UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee presents the lecture “Józef Czapski – Singular Spirit” by Eric Karpeles.
Czapski (1896-1993) was a painter, a writer and a Polish military officer who in vain searched for Polish officers massacred by the Soviet Union at Katyn and other places during the WWII. He also wrote about his experience in the Gulag system and after the WWII, he became a co-founder of the Literature Institute in Paris, the publisher of Kultura.
The lecture focuses on Józef Czapski as a painter, all his life searching for better way of expressing himself through art. Despite the traumatic difficulties of personal life, Czapski considered himself foremost as an artist; he belonged to the Polish Kapist group in 1930s who were under post-impressionist influences and was active as an active painter till the time he died at age 97.
Eric Karpeles is a painter and a writer. His fascination with Czapski started with the latter’s lectures on Proust. He published three books about Czapski: a translation of Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in the Soviet Prison Camp, a biography Almost Nothing, the 20th Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski and also an artist monograph Józef Czapski: An Apprenticeship of Looking.