Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz


Untitled / Forma viva 1964

steel plates / 180 x 550 x 180 cm / Čečovje Neighbourhood, Ravne
Through an interplay of concavely and convexly curved surfaces, the pure, perfectly structured statue explores the negative and the positive sculptural space delimited by monumental, geometrically simplified forms. The sculpture belongs to the second, studiously conceived pole of the author’s creativity, for prior to this work the majority of his creations were distinguished by vehement, expressively conceived figuration. The horizontally elaborated statue is distinguished by inner balance and imaginative compositional compactness, for even the supporting skeleton of rod holders does not diminish its aesthetic roundedness.

Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz was born on 27 February, 1919, in Kalisz, Poland. From 1936 to 1938, he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Krakow under the supervision of Prof Francis Kalfas and Prof Charles Homalacs. In 1939, he graduated from the Municipal School of Decorative Arts in Warsaw. From 1947 to 1950, he studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under the supervision of Prof Tadeusz Breyer and Prof Francis Strynkiewicz. Already as a student he received several exhibition awards and sculpture competition prizes. He was a member of an art collective that received an award in the international competition for the Auschwitz memorial. From 1950 onwards he worked at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, at first as a senior lecturer, from 1956 onwards as Associate Professor, and from 1980 to 1985 as Full Professor, who has left a strong impression on the development of contemporary Polish sculpture. He authored numerous public sculptures (in Warsaw, Lublin, Kalisz) and several architectural monuments, and he was an excellent designer of medals and the author of numerous coined monies. Broader social changes are echoed in his work, for he moved from early projects, which deal with the reconstruction of the state, to contemporary forms of expression and geometrical sculptures in the 1970s and 1980s, while in his latest period, he mainly designed collective statues of piety. He is also the author of the monumental memorials to John Paul II and the cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. He died on 14 July, 2005, in Warsaw.

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