideological core on both sides: when the patron and the artist identify themselves with the same ideas. The laurels in the competition for the statuette of the Patron of Kraków Culture (1997) were awarded to Adamski whose project represented the bust of Stańczyk modelled after the painting by Jan Matejko, due to the deep conviction that that kind of competition is not the right place and timing for a "survey of abstract sculpture" but, rather, an opportunity to present a project designed in accordance with the city`s genius loci. Adamski understands the uniqueness of Kraków very well, which perhaps explains why the major patrons of his art include mostly public institutions: the Municipality of Kraków, the Marshal Office of the Małopolska Region, "Gazeta Krakowska" (a leading Kraków daily), Polish Airlines LOT, the Kraków Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Metalodlew SA Capital Group foundry in Kraków. According to Adamski, the solution of an artistic problem always depends on the fact whether the artist understands the intentions of the patron commissioning the work of art. The script, the iconographic motifs, the means of artistic expression used on the surface of the medal must be subordinate to the factual content. It does not matter whether such an effect is achieved by the use of acronyms (as in the case of the Jubilee Medal of the Kraków Marksmen`s Fraternity, 1995), or by the use of elaborate descriptions (as in the case of Sacrum Millennium Cracoviae, 2000). However, the official medals must present a traditional approach, so that their content can be legible for the audience; they must be carefully executed, must carry a simple and clear visual message and present a formal discipline (see Cracoviae Merenti, 1993). The script plays a particularly important role in the sculptural composition of the medal: it is one of the major elements which allow the artist to present expressive qualities. The text, impressed in the structure of the bronze cast translates into feelings and emotions, revealing the sphere of internal experience (note especially: 2006 and Nagroda Stołecznego Królewskiego Miasta Krakowa [the Prize of the Capital Royal City of Kraków], 2003).
One example representing the departure from the conventional, flat, circular form with the bas-relief lying fiat on its surface towards the freely modelled, oval shape with irregular contours and the high, convex modelling is the medal entitled Mefisto (1994) featuring the portrait of Piotr Skrzynecki on the obverse. The surface of the medal with the light gliding smoothly on it (especially in the top section of the medal) looks more like the work of a painter than of a sculptor. Mefisto represents the kind of artistic expression which is born out of the pure, disinterested urge to create; that kind of art is created in a sense on the margins of official commissions and allows the artist for the use of a more independent form - a form which is free of strict rules, and should there be any rules at all, let them be the rules of one`s imagination (see: Hans Christian Andersen, 2005; Portret Baletnicy [A portrait of a ballerina], 1992).
The portrait is yet another of Adamski`s favourite themes (usually presented in the form of a bust). Over the last couple of years the artist has created a number of portraits depicting the most famous Poles, e.g. Marshal Józef Piłsudski and Pope John Paul II - Adamski claims that every sculptor should include such portraits in his/her obligatory canon. In his portraits he uses the language of tradition and the classics, articulated through the expressive form which goes hand in hand with an elaborate content of meanings and senses.
One of the artist`s favourite iconographic motifs is the bird which is very often presented as a tall and slender figure whose shape is reminiscent of a crane (see: Ślad ptaka [The trace of a bird], 1992; Żuraw [The Cranel, 2002 - a statue sculpted by Adamski standing in the headquarters of the Polish Airlines LOT in Warsaw). The artist has used that motif as a pretext to confront the problem of space in sculpture. The composition he bas created is distinguishable by its graceful theme, its interesting form and content; its mass is very light which contradicts the traditional, monumental character of monuments, and the entire composition is complemented by the light which makes it look impressive.
It is for the first time that the sculptures, medals and statues created by Kazimierz Adamski over the last couple of decades arc presented to the public at the artist`s monographic exhibition. His art testifies that its author is dedicated to bard work which, however, is not undertaken with the objective of achieving easy effects and following transient fashions, but rather with the intention to be faithful to one`s self. Adamski stays on the sidelines of the various new trends and movements sweeping through the Polish art scene. Concentrated on his own art, he has managed to create his own, personal style and achieved artistic success. However, his talent, hard work and the public recognition of his art have not always been reflected in his professional and financial success. Still, his lifelong fascinations and sympathies pulsating in the compositions presented at the exhibition certainly add artistic splendor to the City of Kraków and its inhabitants.