In Krakow, a wall mosaic measuring 10 m x 5.30 m commemorates the Polish artist Stanisław Wyspiański

Wall mosaic by Lubosz Karwat.

Lubosz Karwat made it in his studio in individual parts and assembled them on site at an educational center with a school and kindergarten

Lubosz Karwat, mosaic artist from Poland, uses in his work not only the old familiar tiny pieces of stone or glass – called tesserae – but also larger pieces that give his motifs the special effect. Now, in a new work, he has added another aspect to this technique: the work was no longer completed on site, but prefabricated in the artist’s studio, then transported in pieces and assembled on the spot in the city of Krakow.

The work about the painter and poet Stanisław Wyspiański measures 10 m x 5.30 m in width and height. It adorns a wall at 14 Stawowej Street, where there is an educational center with a school and kindergarten named after Wyspiański. He was born in Krakow, lived from 1869-1907 among others in Paris, brought from there the influences of Art Nouveau and designed at a church in Krakow some stained glass windows, which are famous. Last but not least, he also wrote plays, of which the one entitled “Wesele“ (Wedding) still provides quotes for the Polish vernacular.

Wall mosaic by Lubosz Karwat.Wall mosaic by Lubosz Karwat.

A portrait painting of Wyspiański had been found in the basement of the Educational Center, so it was natural to contact the mosaic artist Lubosz Karwat. In a spectacular action he had already let the citizens of Krakow embellish the passages under the Wyspiański traffic circle with plant mosaics from the stained glass windows of the church.

Karwat has his studio in a town about 100 km from Krakow, and it suited the new order very well that he extended the well-known mosaic technique with prefabrication and transport in individual parts. Otherwise, the work could not have been realized on site with a special finishing.

Wall mosaic by Lubosz Karwat.

Clearly Karwat has structured his work with different materials: for the head of Wyspiański he has used natural stone, as well as for the leaves, flowers, buds and the branches. The peacock feather on the headdress is made of glass, the tile pattern of the background is only painted on. It is again a reference to the stained glass windows in the church.

Clearly, the muted colors of the natural stone differ from the bright ones of the background.

The collar with the name of Wyspiański is painted.

Creative lessons for the school kids at the inauguration of the mosaic.

The inauguration of the artwork in April 2022 was celebrated in a big way, including creative lessons for the children. After all, Wyspiański also played a role in Poland’s quest for independence – throughout the centuries of history, the great powers of Germany and Russia were happy to extend their claims to power to the small country lying between them.

The Ukraine war has awakened unpleasant memories in Poland.

In the future, there should be a path for tourists through Krakow. Lubosz Karwat’s Wyspiański mosaics at the school and at the underpass are planned as stops.

The Historic Town of Krakow is a World Heritage Site.

Lubosz Karwat (1, 2)

Photos: Lubosz Karwat

Lubosz Karwat. Photo: Peter Becker

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(27.01.2023, USA: 01.27.2023)