Look back in awe

  • 2005-03-16
  • By TBT staff
VILNIUS - The retrospective of Edward Hartwig currently showing at Prospektas gallery is a timely chance to reappraise the enormous artistic legacy of one of Poland's most respected and renowned photographers.Born in 1909, Hartwig grew up in Lublin, Poland. From 1935-37 he studied at the Institute of Graphic Art in Vienna.

In 1944, he was arrested by the NKVD and exiled to a work camp in Joglo, where he spent three years. After his return he settled in Warsaw. From 1950 Hartwig worked for 30 years as a theater photographer. However, he tirelessly pursued his own private form of photography, in which everything from landscapes to people to architecture to sport became a matter of interest for him.

He was constantly experimenting and searching for new means of expression and methods of shaping the photographic image. In 1948 he participated in the Warsaw Exhibition of Modern Polish Photography and a year after that in the Krakow Exhibition of Modern Art.

After decades of his work being exhibited all round Europe, Hartwig went on to become considered by many as one of the best photographers of the 20th century.

He has published almost 30 books, the most famous of which are "Artistic Photography," "Behind the Scenes," "Photographic Variations" and "Willows," along with books focusing on towns and cities, such as Lublin, Kazimierz, and Zelazowa Wola.

Hartwig cofounded the Association of Polish Artist Photographers and was a member of the international photographic art organization FIAP. He died in 2003 in Warsaw.

The retrospective at Prospektas features 100 of the artist's works and reveals the dazzling breadth of his technical and conceptual talent.