Peter Potworowski

1898–1962

Peter Potworowski, ‘Forest (Cornwall)’ 1954
Forest (Cornwall) 1954
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Biography

Piotr Tadeusz Potworowski (14 June 1898 – 24 April 1962) was a Polish abstract and figurative painter who lived and exhibited in Paris, Poland, Sweden and England. During his seven years in Paris he became personally acquainted with Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonnard, Jean Cocteau, Constantin Brancusi and attended for a short time Fernand Léger's studio. In 1943 he settled in London where he joined the London Group and exhibited regularly. In 1948 he was invited to work in the Bath School of Art, in order to bring his experience of twenties Paris to an English art world untouched by the deep changes taking place on the continent. His much-needed European influence on painting, specifically abstraction, was acknowledged by contemporaries including Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron, Adrian Heath and William Scott.

Potworowski's paintings and constructions were considered some of the finest works of British art in the 1950s. In 1958 he was invited to return to Poland to take up the post of Professor of Painting at Poznań and in 1960 he was a prize winner at the 30th Venice Biennale. He died in Warsaw in 1962. In 1996 a major retrospective exhibition was held at the Polish National Gallery of Contemporary Art in Warsaw consisting of 70 works in oil and 80 sculptures, scenography projects and watercolours.

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