Jerzy StajudaFighting with sleep II
One of the artist’s works, from dozens in the Zachęta collection.
For nearly 30 years, the Jerzy Stajuda Art Criticism Award has been an important distinction for those who write about art. After the artist’s death in 1992, the Award was established by his friends, who still form the award committee. Stajuda – painter, graphic artist, critic, music lover – was a prominent figure in Warsaw’s artistic community. Visual artists, composers, writers and actors used to meet in his flat in Wiejska Street. “He had a great personal charm, part of which was also that he was very modest, even shy. That’s why he felt more at ease when he took a shot. He was always ready to have some fun, have a nice laugh, do something offbeat” – recalls Ola Semenowicz, Jerzy Stajuda’s long-time partner, who talked to Karolina Zychowicz about the artist, their mutual relations, friendships and social life in the 1980s. This conversation opens the 32nd issue of the Zachęta Online Magazine devoted to privacy and intimacy.
“When he was an art critic, he didn’t paint. When he started painting, he gave up criticism. When he received students at home, they were amazed at his stacks of books. There were also rows of vinyl records. He didn’t like CDs, didn’t want to use the technologoy. He was quite old-fashioned about it.”
The exhibition by Robert Maciejuk and Honza Zamojski was the culmination of their long-term cooperation and friendship. Despite formal differences, both artists have more in common than that which divides them. A sense of humor and a large dose of self-irony allow them to distance themselves from their creative work.