The dual emotions of aloneness and melancholy seem to be a relevant concept when grasping the minimalist abstracts of Jurek Wajdowicz‘s pictures. To say photographs at once defies the visual impact that is experienced when first viewing one of his oversized artworks that blend his subject matter into the intimate and then strips it of any mundaneness. Indeed his pictures are at most times hard pressed to be labeled photography as the viewer walks away with something intimate, sad, melancholic and surprisingly ethereal while striving to believe he has actually viewed a photograph and not a painting. Wajdowicz’s limited palette conveys an emotional darkness in the lightest of his artworks while the darker subject matter is paired both with beauty and a brightness of hope, each claiming an enigma. Rarely are human forms present in this collection, yet you immediately sense the emotional yet self-contained impact of this artist letting you into his world. Wajdowicz appears simultaneously present and yet completely silent, removed and waiting. The beauty of Wajdowicz’s seemingly silent images manage to both haunt and perversely soothe. In an era when artists regularly use computer adjustments Wajdowicz’s work is captured and contained solely through his lens.
There is an undeniable technical photographical expertise that becomes secondary as the viewer loses the sense of viewing photography and is washed in the context of art alone. The book initially opens with a light minimal expanse of the silent ethereal in both tone and palette while the artist’s selection ends with a sense of desolation that manages to exude a hopefulness within the darkness.
A haunting ethereal calm that collides with a somber brooding joy.
A luminous form in space…hovering between a photograph and a painting. I want my work to float between representation and abstraction…perceived and imagined… an emotional freedom to the viewer. A suggestion rather than a description. I’m concerned with the issues of space…light…tone. And unpredictability.
Ambiguity…so critical to my work has a transcending effect of making the mundane beautiful…which in turn (hopefully) makes you wonder what you are looking at and why. I am probably most satisfied by my images when I can hear the music in them and the longer I manage to suspend this tension of not being able to resolve what you’re looking at the more successful my work feels.
Art photographer and designer Jurek Wajdowicz is, together with Lisa LaRochelle, the principal of the award-winning Emerson, Wajdowicz Studios (EWS) located in New York. EWS clients include the most prestigious international humanitarian organizations and leading non-profit institutions.
Wajdowicz began his career as a graphic artist in Lodz, Poland, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s Degree in graphic design from the Lodz Academy of Fine Arts. After working on design projects for theaters and museums in Poland and England, he came to the United States to be an art director at Lubalin, Burns & Co. and then design director at Design Processing International, a company established by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin, Massimo Vignelli and Hermann Zapf, before co-founding EWS.
Jurek Wajdowicz is acknowledged as one of the leading graphic designers internationally and is known for his photojournalistic, creative approach to design. Recently, in the 50th Anniversary Survey of the Graphic Design: USA magazine, Wajdowicz was selected among the “Most Influential Graphic Designers of the Past 50 Years.”
Jurek Wajdowicz’s design and art photography work resides in the permanent collections of the U.S. Library of Congress (Washington, DC), the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (New York), the United Nations Headquarters (Geneva and New York), the Warsaw Museum of Posters in Wilanow (Poland), the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Lodz Museum of Modern Art (Poland) and Hamburg’s Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, among others.
Jurek Wajdowicz: Liminal spaces
Lars Müller Publishers
With a contribution by Fred Ritchin
Design: Jennifer Sterling
29,5 x 38,1 cm, 11½ x 15 in, 112 pages
75 illustrations, paperback (2013)
ISBN 978-3-03778-410-5, English, Polish
EUR 60.00 / USD 80.00 / GBP 50.00
by Jurek Wajdowicz
In his dual practice as a graphic designer and photographer, Jurek Wajdowicz concentrates on what at first glance are binary oppositions, at Kasia Michalski Gallery, through July 31st, 2015. On the one hand, contributing to the misssion of international non-governmental instituti...