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date: 23 January 2020

Fangor, Wojciechlocked

(b Warsaw, Nov 15, 1922).
  • Ewa Mikina


(b Warsaw, Nov 15, 1922).

Polish painter and poster designer. He studied at the private studios of Tadeusz Pruszkowski (1888–1942) and Felicjan Kowarski in Warsaw between 1940 and 1942. From 1966 he lived in the USA. In 1949 Fangor exhibited his early portraits of Lenin and Einstein, among others. They were garish in colour and intentionally primitivist and brutalist in form. The Socialist Realist works from between 1950 and 1955 (e.g. Bricklayers, 1950, and Korean Mother, 1951) are monumental academic, programmatic paintings of a propagandist, poster-style character, occasionally featuring ambiguity and irony, as in Figures (1950). Fangor gained popularity as a poster designer, and when Socialist Realism went into decline he switched from programmatic simplifications to experimental simplicity (e.g. the street decorations for the 5th International Festival of Youth, Warsaw, 1955).

Fangor achieved fame in 1958 with the Warsaw exhibition Studium Przestrzeni (‘Study of Space’), in which he presented an environment operating on the principle of the after-image. He produced spatially interdependent abstract canvases and explored a temporal sequence of colour perception. This was further developed in the ...

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