Jan Ziemski, the first Polish artist to deploy the signature Op art “moiré” effect in his works, debuted in the mid-1950s as a member and co-founder of the Lublin artistic group Zamek. A key representation of structural painting and op-art, Ziemski’s exquisite artworks create the illusion of movement by using colour and 3- dimensional slotted overlays that are optically separated and animated by the colours.
Ziemski’s works are objects rather than paintings. Each piece constructed with several thin planks of bent wood protruding outwards. Interestingly, some of his work even use the shape of an eye, literally illustrating their engagement with the sense of sight. His artwork includes internal painting whereby the eponymous painting hides playfully inside the outer case; always out of reach of the viewer, leaving an option for individual interpretation.
He debuted with pictorial metaphorical compositions and in the years 1960-1964 created “formations” or paintings – objects with a complex texture, cast in a cast. From the mid-1960s, he experimented with the visualization of space, light and motion (e.g. he mounted spherically curved slats on the image plane, causing optical illusions).
A two-time winner of the award presented by Ministry of Culture and Art (1966, 1977), Ziemski actively participated in projects focusing on avant-garde artists, like Osieki (1965-1978), I Biennale of Spatial Forms in Elbląg (1965), Symposium of Artists and Scientists in Puławy (1966), Symposium Wrocław’70, and Złote Grono Symposium in Zielona Góra (1975).
Ziemski’s artwork is reflective of the interdependence between science, technology and art. Spontaneity of artists like Ziemski changed the perspective on art in Poland and made a creative reference to achievements of the pre-war avantgarde.
Jan Ziemski’s works can be found in museum collections in Warsaw, Krakow and Poznan Wrocław, Łódź, Lublin, Chełm, Bydgoszcz, Białystok, Koszalin, Słupsk, Szczecin, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and in cultural institutions and private collections in Poland and abroad.
1966 – Award of the Minister of Culture and Art
1975 – Medal V of the “Golden Grono” Exhibition in Zielona Góra
1977 – Award of the Minister of Culture and Art in the field of painting