AGNIESZKA SOLAWA

ARTIST

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“Miss Solawa has recreated a purity, joy  and  spiritual world  which for me,  at times,  reaches the level of Georges Rouault,  Paul Klee and Marc Chagall, all combined.”

                               Professor Strauss Brink, University of Cape Town, August 13, 1973

Agni Portrait

Born in Krakow, Poland, I grew up surrounded by my mother who was an Artist and my father who was an Architect. Under their influence and encouragement I started my journey in the world of Arts at a very young age. I got my first commission of reverse paintings on glass at the age of ten; it was a collection of five icons for the “Missionary  Church” in Krakow.

In 1970, to escape from communism, I emigrated with my parents to South Africa where    I studied Fine Art at the Pretoria University and gained my Diploma of Fine Art and later BA of Architecture from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. During the years       I was studying I kept painting and participating in Art Exhibitions. After completing my Art Diploma I attended the University of Cape Town School of architecture to prepare for a career as an architect.

After participating in Art Exhibitions in 1971 and 1972 in Pretoria I opened my first "one person" Exhibition in the Gallery of South African Association of Arts in Cape Town where I displayed a collection of my Reverse Paintings on Glass, Drawings and Graphics.

The Exhibition was very well received by the members of the Press and the Critics who attended and published in some of the major South African Newspapers many articles covering the event.

“Painting on glass is a specialized and difficult Art and Agnieszka is an Expert.”

                      Rand Daily Mail. Nov. 19, 1973

My second Exhibition was held in Paris, France at Circle Saint-Louis,  where I presented my latest reverse paintings on glass. While in  Paris   I studied Graphic Arts at “Atelier 17” under the patronage of Artist William Hayter.

After graduating and while pursuing my architectural career I held several private non-publicized exhibitions in Italy and South Africa.

My goal is to introduce to the American Artists and Public the forgotten and sublime art of Reverse Painting on glass, an art I was born into and  lived  with  through  my  contacts with ancient Polish traditions that still survived  in  the  villages and  the Mountains of  my  homeland.     I discovered the forgotten techniques and even reinvented them to fit modern technologies and still preserve the soul of the Ancient Ones.

“She has taken a traditional form, relatively unknown outside Poland, has responded as an artist to its qualities, and has then adopted and adapted its medium and its themes in her own work. The original qualities have persisted through this process: there is rich decorative quality without triviality, bold formalization and stylization without superficiality, all contributing to a series of direct and forceful images. We are all of us richer for having had this opportunity of adding to our experience of art.”

                                        John Moyle, July 30, 1973

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