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introduction                     personae                     thanks


He was born in 1927 in Lwow, came to Krakow in 1945 and in 1947 began studying at the Faculty of Architecture. He obtained the master’s degree and diploma of an engineer architect in 1952, at the Krakow University of Technology. He was accepted as a member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers (ZPAF) in 1957 being very involved in its activities for the rest of his life. Around this time he joined Waclaw Nowak and Wojciech Plewinski in forming the famous Domino Group or the so called “The Group of Three”.
In 1959-1963 he stayed in Switzerland working for the architectural firm “Hofer & Stryjeński” in Genewa.

He took photographs all his life, set up solo and group exhibitions and entered photografic contests. During the International Biennal Art Exhibition in Sao Paulo in Brasil Z. Łagocki was awarded gold medal for the photographic series “Aerotica”. In 1968 he was an organizer, inviting Zbigniew Dłubak as his collaborator, of the famed exhibition of The Polish Sujective Photography. In the same year his album Piwnica (PWM) was published. He became the member of the Photographic Society of America and EUROPHOT in Switzerland. In 1971 he organised the exhibitions of the Polish Contemporary Photography among other places in Mexico and Switzerland and – together with Zbigniew Dłubak – an exhibition Photographers in Search of.

In the consecutive years Zbigniew Łagocki was awarded many prestigious prizes including the title of Honoraire Excellence FIAP awarded by this international body, the Honorary Membership of ZPAF and the Gold Cross of Merit for popularizing the Polish art abroad. He became the member of the juries of the international photographic competitions including PHOTOFORUM in Slovakia (every year since 1974), STROM (Slovakia), Złocisty Jantar (Golden Amber Gdańsk), Trofeo Toro in Turin (Italy), Virton – Belgium (Monaco). He was the chairman of the Art Committe of FIAP and the Polish delegate to the International Congress of the FIAP in Padua (Italy), Warna (Bulgaria), Barcelona (Spain), Eindhoven (Holland), Heidenheim (Germany), Vienna (Austria). In 1975 he was awarded the Niepce medal (France) for his merits in photography.

Since 1977 Z. Łagocki lectured in photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, at the Faculty of Interior Design and the Faculty of Graphic Design where he organized the first Polish Chair of Photography. For his outstanding achievement in the field of photography he was awarded the Bułhak medal (1987). He obtained a post-doctoral degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1988 and held the post of the Vice-Rector for two consecutive terms and in 1994 he received the title of Full Professor of Fine Arts. In 1990 he was honoured with the City of Krakow Award, later with the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1993) and the award of the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts of first degree (1996).

In 2003 the artist had his album titled Dom na Groblach published in cooperation with Leszek Wójtowicz and Maria Pyrlik (WAiF).In the same year he started to work at the Higher School of Visual Arts and New Media in Warsaw where he also held the post of a Rector since 2004.

Zbigniew Łagocki took part in numerous photographic competitions in Poland and abroad, receiving over 20 medals. He had more than 20 solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions in Poland and abroad. He was universally praised for his artistic achievement, art propagation and teaching merits; and was recognized as the one of the greatest personalities of Polish photography.

Curiously enough, Zbigniew Łagocki remembered with fondness his architectural education. In the interview with Marek Grygiel for the “Fototapeta” magazine in 2001 he said:
“Please note that studying architecture is in my opinion often an option for those who are not sure what to do in life. I shall explain this on my own example. All my aunts would compliment me on my drawing skills and say I had a gift but I knew I had not enough talent to study at the Academy of Fine Arts but I also did not fancy studying at some Academy of Minnig or whatever humanities or economics. I wanted to do something quite different, and architecture seemed to be the place for people with some, but not too much technical predilections as it was obvious that building of a bridge was beyond us, we could only draw it but this in turn was not enough to study at the ASP, and still we had this longing for the artistic actions.(...) We studied architecture with great verve and passion...”

The above materials were obtained by courtesy of Ms Maria Pyrlik, who inherited the estate of Zbigniew Łagocki.

photo by Ewa Rubinstein

Copyright by Konrad Glos, Rafal Zub 2010