The Polish painter, sculptor and graphic artist Wojciech Fangor was born in Warsaw in 1922. During the years of World War II he took lessons in art with the painters Tadeusz Pruszkowski and Felicjan Szczesny Kowarski, who both were teachers at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In 1946 Wojciech Fangor received his diploma from the Warsaw Academy, between 1953 and 1961 he was active as assistant professor there. Early works from Wojciech Fangor still show the style of Socialist Realism his teachers had taught him. His interest in abstract tendencies in contemporary art came to the fore only after Stalin's death in 1953 and the more relaxed political climate in Poland that came along with it. From 1953 to 1961 Wojciech Fangor also worked as illustrator for Polish newspapers and was active as poster designer, in this context he was among the founding members of the Polish School for Poster Art. First paintings in the style of Op-Art came into existence in the late 1950s. The artist made experiments with color effects, blurred circles and forms in bright and pulsating colors, in order to render optical illusions onto the canvas. Wojciech Fangor described these works as 'Positive Illusory Spaces'. In cooperation with Stanislaw Zamecznik he created 'Studium przestrzeni' (Study of a Room), the first Environment in Poland, at the salon of Nowa Kultura in Warsaw in 1958.
In 1961 Wojciech Fangor left Poland, with stops in Berlin and London he emigrated to the USA in 1966, where he taught at, among others, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. The Museum of Modern Art showed his works in the group exhibition '15 Polish Painters' as early as in 1961. His works were also on display at the Museum of Modern 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 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York organized a much respected solo show of his works. In the 1970s Wojciech Fangor partly returned to representational painting. In his 'Television' pictures the artist experimented with visual effects of the medium television.
In 1999 Wojciech Fangor relocated to Poland. In 2007 he received the commission for the design of all stations along the second line of the Warsaw metro. The panels were installed in 2014. In 2008 the artist was honored with the Gloria-Artis-Medal in gold for his cultural merits and in 2011 with the Order of Polonia Restituta. In 2012 the National Museum in Cracow honored him with a grand retrospective on occasion of his 90th birthday. In 2015 Wojciech Fangor died in his hometown Warsaw.
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