Tag Archives: Genius

Living Legend: Polish Photographer Jerzy Lewczynski


© Jerzy Lewczynski. Portrait of Zdzislaw Beksinski, 1959.
Photograph from the collection of the Museum in Gliwice.

One of the many delights of attending smartly curated photo festivals, such as the yearly Krakow Photomonth in Poland, is discovering a previously unknown (to me) genius. This year, I was knocked out by a wonderful retrospective of the wildly creative and experimental work of Jerzy Lewczynski, who was born in 1924, and was present and pleasantly talkative at the opening of his exhibition in 2012.


© Jerzy Lewczynski. From the Negatives cycle, 1975.
Photograph from the collection of the Museum in Gliwice.

The retrospective is accompanied by a limited edition book, as well as a catalog that includes a great interview with the photographer. Lens Culture is honored to be able to share many of the images, as well as the full text of the interview (in Polish, as well as in an English translation).


© Jerzy Lewczynski. Doors, 1970.
Photograph from the collection of the Museum in Gliwice.

Discovering this lifelong body of work all at once was really stunning. And I walked away with great appreciation for Lewczynski’s visionary sense of humor, respect for history and humanity, and love of the photographic image.

The Chain curated by Stuart Pilkington

It’s not often that photographers get to work on projects together, but UK photographer and art photography curator Stuart Pilkington has created a number of International opportunities to make that happen. The Alphabet Project,The 50 States Project, and What is England were genius ideas to create work as a group and bring our community a little closer. His newest curatorial effort, The Chain, is no exception.

Stuart invited 107 photographers from around the globe to participate in the project at the beginning of 2011 (and I was lucky to be one of the invited guests). In February 2011 each photographer submitted a title/instruction to inspire a photograph by another person in the project. The photographers were connected like links in a chain. They were asked to respond to the title set by the person directly behind them. The title they set was directed to the photographer directly in front of them. But none of the photographers knew who had inspired the titles until the Chain was published.

For example, Hin Chua responded to the title set by Martin Beckett. I responded to the title set by Hin Chua. Phillipe Herbert responded to the title set by me And so on and so on….

‘Independence – I always admire of people who are independent at their opinions and actions. People who reject points of views of majority and choose their own life way who don’t pay regard to opinion of majority independence of thought, opinions, doings.’ (set by Igor Starkov)
Photograph by © Martin Beckett

‘Never before…something you have never photographed…in a style you have never done…with equipment you have never used…before’ (set by Martin Beckett)
Photograph by © Hin Chua

‘Second from the left’ (set by Hin Chua)
Photograph by © Aline Smithson

‘The window on the wrong side of the room’ (set by Aline Smithson)
Photograph by © Philippe Herbet

Stuart (and the participating photographers) hope that you enjoy your visit to the project and would welcome any feedback. If you would like to leave some feedback please visit the guestbook here. (please note it is a little slow).