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Franciszek Suknarowski -

Franciszek Suknarowski was born on the 12th of May 1912 in Wadowice. In this town – not reaping profit from many interesting proposals, although connected with the need of move – spent nearly all his life, except from the period of studies at ASP University in Kraków and forced work at the “Imielina”quarry in Oświęcim at the time of occupation.

In his youthful days he met Wincenty Bałys, a little older friend of his with whom he started to paint. He also found himself in the circle of outstanding personality from Wadowice – Emil Zegadłowicz.

The influence of that poet and an art lover brought considerable meaning to the work of the young artist. He made his art teaching practice in the University of ASP in Kraków, under the supervision of outstanding professors – X. Dunikowski ( sculpture) and K. Sichulski (drawing).

Since the days of him being a student, he associated with artistic circle of E. Zegadłowicz. Since 1933 belongs to the art-literary group “Czartak”. In the same year he takes part in the exhibition of paintings and sculptures in honour of E. Zegadłowicz. The former being very well praised by the critics – “next to very known and respected names of Polish art, young artists are making their debut /…/Bałys Wincenty and Suknarowski, those sculptors have momentum, breadth and boldness of their master, professor Dunikowski whose example they successfully follow in painting”. “Głos Narodu” 1933. A very similar honour took place at the 2nd Regional Exhibition in Warsaw in 1934. The year 1936 brought the following positive opinions from the exhibition in Wisła and also an exhibition organized by the The Friend’s Community of Beautiful Art in Kraków. He presents two sculptures there – “The portrait of a sculptor W. Bałys” and “Mother’s portrait”. The achievements of great importance from the pre-war period are “The statue of Saint Joseph” 2,5m high, situated in the Monastery of O.O. Carmelites in Wadowice. “Nymph taking a bath”, “The lizard”, “Woman’s nude – the shot put” in the park set in Wisła. In the times of German occupation the art activity was suspended. At that time in the “Imielin” quarry only the “Woman’s nude” made in dolomite arised.

After the war Franciszek Suknarowski associates with education. He is a teacher at High School in Wadowice and then since 1950 he is a lecturer of sculpture at High School of Art in Bielsko Biała and also the director of National Art Group.

The after-war period brought renewed revival of art activity. “Proletarian” and a sculpture composition “Common aim” are the evidence of that.

Year 1957 – A. Lewicka – Dziennik Polski – “I think it is a huge success to have a representative like Franciszek Suknarowski, inhabitant of Wadowice, to present three of his masterpieces “Across the river”, “Composition” and “The girl on the beach” in such a domain of art at the showrooms. An individual exhibition was organised at the Pavilion of Atrists in Bielsko Biała in 1961. In 1963, an exhibition of retrospective works of Franciszek Suknarowski in Wadowice. At this exhibition paintings, sculptures, graphic arts and drawings were presented. In the same year Fr. Suknarowski received wide recognition of his artistic works also in the Cracow’s environment. “Cracow’s Echo” published an opinion from Piotr Skrzynecki about the Artistic Gallery 1962/63 stating that “This time only the work of Franciszek Suknarowski deserves interest.”. The composition “The Man of Nature” was exhibited.

Year 1964 brings the exhibition of re-activated group “Czartak”. The exhibition was organized in May when Fr. Suknarowski presented four sculptures, the first one made in wood and four oil paintings, six colour monotypes and five woodcuts. Another exhibition of the “Czartak” group took place in 1966. Their own works were presented by: F. Świtalska, Fr. Suknarowski, K. Pustelnik, L. Jach, - junior, J. Jura i M. Kręcioch.

“New conceptions in sculpture were presented by Franciszek Suknarowski. With a very eloquent sculpture “Eve” and an abstract sculpture – a novelty in the artistic works of that sculptor.” – Gazeta Krakowska 1966.

In 1968 a monument of Emil Zegadłowicz was unveiled in front of the High School building in Wadowice, Jalu Kurek made a speech.

At the beginning of the 70’s, as a result of a fire, sculptures such as “The statue of M. Jadowity” and “The Black Woman”, many portraits, nudes and drawings burned. They were never repeated.

In 1981 a very rich, individual exhibition was organized by BWA from Bielsko and The National Collection of the Works of Art from Wawel, department in Stryszów. It was the jubilee exhibition on the occasion of 70th birthday. In 1982 the artist, as the first one, received an award “Julian Fałat Easel”. This award was awarded as the whole of his artistic works.

Franciszek Suknarowski takes part in many various contests. As a result of one of such contests a monument “Motherhood” 3.5m high was raised in Bielsko Biała in 1981. In the same year the artist made a “Statue of Christ” 3m high for the Pallottines in Częstochowa.

In 1988 he presents his works entitled “The portrait of E. Zegadłowicz” in Wadowice’s Art Gallery. Friends of E.Zegadłowicz were also the authors of these works.

In 1990 he participated in the exhibition of the laureates “Easels of J. Fałat” in Bielsko’s BWA. In the same year he had an individual exhibition in the Wadowice’s Modern Art Gallery entitled “A woman in sculpture and painting”. Sculptures such as “The portraits of mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter” were included in the exhibition. Presented paintings were mainly portraits and nudes. 1992 – an individual exhibition in Wadowice entitled “The sacred motives in creative activity”. Franciszek Suknarowski died on the 6th of July 1998 in Wadowice, were he was buried at the parish cemetery.