Wojciech Fangor (1922–2015)

American Dream

Part I. Europe 1961–1966

The exhibition looks at Wojciech Fangor’s work from 1961–1973, when he was developing the concept of positive illusory space. From 1966, Fangor lived in the United States (Madison, New Jersey) and worked at a local art college as a painting teacher. He was doing pretty well for himself, thanks to his cooperation with New York’s Galerie Chalette, which was selling his paintings. He was living the high life, with an American “highway cruiser” and a farm with an extensive residence, located near Madison.

In 1970, he had a solo exhibition of his paintings at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which was the peak of his American artistic career. This floor of the exhibition shows seven of the 37 paintings included in that exhibition.

The paintings from this period are more stylish and free with colour. They could trigger associations with American psychedelia and protest, although that wasn’t the artist’s intention. Fangor used several recurring motifs, including circles of kinetic energy, as well as other central figures that look like starfish and waves arranged in patterns of inverted symmetry.

From 1973, the collaboration with Galerie Chalette became less close as the artist started to move away from the spatial art formula he had developed. He kept on creating and living in the States for nearly 30 years and then came back to Poland permanently in 1999.