Jerzy Onuch (born 1954) is a world-renowned artist, lecturer, curator, and diplomat. In 1976, together with Janusz Bałdyga and Łukasz Szajna, he created the Dziekanka Workshop group, in which he operated for the next few years. In 1979 he became the co-director of the Student Center for Artistic Communities, then the Dziekanka Workshop, and held it until 1986, when he went to the USA and then to Canada. In the 1990s, in addition to the presentation of his own work, he engaged in the study and promotion of young Ukrainian art. From 1997 to 2004 he was the director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev, then - in the years 2005-2010 - the director of the Polish Institute in Kiev, and from 2010 to 2015 - the director of the Institute of Polish Culture in New York.
In the 1970s, Onuch studied painting and graphics at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In 1976, together with Janusz Bałdyga and Łukasz Szajna, thanks to the offer of director of Dziekanka Wojciech Krukowski, they started to use a camera to carry out their own work. The show of Onuch, Bałdyga, and Szajna resulted in an invitation to permanent cooperation submitted by Krukowski. In such circumstances, the three young artists founded Dziekanka Workshop, a venture focused on an open creative process, experimentation and self-study work. From 1979, after Krukowski left, Onuch and Tomasz Sikorski took over the rudders of the Dziekanka Student Center of Artistic Communities, which in 1981 transformed into Dziekanka Workshop - an autonomous unit in the ASP structure (previously the SCŚA functioned under the umbrella of the SZSP).
In his own art pieces, as in the organizational work, Onuch was interested in the art of new media, installations, and performances. He also conducted theoretical investigations. In the 1980s, he organized over seventy exhibitions and other artistic events. In 1986 he was invited to a conference in Vancouver; he did not come back from this trip, choosing to stay in exile and settle in Toronto after a year in the USA. He continued his artistic, educational and curatorial activity.
In the mid-nineties, Onuch returned to Poland, where he regularly came with lectures and took part in exhibitions (for example at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw). At the same time, he began to deal with young Ukrainian art, acting as a curator of exhibitions and a juror in competitions. In 1997 he became the director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Kiev, bringing to the city the works of world-renowned avant-garde artists and promoting young Ukrainian artists engaged politically. Then, Onuch took the position of director of the Polish Institute in Kiev (2005-2010), and finally - from 2010 to 2015 - the director of the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.
In the time of state socialism in Poland, Onuch created and exhibited progressive, independent, experimental art that undoubtedly went beyond the framework defined in the official assumptions of cultural policy. However, the niche nature of this activity did not attract repressions, although it was associated with modest and uncertain means.
New York, United States
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Място на раждане
- Lublin, Poland
Дата на раждане
- Stanczyk, Xawery