Living Legend: Polish Photographer Jerzy Lewczynski

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© 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.

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© 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).

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© 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.

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