Opening in May: An exhibition of paintings, drypoint engravings and multimedia entitled "Jan Sawka. 1946 - 2012" will open at the main building of the National Museum in Krakow, Poland at 6PM on May 24th, 2013. The Museum is located at al. 3 Maja 1, 30-062 Kraków. This exhibition is curated by Magdalena Czubinska and it will run until September 1, 2013. A description of the show, together with images of artworks that will be shown, can be found here: (English) (po Polsku). To plan a visit, click here.
Preview: The National Museum show will feature an installation of banner paintings that was part of a performance from 1990 called "The Shere" that was performed at the MASC Performing Arts Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. The banner paintings encompassed the performance space, within which live jazz music was played by Ed Summerlin, Charlie Knicely and Keith Teller. The music was composed by the late Ed Summerlin. The performance included Jan Sawka's multimedia projections as well. Here is an image of the banners from "The Sphere:" The National Museum show will also include the hand-painted drypoint engraving series called "Postcards."
Other news: More Jan Sawka exhibitions are coming soon, including one opening this year in the United States. Details will be announced as they are finalized.
For more frequent updates and featured information and images from the life and career of Jan Sawka, please follow Jan Sawka on Facebook and Twitter.
Opening in May: An exhibition of paintings, drypoint engravings and multimedia entitled "Jan Sawka. 1946 - 2012" will open at the main building of the National Museum in Krakow, Poland at 6PM on Friday, May 24th, 2013. The Museum is located at al. 3 Maja 1, 30-062 Kraków. This exhibition is curated by Magdalena Czubinska and it will run until September 1, 2013. A description of the show (in Polish) can be found here. To plan a visit, please see the Museum's English language website here (location).
In the press:
The February 2013 edition of the monthly cultural publication "Odra," which is published in Wroclaw, Poland, has an article (in Polish) where Jan Sawka's exile from Poland and the subsequent policy of censoring of his memory and legacy within Poland is the main part of a case study of policies toward political emigres. The article is by Dr. Slawomir Magala of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Link to a PDF version of the file is here.
Coming soon: In May, an exhibition of Jan Sawka’s drypoint engravings, banner paintings and multimedia will open in the main building of the Polish National Museum in Krakow, Poland.
On view: The Wired Gallery in High Falls, NY will feature a Dedication Wall to Jan Sawka during its show opening on March 23rd. More details coming soon.
Coming Down: The morning of Monday, February 11th is the last time the public can view "Personal Equilibrium" at Bard College's Stevenson Library.
In the press: Trends Institute's Winter 2013 issue of "The Trends Journal" has been released and it includes a reproduction and information on Jan Sawka's design of the Peace Monument, Jerusalem, which was awarded the "Excellence in Architecture" award in 2011 from the American Institute of Architecture. For those who wish to support the realization of this project, tax-deductible donations can be made here.
Currently on view: Due to popular demand, the "Personal Equilibrium" show at the Stevenson Library at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, has been extended to the end of January. January hours are Mon-Thurs. 8:30-5PM, Fri. 8:30-5:00PM, Sat. Noon-5PM and Sun. Noon- 8PM. The show is updated, with entirely different pages being currently on display.
In the press: Ann Gibbons has written about "Personal Equilibrium" and other updates regarding the work of Jan Sawka in the Sunday, January 13th editionof the Daily Freeman (Ulster County). The online article includes an interview with Hanka Sawka. Click here for article and interview.
Coming soon: Trends Institute's "The Trends Journal" will include a reproduction and information on Jan Sawka's design of the Peace Monument, Jerusalem, which was awarded the "Excellence in Architecture" award in 2011 from the American Institute of Architecture. For those who wish to support the realization of this project, tax-deductible donations can be made here.
Currently on view: Until December 15, "Personal Equilibrium: The Private Journals of Jan Sawka" at the Stevenson Library, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. This is the first time the fully illustrated journals are exhibited for the public. The show is accessible during library hours, which can be found here.
In the news: Lynn Woods' article "Jan Sawka: The Page Speaks" in the December issue of Chronogram Magazine. Online article here
In the press: In the winter issue of Green Door Magazine, "Remembering Jan Sawka," by Jennifer Farley, link to article here
(pdf). Print version hits newstands in December.
Currently on view: "Personal Equilibrium: The Private Journals of Jan Sawka" at the Stevenson Library, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. This is the first time the fully illustrated journals are exhibited for the public. Despite inclement weather, the show enjoyed a warm and well-attended reception on Nov. 7th. The show continues to be on-view until December 15th and it is accessible during library hours, which can be found here. Please note that the library is closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23rd, reopening at noon on Saturday, November 24th.
In the press: The Polish design quarterly "2+3D" came out on November 7th with an extensive article in the Design History section entitled "Idealy mlodosci: Jan Sawka" (Ideals of Youth: Jan Sawka). The author is art historian Magdalena Czubinska, who is the Custodian of the Polish National Museum in Krakow. A link to the table of contents of this issue is here
In the news: "Big Visions Writ Small" by Rich Corozine in this week's Almanac (Ulster Publishing), an article focusing on the upcoming "Personal Equilibrium" show at Bard College. See the article here.
In the news: An illustrated article by Deb Medenbach in the November/December issue of Ulster Magazine can be see here, article is located on pages 47-52.
In the news: The October issue of ArtNews, in the NewsBriefs section, one can find an obituary on Jan Sawka.
Starting on Thursday, November 1st at the Stevenson Library, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, the first exhibition of Jan Sawka’s work since his passing: "Personal Equilibrium: The Private Journals of Jan Sawka."
Opening reception takes place on Wednesday, November 7th, 4-6:00PM. This exhibition will be on-view until Saturday, December 15th. Location: the display cases in the Stevenson Library Lobby. The exhibition can be viewed during library hours, which can be found here.
During and between travels and work on large projects, Jan Sawka created a number of journals in small, blank books. The journals are fully illustrated, chiefly with ink drawings, which are often painted or colored. The images and themes reach across the various artistic disciplines that Sawka practiced, including sketches for architectural projects, paintings, set design and prints. One journal focuses on the art of calligraphy, another on typography. Other journals explore travels, real and imagined. One journal is a visual diary, while another is a study of various human faces. At times, they are just wild forays into the imagination. All of the journals are a record of the inner life, visions and emotions of the artist.
Jan Sawka had over 70 individual exhibitions of his work at museums and major gallery centers of the world, however, his personal journals never have been exhibited. Beside their private nature, they would have been lost among Sawka’s chiefly large-scale works. The exhibition at Bard College’s Stevenson Library is the first opportunity for the public to see these masterworks of draftsmanship and imagination.
New York Times obituary print edition out today, Thursday, August 30, 2012 (pdf).
On Thursday, August 9th, 2012, Jan Sawka suffered a heart attack in his studio and home. Shortly after, he passed away in the Kingston Hospital in Kingston, NY. The artist died at a moment where multiple projects and an exhibition were in development. These will continue. Please check in for details to come.
His prolific work will live on and projects currently in development will continue to move forward. This website will continue to expand to include more information about the legacy of this prolific artist.
We would be most grateful if people possessing letters, documents, designs and works contact email@example.com with scanned images or photographs to help the Sawka family address the monumental task of archiving and organizing information regarding his legacy for future generations.
Sprostowanie: Rozumiemy, że w Polskich mediach pojawiają się informacje, że pogrzeb Jana Sawki odbył sie w Polsce. To nie prawda. Msza święta pogrzebowa odbyła sie w Kosciele St. Peter’s w Rosendale, N.Y. Ciało zostało skremowane a miejsce pochowania prochów jest jeszcze niezdecydowane.
Currently on view: “The Japanese Touch: Contemporary Masterpieces of Printmaking” at the Daniela Passal Gallery at Mohonk Arts, 186 Mohonk Road, High Falls, NY 12440. This show was created by Jan Sawka and it features works by the most prominent contemporary Japanese designers. The gallery is open weekdays. Please call 845-687-7490 before coming to visit.
The Raymond Steiner Blog of Art Times Journal currently features an essay by Jan Sawka’s daughter, Hanna M. Sawka, about the background of “The Japanese Touch” exhibition (pdf).
Jan Sawka talks about "The Japanese Touch," artistic friendships and creative activities in Japan in this interview by Will Baylies of independent Hudson Valley radio station, WKZE:
Recently unraveled: a section of Jan Sawka's set that was used for the Grateful Dead's concert tours in 1989-1990. This original section of the set is at the Grateful Dead Archive, Special Collections, McHenry Library, University of California Santa Cruz. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archivist.
The Daniela Passal Gallery at Mohonk Arts presents a unique opportunity to see works of some of the most celebrated contemporary designers and artists of Japan. Jan Sawka, an acclaimed artist who lives in High Falls and is a friend and supporter of Mohonk Arts, has for many years collaborated with Japanese creative entities and people. Friendships with artists run and have run deep. Exchanges of gifts and greetings between Sawka and artists such as Kiyoshi Awazu, Koichi Sato, Kazumasa Nagai, Shigeo Fukuda, Ikko Tanaka, Masuteru Aoba, Tadanori Yokoo, and Kenji Ekuan have resulted in a collection that can provide a survey of 20th and 21st century Japanese art and design. The purpose of this exhibition is to bring a unique educational opportunity to the Hudson Valley.
Jan Sawka will be delighted to talk about the artists as he knows them personally during the opening reception, which will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 5 – 8 PM.
Location: Mohonk Arts, 186 Mohonk Road, High Falls, NY
For more information: 845-687-7490
"Teraz Polska," or "Poland Now" is the promotional agency of the nation of Poland and it is launching a new, color publication in May. This first issue will feature cover art by Jan Sawka. View the magazine cover now on the Teraz Polska website at this link. The publication will also feature a fully-illustrated article profiling Jan Sawka. This publication will be distributed to Poland's political and business elite (President Komorowski included).
Jan Sawka is proud to announce “The Voyage,” a ninety-minute multimedia spectacle featuring large-scale animated artwork projections together with live performances by the Mickey Hart Band. This project has its roots in Jan Sawka’s collaboration with “The Grateful Dead” during the 25th anniversary of this legendary band, of which Mickey Hart was a member. See project website, which includes a teaser and details here: www.voyageproduction.com.
Late 2011 and 2012 mark the 30th anniversary of a dark era for Poland – Martial Law. In honor of this time, the United States Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, has posted the “Let Poland Be Poland” series that was broadcast on American prime-time television during Martial Law to raise awareness and support for Poland. An important part of the campaign was a fundraiser spearheaded by the American labor union, the AFL-CIO, in support of the Solidarity labor union in Poland (Solidarity would eventually force the overthrow of communism in Poland, that led to the freeing of the entire Warsaw Pact block and the fall of the Berlin Wall!). This fundraiser was supported by both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as by President Ronald Reagan himself. The item that was sold through this campaign and that raised millions of dollars for Solidarity was the Solidarity poster designed by Jan Sawka. Part 5 of the “Let Poland Be Poland” series features Poles in Exile. Jan Sawka is one of the Exiled Poles featured in this broadcast – see the “Solidarity” poster and other Sawka images and learn some of the story here, on the US Embassy in Poland Youtube channel:
Stay tuned for some exciting news about Jan Sawka’s collaboration on a project with a member of the former Grateful Dead band. In the meantime, take a walk back in time: There are more pictures than ever of the 25th Anniversary concert tour set here. This is also a good time to look back at Jan Sawka's large and highly political exhibition, "My Europe," that was in the International Arts Pavilion of the 1992 World Exposition in Seville, Spain. This installation was sponsored by none other than the Grateful Dead’s Rex Foundation. That same year, the Grateful Dead also sponsored the Olympic basketball team of the newly freed nation of Lithuania, about which a film (The Other Dream Team) just premiered at Sundance last month.
Currently on view: Jan Sawka’s “Haiti!” poster is part of the “Es geht UM die WELT: Internationale Plakate zu Natur und Umwelt” (About the World We Live In) exhibition at the KUNSTMUSEUM DIESELKRAFTWERK COTTBUS (DKW), Cottbus, Germany. Opening Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 11:00 AM. Click here for details on DKW website.
2010 - 2011 Recap
In May 2010, Jan Sawka unveiled the The Peace Monument at the International Poster Center in the Chelsea Arts District of New York. The event was co-sponsored by the International Poster Center, Temple of Understanding and ACA Galleries. The unveiling led to a number of Peace Monument-related events in 2011. Most notably, in February 2011, the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded Jan Sawka and Bart Sapeta “Excellence in Architecture” in the Unbuilt Category for the Peace Monument Complex.
Caleb Sloan (AIA Awards Committee Chair),
Bart Sapeta, Jan Sawka and Hanka Sawka
Jan Sawka and Bart Sapeta
Jan Sawka Exhibition Recap for 2011 and 2010
Spring of 2011 saw a “Celebration of Sawka” in the Hudson Valley. Utopian Direction (UD) of Warwick, NY hosted "Multimedia and Beyond" from April 9th to May 31st, 2011, along with an artist talk entitled “Sawka Speaks.” The UD show focused on Jan Sawka’s multimedia activities and his work with high-tech media. View exhibition here. Utopian Direction partnered with the Red Eft Gallery in Wurstboro, NY, which hosted the "Ashokan Views" Exhibition from April 2 to May 7, 2011. This exhibition featured a major painting installation called "Ashokan Views." "Ashokan Views" was inspired by one of the most beautiful locations in the Catskill Mountains – the Ashokan Reservoir, a huge artificial lake surrounded by the Catskill mountains. View exhibition here.
Jan Sawka's cover art was part of forty pieces representing the Westways Cover Art Program at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (Click here for show information). Exhibition ran from December 2010 to February 27, 2011. Click here for the Los Angeles Time’s article about show, which featured Jan Sawka’s artwork on the cover of the “Art and Books” section on December 19th, 2010.
The Peace Monument, Jerusalem design was part of the exhibition of submissions for the American Institute of Architects "Excellence in Architecture" Awards at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, N.H. This exhibition ran from December 7, 2010 to January 21, 2011.
Jan Sawka's "Book of Fiction" prints were a part of the "The Illustrious Mr. X" exhibition at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, New York from January 26, 2010 to July 17, 2011, click for details. Read a review of"The Illustrious Mr. X" by Paul Smart for Ulster Publishing's Almanac (review).
Jan Sawka opened “Homecoming: The International Art of Jan Sawka” in October 2010, at Mohonk Arts, in High Falls, New York. Works featured have been shown in places as diverse as Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates; Japan, the Hamptons, the American West and European cities. The exhibition included the Smart Glass “UMU” sculptures. The show can be viewed here.
Read a preview of “Homecoming” by Paul Smart of Ulster Publishing here.
Jan Sawka in 2011 Competitions
Jan Sawka's "HAITI!" charity poster participated in the 22nd Warsaw International Poster Biennial at the Poster Museum at Wilanów, which took place from 2-5 June 2010. In July 2011, the “Haiti!” poster was a finalist in the 18th Lahti Poster Biennial 2011, at the Lahti Art Museum/Poster Museum in Lahti, Finland. The "HAITI!" poster was sponsored by PZL (Link), a Polish advertising and marketing firm, in order to raise funds to aide earthquake victims and rebuilding efforts in Haiti.