Piotr Potworowski (1898-1962)
The world and the restless spirit, on a journey from Post-Impressionism to abstraction, visited many countries and landscapes. His paintings are a painter's "travel diary": an unusual, synthetic vision of the climates and places he sees. The last stage of his art is a wonderful synthesis of the Polish landscape. He is one of the artists whose art is still vividly received by young artists, for whom he is not only an inspiration, but also a kind of model.
1924 went to Paris with the "Paris Committee", rented a separate studio in Montparnasse, enrolled in Fernando Léger's studio (1881-1955) and made close contact with Tadeusz Makowski (1882-1932) and Tytus Czyżewski (1880-1945), clearly tempted by cubism.
In order to make a living, Piotr Potworowski was a librarian, peace painter, and finally started making wooden models of ships, the construction of which he studied at the Musée de la Marine. At that time he also enlisted - as an ordinary sailor - on a small merchant ship, sailing on the Mediterranean Sea. Together with the crew of the sailing ship "Aimée-Marie" he visited African ports: Tunis, Morocco, Algiers, Carthage - the sea will remain his great fascination.
he met Magdalena Mańkowska, an anthropology student in Paris, with whom he soon married
Piotr Potworowski returned to Poland with his wife, where their son Jan was born. The artist and his family lived in the palace in Rudki near Szamotuły, the family estate of his wife. The hospitable house became a real "nest of art" - for months friends: Janusz Strzałecki, Cybis, Tytus Czyżewski (he even had his own studio there), Wacław Taranczewski
the first exhibition of colorists in Warsaw was held at the Artists' Club in the Polonia Hotel, as well as an exhibition called "New Generation" at the Institute of Art Propaganda, where Piotr Potworowski received an award for the painting "Three women in the interior"
the artist received a silver medal at the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Paris and an award from the Minister of Foreign Affairs
The first large individual exhibition by Piotr Potworowski before the war at the Warsaw Institute of Art Propaganda. The exhibition visited Lviv and Krakow - unfortunately, all the paintings were lost in transport during the September campaign.
took part in the September campaign. Prewarned of Gestapo principles, he was hiding in a village on the Bug River. The artist decided to get to the West and after many adventures (false documents, plane crash, escape from custody) he got through Kaunas to Sweden. He settled in Taxinge Näsby near Stockholm, where he worked physically. At the same time, he did not stop painting or even sculpting. It was then that he decided to devote himself fully to art - despite all the difficulties and turmoil of history.
In August, he was able to bring his wife and two children together.
Piotr Potworowski and his family have reached the United Kingdom. In London he also published reviews and short stories in the London monthly "Nowa Polska" and the national "Przeglad Artystyczny", he even published a collection of surrealistic miniatures "5 Letters".
the first major exhibition by Piotr Potworowski took place in Redfern Gallery in London
Since that year, the artist has regularly exhibited at the Gimpel Fils Gallery. His paintings were liked by collectors. One of the exhibitions was watched by Mr and Mrs Barker-Mill, who invited the painter to the Wookey-Hole estate in Somerset County. Piotr Potworowski spent 2 years in this house, where he had optimal working conditions. His stay in the countryside, getting to know the English landscape and the possibility to concentrate - far away from the bustling London - turned out to be very fruitful for his painting, which was appreciated by the English.
He became a professor at the prestigious and modern Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, with which he spent almost 10 years, finding there a thriving, open-minded environment: avid students and ambitious colleagues, who were impressed by his achievements and his unprecedented colour sensitivity. However, for the development of Piotr Potworowski's art, the possibility of travelling, provided by the Academy, was decisive.
In the 1950s, the painter travelled all over Europe: Spain, Italy, France. While travelling, he visited galleries and museums, but more important for him was contact with the landscape and nature. Since then, his painting has become a true "travel diary", a reconstruction - from memory, from a sketchbook - of the climates and landscapes he experienced.
After 18 years of absence, Piotr Potworowski returned to Poland with his new life companion Doreen Heathon, a former Bath Academy student. The planned exhibition in "Zachęcie" does not take place due to a strike of English dockers who were holding a valuable cargo. The Polish "premiere" of Piotr Potworowski took place in the National Museum in Poznań - the friendly care and patronage of director Zdzisław Kępiński accompanied the painter until the end of his life. The exhibition became a real revelation and a surprise. After Poznań, the paintings were seen in Krakow, Sopot, Warsaw, Wrocław and Szczecin - it was a real triumphant diversion. Piotr Potworowski settled down in Sopot and took up a painting studio at the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznań and Gdańsk.
prize at the XXX Venice Biennale
first symptoms of severe lung disease
in March, Piotr Potworowski had an exhibition at the Lacloche Gallery in Paris, which also proved a success
Piotr Potworowski died on 24 April in Warsaw. He was buried at the Powazki Cemetery in Aleja Zasłużonych.