Leszek Knaflewski was a visual artist and pedagogue who was born in Poznań, Poland in 1960 and died in 2014. He studied at the State Higher School of Plastic Arts in Poznań and was the co-founder of the group Koło Klipsa. Knaflewski created installations, objects, photographs, drawings, video works, and sound performances. He split his activity between visual arts and music from the 1990s. He collaborated with several musical groups such as Rasa, Sten, Socrealism, Art Sound Project, Drum Machina, and Kot.
In his works, Knaflewski explored multidimensional planes and stretched the capacity of straightforward, familiar symbols. He often juxtaposed seemingly contrasting semantic elements to create semantically mysterious works. The artist employed a lot of ready-made objects found in everyday surroundings, such as cabinets, blankets, sheets, handmade laces, as well as natural elements: roots, peat, and water. He used them to create spatial compositions that were both formally intense and semantically mysterious. Knaflewski's works are not easily interpreted or analyzed but instead conjure loose associations. During the '90s, he kept returning to the use of root-like forms in his pieces, treating them as a symbol of the forces of life, growth, and upward expansion.
Knaflewski's work, Para (A Couple, 1990), is an example of his use of root-like forms. In this work, two long, wavy roots topped off with cross-shaped 'heads' rest on white sheets strewn around a muddy floor. The life-like roots/crosses resemble a pair of lovers in an intimate position. Knaflewski was a professor at the Multimedia Communication Department of the University of the Arts in Poznań and at the Art Department of the University of Zielona Góra. He taught several artists, including Wojciech Bąkowski, Piotr Bosacki, and Konrad Smoleński.
Born in 1960