WOJCIECH FANGOR Polish, 1922-2015


After graduating in 1946 from the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, and an early period of Cubistic Landscapes and Poster art, Fangor (b. 1922 - d. 2015 Warsaw, Poland) began experimenting in the early 1950’s with paint and colour to create striking chromatic effects and optical illusions.


In 1958 Fangor, in collaboration with Stanislaw Zamecznik, brought about the first Environment in world art, A Study of Space. He painted edgeless and vibrant abstract pictures, the theory of Positive Illusory Space.


This was so original that it was misunderstood as op art. It was not until a decade later when the Light and Space movement developed in Silicon Valley that his work became part of an art movement exemplified by James Turrel, Bruce Nauman and Robert Irwin. Fangor, working behind the Iron Curtain without State sanction and without the new technologies of light filled objects available in Silicon Valley, was able to accomplish this with paint like Mark Rothko. 


Fangor was exhibited at the 15 Polish Painter’s exhibition and The Responsive Eye, Museum of Modern Art, 1965. In 1970 he had a solo show at the Guggenheim Museum.