Wojciech Fangor was born on November 15,1922 in Warsaw. During WWII he studied privately with Tadeusz Pruszkowski and Felicjan Szczęsny Kowarski. He graduated in 1946 from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts (ASP) and later taught there from 1953 – 1961. He was a painter, graphic artist, sculptor and artist of public space, making his debut in 1949 with an exhibition of cubist landscapes and portraits. He gained popularity from works painted during the 1950’s, especially Postacie (Figures) (1950), Matka Koreanka (Korean Mother) (1951) and posters, including the cornerstone of the Polish school of posters, Mury Malapagi (The Walls of Malapaga) (1952). During this period he also collaborated with Jerzy Sołtan and a team of artists and architects at ASP, designing background walls of Polish Pavilion at the Expo’58 in Brussels and mosaics for the Warszawa-Śródmieście train station.
The period of ideological and artistic reassessment matured in Fangor’s works by the creation of a first world study of the environment and space, Studium Przestrzeni (Study of Space), (1958, together with Stanisław Zamecznik). During this period, he painted borderless abstract paintings pulsating with colors. His original theory of implementing this artistic experience he later named “Positive illusive space”.
During 1961–1966 he lived and worked in Western Europe and from 1966 in the United States. He taught at several art schools including Bath Academy of Arts in Corsham, UK (1965 – 1966), Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, USA (1967 – 1983) and Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA (1967 – 1968). He participated in the famous international exhibition, The Responsive Eye, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965 and in 1970 he had a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. After 1974 he painted figurative paintings using various techniques and modes of representation that dominated the visual culture of the second half of the twentieth century. In his works he referred to the criticism of electronic media and contemporary culture.
In 1990 the exhibition, Wojciech Fangor, 50 Years of Painting at the Zachęta State Gallery of Art in Warsaw, inaugurated the return of Fangor’s work to Polish exhibition halls and galleries. In 1999 he returned to Poland. In June 2002 he had a retrospective exhibition at the BWA Contemporary Art Gallery in Katowice and in 2003, at the Center for Contemporary Art at Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw. At this time, he created paintings that explored time and space in the image and cultural context, forms and artistic experiences. These works were presented in the 2005 Exhibition of the Exhibition at the Center of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. It was a time of references to discoveries and theories from nearly fifty years ago, a time of artistic reflection on memory and the palimpsestic character of culture. The artist filled the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century with work on the Artistic Project of the 2nd line of the Warsaw Metro.
Wojciech Fangor died on 25 of October, 2015 in Józefów near Warsaw and is buried at the Cmentarz Wojskowy cemetery in Warsaw.