18.10.2019 Books

Józef Czapski: An Apprenticeship of Looking

Thoughtful and engaging monograph finally giving a remarkable Polish artist who bore witness to the twentieth century his due.

This stunning monograph, a long-overdue critical appraisal of Polish artist Joézef Czapski arrives at a moment when the artist’s legacy is gaining new recognition. Within these pages, author Eric Karpeles conveys how making art was so enmeshed with Czapski’s way of seeing and being in the world that it was second nature. Given that he lived into his ninety-seventh year, it’s no surprise that the artist has works dating from every decade of the twentieth century but the first. As witness to the tumultuous events of that century, he found in painting “a refuge and a salvation.”

Prolific as a painter, he was equally disciplined in recording the events of his life in pencil, ink, and watercolor in his journals. At a time when abstract art tended to dominate aesthetic discourse, he preferred to observe the world around him, to portray people going about their daily business. Some of his most compelling works depict theatergoers and art lovers doing what they do best—looking.

Mr. Karpeles, a California-based painter and art critic, has ignited international interest in Czapski’s artwork.  Wall Street Journal

Józef Czapski: An Apprenticeship of Looking

By Eric Karpeles

Published by Thames & Hudson

Publication date: October 2019

ISBN: 9780500023044

Order online

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