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)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.
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,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. During the studies he shortly collaborated with a renowned Polish artist and theatre director Tadeusz Kantor. 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.
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,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.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) and the sculpture titled De Stoel at the Voorveldse Polder Park (2018). He has three children.
In his painting, among other techniques, Vetulani often uses sketch and watercolour, he works with oil paint and silicone,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”. Being an atheist, he does not reject inspiration coming from religion themes and architecture, as well as the surrounding nature and Dutch landscape.
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.”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.”
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