Stunning WWII Fangor painting ‘rescued’ at auction is entered into Register of Monuments – The First News
Fangor’s ceiling shows seven celestial acts entwined in flowing fabric. The ethereal scene, floating amid clouds, was completed by the presence of over a dozen angels.
Monument protection of the Mazowiecki province / Facebook
A historic ceiling painted by Wojciech Fangor during World War II was saved in the future after it was entered in the monument register.
The province’s conservationist, Professor Jakub Lewicki, justified the decision with the words: “The ceiling was the artist’s first large-format work and is unique in terms of both content and style.”
Describing it as “mythical”, Lewicki added that the painting was also notable for the techniques used in its creation – methods that Fangor later perfected when he rose to become one of the most famous Polish artists.
The ceiling with the title Plejeda, first presented in 1943 on the occasion of Fangor’s 21st birthday, was erected in the family home, a villa called Janówek, in what is now the Powsin Botanical Garden outside Warsaw.
Painted under the close supervision of one of his egosntors, Felicjan Szczęsny Kowarski, the ceiling showed seven heavenly nudes entwined in flowing fabric; The ethereal scene, floating amid clouds, was completed by the presence of over a dozen angels.
Years later, Fangor announced that Kowarski had played a vital role in building his understanding of technical issues. He also credited him with giving him a free hand when it came to the actual creative process.
“He left me completely free in terms of style, shape, color and theme. Today I sometimes wonder what made me turn to such an idyllic Rococo style, and I think that maybe it was an escape from the terrible terror that ruled the time. “
With a size of 9 x 4.5 meters, the spectacular work was further cited by the restorer because of its harmonious arrangement of the elements and its overall coherence.
The entry of the ceiling in the register signals a remarkable turning point in his fate. Despite its importance to Polish art and culture, it was only recently “saved” after an autumn auction was held to fund urgent maintenance.
While Plejeda had his struggles, the legend of fangor continued to rise, and the artist’s reputation continued to grow since his death in 2015.
His post-war style, born in 1922, was originally subject to the parameters of socialist realism. The thaw after Stalin’s death enabled him to regain his voice, and he played a key role in the birth of the Polish poster school.
When he wrote the world’s first spatial installation in 1958, he left Poland in 1961 and eventually settled in the United States, where he received rave reviews from some of the greatest names in international art through his collaboration with Manhattan’s gallery Challete.
In 1972 he was invited to direct a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim. To this day, he is the first and only Pole to be awarded this privilege.
When he returned to Warsaw in 1999, his work continued to make headlines and huge offers. In December, mosaics by Fangor at the Warszawa Śródmieście station were entered in the monument register. In the same month, his M22 painting was auctioned for a domestic record of PLN 7.3 million.