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The serigraph is a thoroughly modern graphic arts technique whose history dates back to the beginning of the modern era. In the Far East, the technique, or a variation on it consisting of cutting patterns into palm and banana leaves, was used to adorn decorative and clothing fabrics as well as playing cards. In Europe the technique developed rapidly in the 1950s, and in Poland it gained the name 'screen printing' from the milliners' sieves that were used to produce printing forms. After it became established as an important printing technique, screen-printing began to draw the interest of graphic artists. Adopted as an artistic technique, it was dubbed 'serigraphy.' Serigraphy provides almost limitless possibilities, and achieving excellence in this artistic discipline depends almost entirely on the degree to which a graphic artist masters its secrets. Screens can be used to produce both very simple and highly complex prints. Some multicolored prints are produced using multiple screens and dozens if not hundreds of colors. In recent years, the technique has been mastered to an unparalleled degree by a number of Japanese graphic artists, whose work was on view at the Graphic Arts Biennale in Krakow and the Poster Biennale in Wilanow.
Jerzy Nowosielski was born in Krakow in 1923. He is a painter, theoretician, thinker and educator. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Krakow and went on to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in the years 1945-47. In 1942 he spent nearly a year at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Monastery near Lviv, where he studied the history of icons and the art of painting them. In the years 1945-49 he was a member of the Grupa Mlodych Plastykow (Group of Young Visual Artists), and in 1957 he was among the founding members of the Stowarzyszenie Artystyczne Grupa Krakowska (Krakow Group Artistic Association). He was an educator for many years and from 1976 to 1992 served as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.
Nowosielski has had over one hundred solo exhibitions and participated in more than two hundred fifty group exhibitions in Poland and beyond (among them, 1956 - the 28th Biennale di Venezia; 1959 - the 5th Biennale de Sao Paulo; 1961 - 15 Polish Painters, Museum of Modern Art, New York; 1965 - Profile IV, Polnische Kunst Heute, Staedtlische Kunstgalerie, Bochum; 1972 - Atelier 72, The Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh; 1974 - Polish Painting Today, The Mall Galleries, London; 1977 - L'esprit romantique dans l'art polonais, Grand Palais, Paris; 1987 - Polnische Malerei 1945-87, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden; 1988 - Art at the Edge, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; 1992 - Pabellon de las Artes EXPO'92, Sevilla).
The author has painted numerous polychrome murals in religious buildings. These can be seen among other places at the Orthodox Church of the Sleeping Mother of God in Krakow, the parish church in the town of Wesola, the Church of the Order of the Reformati in Krakow, the Church of the Holy Spirit in Nowe Tychy, the Orthodox Church of the Sleeping Mother of God in Lourdes and the Orthodox church in the town of Bialy Bor.
Nowosielski's works can be found in virtually all of Poland's most important museum collections of contemporary art, as well as in numerous private collections around the world. In1996 the artist and his wife created a foundation that aims to support exceptionally talented artists, among other ways by financing fellowships and offering an annual arts prize (the first-ever Nowosielski Foundation Prize was awarded in May of 1997).
Gallery of the Print and Poster
Galeria Grafiki i Plakatu
Manager: Andrzej Stroka, Nina Rozwadowska
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