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introduction                     personae                     thanks

Krakow, the town where I was born in the last century provided me with a gift of paint and brush. A restless soul, I sought answers to many a question. The parents would ask me the typical “What are you going to do when you grow up?” I always answered: I am going to be a painter and a writer. As easy as pie considering that I was brought up in the house of omnipresent books, the smell of linseed oil and turpentine. The fragrance still inspires me, less so the ink, because of the blots. Why did I become a student of the Faculty of Architecture? By sheer accident – because of an almost childish indecision and fear of economic character; I thought that my parents could not afford the cost of paint but they did not know about it... Still, they always respected my decisions and did not object to my two new discoveries: architecture and a handsome and intelligent student of architecture. The accidental meeting with a group of students and their architectural gift of convincing me of the splendour of the profession, about which I knew nothing, and of the superiority of architects’ erudition over the superficial, formalistic attitude of the students of the ASP (Academy of Fine Arts), won me over. The decision was made! I had somebody to talk to, about art of course.

I studied at the Faculty of Architecture under special artistic guidance of professor of graphic art Krystyna Wróblewska and painter Maria Markowska. They both insisted that I should paint. Krystyna Wróblewska ran the students’ academic association devoted to fine arts, which was attended by some of the protagonists of this volume including Marek Grechuta, Zofia de Ines and a few pre-eminent architects.

Thus, I studied architecture and I painted at the same time... aiming at becoming a painter.

I have no regrets. The studies of architecture (I graduated in 1971) provided me with knowledge, spatial awareness, love of geometry and a final conviction that I did not want to become an architect! It is a beautiful and creative profession, but it requires a large amount of bureaucracy and does not give the complete creative freedom. Too many units and factors are involved in the process of completion and of materialisation of an architectural work.

While painting, I enjoy complete freedom and there is nobody to dictate me . Even the sitters of the portraits have no influence on the way I see them. I have painted a series of portraits of the actors of the Stary (Old) Theatre and could write a book about it.

I have also written a book. This in turn is a result of my love to both of my fields of interest. The title is Architecture: The Muse of Painting (Wydawnictwo Politechniki, Krakow 2009); this book on painting is a kind of a tribute to architecture, too.

Since 1975 I have been teaching painting, drawing and composition to the students of architecture; by the way, I never envisaged it in my childhood, but if I do it, I must like it. Quite simply: the young people are great.

I obtained the diploma at the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1976, the doctoral degree at the same Faculty in 1986 and the post doctoral degree in 1999. I took part in 30 solo exhibitions in Poland and abroad and in over 20 group exhibitions.

Iwona Fischer-Zuziak
Krakow, June 2010

More at www.iwonazuziak.pl

photo by Stefan Zbadyński

Copyright by Konrad Glos, Rafal Zub 2010