Academic Festival Exhibit Jacek M. Fraczak Drawing the Banality of Evil
Academic Festival Exhibit: Jacek M. Fraczak: "Drawing the Banality of Evil" Will Coincide with Festival Keynote Address by Veteran Correspondent Rita Cosby
March 22, 2013
Contact: Mike Andrei
Missouri State University Assistant Professor Jacek Fraczak will exhibit his works, “Drawing the Banality of Evil,” in the Daemen College Goldman Greenfield Gallery April 16-18, 2013. The exhibit focuses on Poland and the Holocaust during WW II, and will coincide with the 2013 Daemen College Academic Festival.
Fraczak’s exhibit will also coincide with the Festival keynote address by veteran correspondent, and best-selling author Rita Cosby. Cosby’s recent New York Times bestseller, “Quiet Hero: Secrets From My Father’s Past,” details her fascinating discovery about her Polish father, a Nazi prisoner of war, saved by American troops. Jacek's exhibit also deals with Poland during WW II.
Visual artist and designer, assistant professor in the Art and Design Department of MSU, Fraczak was born in 1958 in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to Springfield, Missouri, in 2007. He practices printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, and graphic design. Jacek Fraczak has had over 30 solo shows in Poland, Denmark, USA, and Germany. His artworks participated in numerous group exhibitions in USA, Italy, Holland, France, UK, Sweden, and Latvia. Fraczak’s etchings, drawings and photos are in collections of the British Museum, UK; National Library, Poland; Regional Museums in Torun, Bialystok, and Rawa Mazowiecka, Poland; Knecht-Drenth Foundation, Holland; Springfield Art Museum; and also many private collections.
Fraczak collaborated as graphic designer with MacMillan Publishers as a senior art director; with WSIP S.A. (one of the largest European textbook publishers) as an art director and production coordinator. He was managing art director of the biggest Polish daily of its time, “Życie Warszawy” and did many other newspaper typographic designs.
To see the exhibit: The Fanette Goldman Carolyn Greenfield Gallery is located on the first floor of Duns Scotus Hall on the Daemen campus at 4380 Main Street in Amherst. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Yom Shoah Personalized: Five Drawings (in the words of Jacek Fraczak)
“Through art, I wanted to tell the story of total extermination;of being in the position of those who were denied dignity and life, all for an ideology.In preparing to execute the series “Yom Shoah,” I started collecting stories, personal anecdotes, and memories of those who had experienced the Holocaust. I talked to people, read books, watched movies. And then I set out to recreate the victims’ experiences, using the Nazi photographs as an inset within a larger vista.
“Each pen-and-ink drawing offers to expand the image that the German photographer captured, but while his camera showed a piece of the world as seen through the eyes of a conquerer, the larger drawing shows what his victims saw as they hid, or ran, or fell from gunfire. I intended these “Yom Shoah” collages to be personal interpretations of the Holocaust experience, as recounted to me by my Jewish-American friend. But I should note that my own family suffered.
“Two of my grandfather’s brothers died in Nazi concentration camps. Why? Because they were teachers, Poles, and Hitler declared should be kept at the lowest intellectual level, so, during the Nazi occupation, only elementary education was allowed. And then my grandfather was himself killed by the Soviet Communists. Finally, I wanted to add my voice to the debate about extremist ideologies that promise a better future for humankind—or, at least, for a select portion thereof, the so-called Aryan race for Nazi Germany and the proletariat of Soviet Communism. As an autopsy of these ideologies shows, they can expand and thrive—like a plague—in social and political environments where common and banal evil is allowed to take hold and reign over human minds and souls.
“I executed nine drawings in 1993 and exhibited them together with the Wehrmacht soldier’s photos in a gallery in Warsaw, Poland. Only recently have I been able to return to Poland and bring much of my original art back with me to the United States. (When I first left Poland, I left with little more than the suitcase in my hand.) In December 2012, I showed the exhibition in Springfield, Missouri. Now, some twenty years after their composing, I’m pleased to see five of my drawings from this set published for the first time.”