It can be boldly stated that the famous “Z. village” has always been known as a place where the human species known as artists are present in unprecedented density. The majority of respondents to the question: “Who do you associate Zakopane with?” would reply “Witkacy”.
The late 1950s and the early 1960s was the heyday of the Polish modern sculpture which, after the ignoble period of the socialist realism rule, renewed its relations with current tendencies present in international art. It was a period of creative activity of many distinguished sculptresses.
Wanda Ślędzińska (1906–1999), a sculptor and a pedagogue associated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków for many decades. She started working at the academy as an assistant at Xawery Dunikowski’s studio. Ślędzińska was the first woman to become the head of the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. She held this post until she retired in 1970.
Jan Stanisławski (1860–1907) is one of the greatest painters of the Young Poland period and an excellent landscape painter, known primarily for his miniature landscapes. The Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków stores several landscapes of small sizes typical of the painter. Among them is a painting depicting a garden in Dębniki near Kraków.
Among all the portraits created by Leon Wyczółkowski, his self-portraits occupy a special place. They not only reflect the artist’s appearance in different periods of his life, but also act as records of the painter’s changing personality and moods. They also document his artistic development. Wyczółkowski created several dozen images of himself using oil, tempera, pastel, and graphic techniques. His first works come from the 1890s. He kept creating until the end of his life...
Body casts appeared in works by Alina Szapocznikow in 1965, when she began to present her own fingers and mouth in sculptural material. In 1971, she made of polyester the crushed Autoportret–Zielnik [Self-Portrait — Herbarium], regarded as an introduction to Zielnik [Herbarium] — one of her most important works made on the basis of body casts.
Maria Jarema — born in an artistic family, the daughter of a Lviv pianist — explored the problem of dynamics, rhythm, and the musicality of a work of art both in paintings and in sculptures throughout her whole artistically devoted life.
When dying of breast cancer in the sanatorium of Praz-Coutant in France, Szapocznikow was at the age of 47. The cancer first appeared at the beginning of 1969. She underwent successful surgery and therapy, and introduced the theme of illness into her art.