Wojciech Fangor

  • Born 1922 in Warsaw, Poland
  • Died 2015 in Warsaw, Poland
Wojciech Fangor was a painter, sculptor, and graphic artist. During World War II he studied with Tadeusz Pruszkowski (1888–1942) and Felicjan Szczęsny Kowarski (1880–1948), and in 1946 he graduated from the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych (Academy of Fine Arts), Warsaw, where he later taught (1953–61). His early paintings showed his interest in Impressionism, Expressionism, and Cubism, but he gained wider recognition after he adopted Socialist Realism. His most famous paintings of that time are Dane liczbowe (Figures; 1950) and Matka koreański (Korean Mother; 1951). From 1953 to 1961 Fangor worked as a newspaper illustrator and poster artist, and co-founded the Polska Szkoła plakatu (Polish School of Poster Art). In the late 1950s he created his first optical paintings—abstractions of blurred, vibrantly colored circles and amoeba-like forms, calling his discovery Pozytywne miejsca iluzoryczne (Positive Illusory Space). He also worked as a set designer and architect. In 1958 Fangor and Stanisław Zamecznik (1909–1971) installed their innovative “environment” Badania w przestrzeni (A Study in Space), at the New Culture Salon, Warsaw. Fangor moved to the United States in 1966 and became the first Polish artist to have a solo show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1970. He later returned to figurative painting, creating his “television” paintings, which reflect the visual effects of this medium