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"Reflections on Everyman: The Work of Jan Sawka"
New Jersey, USA - 2013

National Museum in Krakow, with Jan Sawka

Currently On View:

Reflections on Everyman: The Work of Jan Sawka

September 12 – December 14, 2013

Curated by Evonne M. Davis and Hanna Maria Sawka

Opening Reception September 12, 7-10 PM

New Media Screening October 12, 7 PM

Closing Reception December 14, details TBA


Newark, NJ: Gallery Aferro’s Main Gallery and New Media Room will feature a major retrospective celebrating the life and work of artist, expatriate, activist, architect and impossible-to-classify Jan Sawka (1946-2012). Sawka's body of work includes paintings, book arts, sculptures, engravings, editorial illustrations, architectural installations, monuments, new media and a 10-story stage set designed for the Grateful Dead.  Currently, a memorial exhibition of his work is on view at The National Museum in Krakow, Poland. Born in 1946 in Zabrze, Poland, his childhood overshadowed by his father's Stalin-era political imprisonment, by his 20’s Sawka had become the youngest member of the Polish Poster School.  Sawka’s portrayal in his art of the impact of totalitarianism on the individual led to his expulsion from Poland in 1976.  Having just won the “Oscar de la Peinture” in France, he was given a residency at the newly opened Pompidou Center in Paris.  In 1977, he arrived in New York with his wife and baby, four suitcases and a portfolio of artworks. Within a year, he became a prolific editorial illustrator for The New York Times. While producing paintings at his home studio, he designed posters and sets for the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, Harold Clurman Theater, and Samuel Beckett Theater, where he collaborated closely with Beckett.  By this time, he had built a gallery career in New York, Los Angeles and many other cities.  In 1981, when Martial Law was imposed in Poland, the AFL-CIO sold Sawka's Solidarity Poster in the millions to provide immediate support to the besieged Solidarity movement. In 1993, he created his first full multi-media spectacle in Japan. At the time of his death the artist was working on numerous projects. Sawka's works are in over 60 museums around the world and he had over 70 solo exhibitions. The exhibition will focus on Jan Sawka’s concern with the human condition in today’s world, with examples of his paintings, prints and sculptures.  As the late Professor James Beck of Columbia University wrote “He contemplates and dissects the social conditions of our moment – the absurdities of political states, the leadership, the courts, the universities – within the context of the individual caught in the labyrinth… such a condition is not differentiated from the absurdities of more human interaction, between lovers, husbands and wives.  The isolation is there too, perhaps even more so: the absence of communication, the uniformity, the blandness, the emptiness… Here too is the softened, approachable world of physical beauty, of delicacy, refinement and sensitivity.  These two struggle with one another… in Sawka’s irresistible art.”

This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute, and with support from the Polish American Business Club and the Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union.

Gallery Aferro is a nonprofit artist-originated organization serving a diverse community through the import and export of ideas. The gallery is located at 73 Market St Newark NJ, and is open Thursday-Saturday 12:00-6PM and by appt, free of charge.






List of Exhibitions

2013
  •The National Museum in Krakow, Poland
  •Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, USA

2012
  •The Stevenson Library, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA

2011
  •Red Eft Gallery, Wurtsboro, NY, USA
  •Utopian Direction, Warwick, NY, USA

2010
  •International Poster Center, New York City, USA
  •Mohonk Arts Center, High Falls, New York, USA

2009
  •Ocean View Arts Center, Amagansett, NY, USA

2004
  •ACA Galleries, New York City, USA

2001
  •The Gallery Above, Woodstock, NY, USAA

1998
  •Polish Cultural Institute, London, UK

1997
  •Zabrze Municipal Museum, Zabrze, Poland
  •Sawka-Sato, Galeria Centrum, Katowice, Poland
  •Galeria Miejska, Tarnow, Poland

1996
  •Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  •Kosciuszko Foundation, New York City, USA

1995
   •Pecs Galeria, Pecs, Hungary
   •Graphic Art Gallery 360, Tokyo, Japan

1994
   •Striped House Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

1993
   •Atrium Gallery, Connecticut State University, Storrs, CT, USA
   •ACM Theater, Art Tower Mito, Mito, Japan

1992
   •Carolyn Hill Gallery, New York City, USA
   •National Museum, Gdansk, Poland
   •Science and Art Museum, Prague, Czechoslovakia
   •BWA Bielsko-Biala, Bielsko-Bialo, Poland
   •International Arts Pavilion, Expo’92, Seville, Spain
   •Queens Museum, New York City, USA
   •Creation Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
   •National Museum, Wroclaw, Poland

1991
   •Samuel Dorsky Gallery, New York City, USA
   •De Andino Fine Arts Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA
   •National Gallery Zacheta, Warsaw, Poland
   •National Museum, Cracow, Poland
   •Starmach Gallery, Cracow, Poland
   •Hassel and Haeseler Gallery, Denver, CO, USA
   •Galerie Lefor-Openo, Paris, France
   •Fort Collins Museum of Art, Ft. Collins, CO, USA
   •Poster Museum, Warsaw-Wilanow, Poland

1990
   •Tyler Art Gallery, SUNY, Oneonta, NY, USA
   •Nicolaysen Museum of Art, Casper, Wyoming, USA
   •Arvada Center of the Arts, Arvada, CO, USA
   •Brno Municipal Theater Gallery, Brno, Czechoslavakia
   •MASC Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

1989
   •Samuel Dorsky Gallery, New York, USA
   •Dowd Fine Arts Center, SUNY Cortland, NY, USA
   •SUNY New Paltz Art Gallery, New Paltz, NY, USA

1988
   •Di Laurenti Gallery, New York City, USA
   •La Salle, Aosta, Italy

1986
   •Samuel Beckett Theater, New York City, USA   
   •Rizzoli Bookstore and Gallery, New York City, USA   
   •Anca Colbert Gallery, Evelyn Siegel Gallery, Fort Worth, TX, USA
   •Evelyn Siegel Gallery, Fort Worth, TX, USA  

1985
   •Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York City, USA   
   •Pratt Manhattan Center, New York City, USA   
   •112 Green Street Space, New York City, USA   
   Samuel Beckett Theater, New York City, USA  

1984
   •Albany Academy Gallery, Albany, New York, USA
   •Evelyn Siegel Gallery, Fort Worth, TX, USA

1983   
   •Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
   •Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York City, USA   

1982
   •Andre Zarre Gallery, New York City, USA
   •Ana Sklar Gallery, , Miami, Florida, USA
   •IMF Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA

1981
   •Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

1980
   •Poster Museum, Warsaw-Wilanow, Poland  
   •Kochanowski Theater, Opole, Poland

1979
   •Lillian Heidenberg Gallery, New York City, USA
   •Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

1978
   •9th International Painting Festival, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
   •Art Directors Club, New York City, USA  
   •Musee D'Art Moderne, Paris, France
1977
   •Otto Nagel Haus, East Berlin, East Germany
   •Galerie Noire, Paris, France   
   •Galerie Lefor-Openo, Saint Cloud, France
   •Galerie Pulchri Studio, The Hague, Netherlands
   •Dubins Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

1976
   •International Design Conference, Aspen, CO, USA
   •Poster Museum, Warsaw-Wilanow, Poland   
   •BWA Opole, Opole, Poland


1974
   •Caracas Art Festival, Caracas, Venezuela
   •FAMA Festival, Swinoujscie, Poland
   •Stodola Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

1973
   •BWA Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland
   •Helsinki University Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
1972

   •Lausanne Cultural Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland
   •Art 7 Festival, Palermo, Italy

1971
   •Budapest University Gallery, Budapest, Hungary   
   •International Festival of Young Art, York, United Kingdom
  

 

 

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