“Wojciech Fangor. American Dream”. Exhibition opens in Wrocław

This is a treat for fans of the artist’s work. The exhibition “Wojciech Fangor. American Dream” can be seen from 13 July to 20 October at the Krupa Art Foundation (KAF) at Rynek 27/28 in Wrocław. The monographic exhibition is devoted to one of the most acclaimed Polish artists of the 20th century. It is a rare opportunity to see the famous spinning wheels and psychedelic waves in one place.

The exhibition presented at the Krupa Art Foundation focuses on the period in which Wojciech Fangor created his most famous works – spinning wheels and edgeless waves, swooning in the eyes of the viewer. The 1960s and 1970s were a time of the artist’s intense experimentation with op-art, or optical art, which, through its immersive nature, affected the viewer’s sense of sight and perception of space. Through these works, viewers interact with space, experiencing psychophysical sensations of movement and change.

The exhibition brings together 48 objects that have been arranged in the gallery space to give viewers the opportunity to experience what the artist himself called ‘positive illusionary space’. The artist’s premise was to intentionally affect the physiological processes of the viewer’s sense of sight and eye, as well as the psychosomatic experience of oneself in space. In 1969, the artist wrote to Krystyna Fangor: ‘If I have done anything in painting, it is not in the sense of a literary sign, but rather in the realm of sensual, visual experience’.


All of Wojciech Fangor’s paintings presented at the exhibition were created outside Poland. For the duration of the exhibition, they have been borrowed from private collections, both Polish and foreign. This is a unique opportunity to see them all in one space. Among the objects on display are masterpieces that are testimony to the artist’s fascination with optical illusion and his attempts to influence human perception.

The exhibition’s partners are the DESA Unicum auction house and the Fangor Foundation, responsible for assistance in acquiring objects for the exhibition, relations with collectors and substantive support for the project.

Fangor and his American dream

Wojciech Fangor went down in the history of art as one of the most eminent Polish painters of the 20th century, who gained international recognition thanks to his unique approach to optical art and his ability to create works that affect the perception of his audience. He began with traditional figurative painting before experimenting with form and colour in the 1950s, which led him to take an interest in space as an integral element of a work of art. The most spectacular period of Fangor’s work was in the 1960s and 1970s, when the artist developed his famous op-art techniques.

A particularly significant moment in his career was a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1970, making him the only Polish artist to be recognised in this way by this prestigious institution. This was a huge distinction, especially in the context of the political isolation of artists from behind the Iron Curtain. As many as 7 objects from this exhibition are on display in the Wrocław headquarters of KAF. The period of the exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum was a time when the artist deepened and complicated issues of symmetry. It was then that starfish-shaped motifs and mirror-image waves of inverted and shifted symmetry began to appear in his paintings. Circles also evolved and began to lose the trace of the painting’s surface – the white central circle. During this period, their centres are filled with colour, thus intensifying their hallucinatory effect. “It is difficult in the case of these paintings not to think of psychedelia, the colourful visions evoked in drug-induced trances and the culture of American contestation.

It could be said that the artist’s inventiveness soared to its highest level in those years surrounding the Guggenheim exhibition, and then quickly (and without gallery support) succumbed to exhaustion. Whatever happened later in Fangor’s oeuvre was never as relevant to its time as this chapter between 1956 and 1973, says Dorota Monkiewicz, curator of the exhibition at the Krupa Art Foundation.

Fangor emigrated to the United States in the mid-1960s and it was then that he established a relationship with a renowned gallery in New York, which enabled him to paint, exhibit and sell successfully. In this way, the artist realised his “American dream”. In the 1990s he returned to Poland, where he continued to work on new projects. Wojciech Fangor died in 2015, leaving behind a rich oeuvre that continues to inspire artists around the world today.

Krupa Art Foundation – Space for Art

The Krupa Art Foundation, founded by Sylwia and Piotr Krup, is an independent institution promoting contemporary art. Through private patronage, the Foundation pursues a broad programme of support for artists, especially young artists, through funding, exhibitions and competitions such as the KAF Young Art Prize. The Foundation also engages the business world in the promotion of art, integrating creativity in corporate spaces.

KAF’s headquarters, located in the heart of Wrocław’s Market Square, is not only a venue for the presentation of one of the best collections of 20th and 21st century art in Poland, but also a space for temporary exhibitions, education and meetings. The Foundation, believing in the potential of Wrocław as a European capital of culture, aims to support this social capital.

The exhibition “Wojciech Fangor. American Dream” is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of painting, which not only engages the eye, but also the whole bodily perception of the observer. It is a story about dreams, creative experiments and the road to their realisation. For lovers of contemporary art, this is a unique opportunity to get to know one of the most important Polish artists of the 20th century and to experience the unique emotions behind his works. The exhibition can be viewed from 13 July to 20 October at the Krupa Art Foundation in Wrocław (Rynek 27/28).

The exhibition “Wojciech Fangor. American Dream”

Place: Krupa Art Foundation, Rynek 36, Wrocław

Duration:13 July to 20 October 2024

Curator of the exhibition: Dorota Monkiewicz

Exhibition designer: Robert Rumas

Exhibition partner: DESA Unicum, Fangor Foundation

Opening hours:

monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

friday-Sunday: 11:00-20:00

tuesday: closed

Admission: Tickets: PLN 35 (regular), PLN 25 (reduced)

More information can be found on kAF website and on the Foundation’s social media: Instagram, Facebook.

photos: Fangor Fundadtion

source: press materials

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