Tomasz Vetulani

Last updated

Tomasz Vetulani
Tomasz Jerzy Vetulani

21 December 1965
Education Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent
Known for painting, drawing, sculpture

Tomasz Jerzy Vetulani (born 21 December 1965) [1] is a Polish painter, drawer and sculptor. Born and educated in Kraków, he moved to Utrecht in 1991, and he has been active there since, holding also a citizenship of the Netherlands. In his works, using among others silicone and sponge, he includes both personal references and comments on current political and social issues.


Life and work

Vetulani's show in 2016, courtesy of Galeria Olympia Tomasz Vetulani Robota reczna byVetulani.JPG
Vetulani's show in 2016, courtesy of Galeria Olympia

He was born in 1965 in Kraków as the second son of Jerzy Vetulani and Maria née Pająk, younger brother of Marek. He was baptized by bishop Karol Wojtyła, [2] who was a friend of his family. He attended the August Witkowski High School, where he passed matura. Then he studied at the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, at the Faculty of Painting (1986–1991), and graduated from the studio held by professor Juliusz Joniak. [3] During the studies he shortly collaborated with a renowned Polish artist and theatre director Tadeusz Kantor. [4] In 1990 he went to Israel for two terms to study at the University of Haifa. In 1992–93 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent with a scholarship from the Flemish Community of Belgium and the Minister of Culture of Poland. [5]

In Poland, Vetulani made his debut in 1992 with a group exhibition at the Stawski Gallery in Krakow. In 1994 he was among awarded at the 31st National Painting Exhibition Bielska Jesień organised by Galeria BWA, [6] and in 2002 he was nominated for the Daniel Chodowiecki Award for Polish drawing and graphic art.

In 1991 he moved to Utrecht, Netherlands, where he has since been living and working. [1] [3] [4] In Utrecht, he was commissioned to design several public sculptures, including the balustrade of the bridge over the canal between Bleyenburgstraat and Huizingalaan called Eendjesbrug (2014) [4] [7] and the sculpture titled De Stoel at the Voorveldse Polder Park (2018). [8] [9] He has three children. [10]

In his painting, among other techniques, Vetulani often uses sketch and watercolour, he works with oil paint and silicone, [11] sometimes adding old photographs to paintings and collages. Interviewed in 1998, he said that he likes working on sponge “because it's a simple, light material and always ready to use. The colour and texture meet my aesthetic requirements and it has a lot of volume and physically, is very present in the space. The ink or paint is immediately absorbed into the foam surface, making any corrections almost impossible. It is a material which lends itself to quick, fast application and is particularly good for spontaneous sketching with paint squeezed directly from the tube. The fact that these works will not last (sponge is not a very durable material) does not deter me; it suits the character of the work very well and to an extent reflects my ideas about art”. [12] Being an atheist, he does not reject inspiration coming from religion themes and architecture, as well as the surrounding nature and Dutch landscape. [3] [11]

Agnieszka Gołębiewska, curator of one of Vetulani's shows, said that “his work balances between two fascinating axes, producing an image of an artist juggling various means of expression. From intriguing and expressive objects, made by him from, say, hot white glue or black silicon, with strong social and political connotations – to subtle images-objects, evoking fleeting states, where the sensitive eye of the artist touches the sublimation of certain senses.” [13] Fred Gijbels noticed that “the artist deliberately rejects the classic beauty of the form for the sake of fragility, transience or simply greater sensitivity to what is present. His work has a mockery and ironic character. He looks critically and with great apprehension at Poland, he does it from the perspective of an emigrant, from culturally and socially different Netherlands, which became a new homeland for him.” [14]

Selected shows

Individual shows

Group shows

Source [1]


Related Research Articles

Jarosław Kukowski

Jarosław Kukowski is a Polish contemporary painter, juror of international art competitions. His works were exhibited, among others Branch Museum of the National-Królikarnia Salons Rempex Auction House, the Museum of Galicia, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Castle Voergaard, the Art Expo New York and many other galleries and museums in the world. He is considered one of the most influential contemporary creators of the Surrealist circle.

Roman Cieślewicz Polish artist

Roman Cieślewicz was a Polish graphic artist and photographer.

Wilhelm Sasnal Polish painter

Wilhelm Sasnal is a Polish painter, photographer, poster artist, illustrator and filmmaker. Sasnal received his diploma of painting in 1999 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Today, he is considered one of the most prominent and internationally successful Polish contemporary artists.

Peter Grzybowski was a Polish multimedia and performance artist and a painter. He studied at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (ASP), graduating in 1982. He first performed in 1981. He was a figure in the Polish performance art movement of the 1980s, performing individually and with Awacs Group (1982–87) and KONGER (1984–1986). From 1985 he lived in the USA.

Tomasz Bajer is a Polish visual artist interested in contemporary phenomenons as well as conceptions centred on free culture, social and political issues.

Zuzanna Janin, is a Polish visual artist and former teenage actor. Janin lives and works in Warsaw and London. Janin has created sculpture, video, installation, photography and performatives. She used the names Zuzanna Baranowska (1990-1992) and from 1992 Zuzanna Janin. Her work was shown in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago;

Jerzy Vetulani

Jerzy Adam Gracjan Vetulani was a Polish neuroscientist, pharmacologist and biochemist, professor of natural sciences, member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Learning, one of the most frequently cited Polish scientists in the field of biomedicine after 1965.

Piotr Janas is a Polish artist. He has had solo gallery exhibitions in Berlin, Warsaw and San Francisco. In 2006, he was included in the group show Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, curated by Franceco Bonami at the Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea as well as Polish Painting of the 21st Century at the National Gallery of Art in Warsaw and the 50th International Venice Bienniale in 2003. He currently lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.

Olga Lewicka is a visual artist. Polish born, she lives and works in Berlin. Her practice focuses on painting, but it also encompasses installation, collage, performance, text and artist book.

Tomasz Lubaszka

Tomasz Lubaszka is a Polish painter. He graduated from high school in Lubliniec where he attended a class with extended curriculum in humanities. From 1980 to 1984 Tomasz Lubaszka was studying in Jan Długosz University in Częstochowa at the Artistic Education Institute. The defense of his diploma in painting took place in professor Wincent Maszkowski's studio in 1985. During the period from 1984 to 1986 he worked at his alma mater as an intern-assistant.

Magda Bielesz

Magda Bielesz – painter, author of installations, objects, drawings, videos.

Galeria Olympia is an art gallery in Cracow, Poland established in 1999, that shows works by contemporary artists. Its name refers to the name of the founder, Olimpia Maciejewska, and to the title of a 1863 painting by Edouard Manet. The gallery is located in the Podgórze district, at Limanowskiego Street 24/4b.

Joanna Zastróżna

Joanna Zastróżna is a Polish photographer and filmmaker. She graduated in 1997 from the Arts Academy (ASP) in Gdańsk. Zastróżna resides in Sopot and in Sidi Ifni.

Janusz Bałdyga was born in 1954 in Lublin, Poland. He works as a performance artist and creates installations. In 1974, he started his studies in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and graduated in the studio of prof Stefan Gierowski in 1979. Bałdyga has been active in the fields of performance art, installations, objects and drawing since the beginning of his professional journey.

Marek Kijewski and Małgorzata Malinowska, Polish artists, were cooperating since 1996 as Kijewski/Kocur duo in Warsaw, Poland. They often worked in the studios of the Centre of Polish Sculpture until the artist's death in 2007. Their works, in Polish art, was inspired by pop art and it showed the most distinct example of using pop art in the era of post-modernist experiments and reactions to the new reality and new economic-cultural situation that was forming in Poland in the early '90s.

Jakub Ciężki was born in 1979 in Lublin, Poland. He graduated from the Faculty of Arts at the Maria Skłodowska-Curie University in Lublin, in 2003; He was granted an honors degree in the painting atelier of Prof. Jacek Wojciechowski. Ciężki is a painter, fascinated with street furniture along with realistic abstractions. He is attracted by the industrial landscape.

Karolina Halatek is a Polish contemporary visual artist working in a field of installation art, using light as a key medium. Karolina Halatek creates experiential site-specific spaces that incorporate visual, architectural and sculptural elements. Seeing her work primarily as a catalyst for experience, Karolina creates installations that have strong experiential and immersive characteristics, often the result of collaborations with quantum physicists, founders of the superstring theory and precision mechanical engineers.

Bogumił Książek

Bogumił Książek is a Polish painter.

Bogusław Bachorczyk

Bogusław Bachorczyk is a Polish painter, drawer and sculptor.

Lech Polcyn is a Polish graphic artist, photographer and painter, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.


  1. 1 2 3 "Official website of Tomasz Vetulani" . Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  2. Agnieszka Kania (29 May 2011). "Jak uciekać, to do Niskich Krajów" (in Polish). Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 "Rysunki z Niskich Krajów Tomasza Vetulaniego w Galerii Aneks" (in Polish). Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 Szymańska-Borginon, Katarzyna (3 May 2015). "Polski artysta w Holandii: Cały czas jest ciężko. Pogodziłem się z losem cichego życia" (in Polish). Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  5. "Tomasz Vetulani". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  6. "Edycja 1994" (in Polish). Biennale Malarstwa Bielska Jesień. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  7. "Niet alle eendjes zwemmen in het water…" (in Dutch). 16 December 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  8. "Gedichtenbank Voorveldsepolder" (in Dutch). 29 September 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  9. "Kunststoel met vaart". 4 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  10. "Tomasz Vetulani o Holandii, niskim kraju" (in Polish). 5 June 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  11. 1 2 Schipper, Bernhard (September 2001). "Tomasz Vetulani in the Interdruck Gallery" . Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  12. Exhibition catalogue At the time of writing, the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, 1998.
  13. Gołębiewska, Agnieszka (24 October 2017). "There is no threat. Weapons and colour". Galeria Olympia. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. Gijbels, Fred (25 September 2018). "Multi-Kulti". Dom Norymberski. Retrieved 3 October 2018.