The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place)
Shows how Sawka’s experience as a political refugee, and his working method, which emphasized imagery drawn from memory, resulted in powerful works that speak of and to the universal human condition.
This exhibition catalog provides insights, background, and additional content to enrich the understanding of Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place), an exhibition of works by the internationally known artist. The book begins with an essay by co-curator Frank Boyer that relates the exhibition concept to the cultural traditions and the political context within which Jan Sawka lived and worked, and discusses the nature and effects of his technical innovations as they appear in the selected works. Co-curator Hanna Maria Sawka's essay provides biographical background and detailed information about Jan Sawka's printing techniques as an introduction to an illustrated manuscript by the late artist. Never before published, the poetic commentary by Jan Sawka describes the memories he associated with each of the 36 drypoint "Post-Card" prints in the exhibition. These range from early memories to those of places along the path of his exile. An essay by the Dorsky Museum's Founding Director Neil Trager reveals Jan Sawka's ties to the founding of the Dorsky. The late curator of works on paper at the Library of Congress, Elena Millie, reflects on Jan Sawka's practice, from the viewpoint of an early champion of his work. The book amplifies the exhibition's themes of memory and place, showing how Sawka's experience as a political refugee, and his working method, which emphasized imagery drawn from memory, resulted in powerful works which speak of and to the universal human condition.
Hanna Maria Sawka has a BA in English and Theater from Smith College and an MFA in Film, Television, and Theater Directing from the Polish National Film School. Together with her mother, Hanna Sawka, Hanna Maria manages the estate of her late father, Jan Sawka, whose work is in over sixty museums around the world, including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Polish National Museums in Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan and Gdansk.