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Hunting a Dangerous Villain

Artist: Edward Dwurnik
Technique: oil on canvas
Measurement: 250 × 410 cm
Date: 1982

The painting was a response to Martial Law in Poland. It shows an imaginary city, which – as is the case with the majority of Dwurnik’s paintings – we view from above. At first glance, everything seems tranquil, stable and safe. Only a searching examination reveals the drama of a city taken over by the army. The title is clearly ironic; the ‘dangerous villain’ that the military are hunting is the intellectual and pacifist opposition. The painting has wider implications; it is easy to appease one’s conscience by claiming that ‘nothing is up’, if we don’t bother to take an in-depth look.