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by Miroslaw Adam Supruniuk

Director of the University Library.

 

Is it possible to describe in one small book several decades of the active life of an artist living
and working outside her home country? The answer is ‘yes’, even though in the case of the life and
artistic activity of Halima Nałęcz it is a very difficult task. It is difficult for two reasons. First, it
is impossible to describe several individual and over a hundred collective exhibitions at which the
works of Halima Nałęcz have been presented from the 1950s to the present day. Neither is it possible to
present an overview of the critical opinion published in the media without being unduly selective and
without resorting to easy generalizations. This inevitable selection could lead to disregarding not only
numerous reviews in the press of the Polish diaspora but also, for example, one of the first notes about
the work of Halima Nałęcz, published in a March issue of “Arts News and Review” from 1956.

The second reason behind the difficulty in describing the work of Halima Nałęcz is
the extraordinary energy of the artist in her involvement as promoter of modern art on the British
market since 1956, and especially since the Inaugural Exhibition at the Drian Gallery in October
1957. Thus, without serious and profound studies, it is impossible to determine the role of Halima
Nałęcz in presenting and propagating the work of several painters, sculptors and graphic designers
from all over the world who had their expositions in the New Vision Gallery and Drian Galleries
up to the 1990s. The list of the artists includes the following names: Achilleas Apergis, Geoffrey
Armstrong, Frank Beanland, John Bellany, Denis Bowen, William Crozier, Ronald Forbes, Grace
Gardner, Eve Garrison, Edward Hayes, Kajt Kapolka, Joseph Lacasse, Carl Luther, John Pelling,
Douglas Portway, Edward Rogers, Basil Alkazzi, Yigael Tumarkin, Zygmunt Turkiewicz and Ray
Walker. From the walls of the Drian Galleries the paintings and sculptures by above‑mentioned
artists have found their way to the most famous museums and private collections all over the
world.

 


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