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Stanisław Fijałkowski, 14.IX.61 Mandala, 1961, oil on canvas, 18 × 18".

Stanisław Fijałkowski

Galerie Isabella Czarnowska

Stanisław Fijałkowski, 14.IX.61 Mandala, 1961, oil on canvas, 18 × 18".

Until now little known outside Poland, Stanisław Fijałkowski can claim, to say the least, a most distinctive artistic lineage: He was a student of Władysław Strzemiński, who in turn had studied with the modern master Kazimir Malevich. But Fijałkowski is also heir to all the upheaval that his part of the world has suffered over the past century. He was born in 1922 in Poland’s southeast, “a region that was soaked with blood in World War II,” as Anda Rottenberg and Ory Dessau write in the gallery press release; the area is now part of Ukraine. During the war he found himself in a forced-labor camp in Königsberg—the once-Prussian city that is now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad—and in its aftermath settled in Lodz, where he studied, taught, and still lives.

Needless to say, then, Fijałkowski’s work is hardly imbued with the crisply declarative forms and optimistic élan

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