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Wojcieck Fangor

Wojcieck Fangor

*  1922 Warschau
† 2015 Warschau

Wojciech Fangor was born in Warsaw in 1922. He is one of the most important Polish artists of the 20th century and is acknowledged around the world. In 1946 Wojciech Fangor received a diploma from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. Between 1953 and 1961 he was active as assistant professor there while he was also working as illustrator for several newspapers. However, he was primarily active as poster designer and was among the founding members of the Polish School for Poster Art. After he initially had to follow the politically decreed style of Socialist Realism, Wojciech Fangor increasingly focused on the abstract tendencies of his days in the late 1950s. He showed an interest in Color Field Painting and made paintings in the style of Op-Art. Instead of using acrylic paints, he preferred softer and richer oil-based paints for his bright and colorful depictions of blurred circles and amorphous formations with optical illusions which he made from 1956 on. Wojciech Fangor described these works as 'Positive Illusory Spaces'.
Wojciech Fangor's recognition increased in the 1960s after he had emigrated to the USA. The Museum of Modern Art in New York showed his art alongside works from Josef Albers, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella and Victor Vasarely in two exhibitions in 1961 and 1965. In 1968 Wojciech Fangor participated in the Venice Biennial. In 1970 the New York Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum organized a solo show with his works, which finally put him at the center of attention of the international art world. In the 1970s Wojciech Fangor increasingly made representational paintings again. The 'Television' pictures, in which the artist experimented with the visual effects of the medium television, came into existence.
In 1999 Wojciech Fangor returned to Poland where many honors were bestowed upon him. In 2007 he was commissioned with the graphic design of all stations along Warsaw's second metro line, the panels were installed in 2014. In 2008 the artist received the Gloria-Artis-Medal in gold for cultural merits, in 2011 he was honored with the Order of Polonia Restituta. In 2012 the National Museum in Cracow showed a grand retrospective of works by the artist. Wojciech Fangor died in Warsaw in 2015.