1896 - 1970
Born 20 April 1896, in Olesko, Ukraine; died 9 March 1970, in Beauvallon, France.
Painter, sculptor (including wood), ceramicist. Figures, horses. Church decoration, frescoes, designs for tapestries, monuments.
Beginning in 1915, Zygmunt Dobrzycki studied at the schools of art in Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg. He was sensitive to the mystical influence of Chourlianis, a profoundly spiritual Russian Expressionist painter. In 1923, he left for Warsaw, where he completed his studies in painting at the academy of fine arts while also studying philosophy at the University. From 1924 to 1928, he stayed in Paris, and exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, Salon des Artistes Independents, and the Salon des Surindépendants. From 1930, he settled in Damme, in Flemish Belgium. After 1958, he lived mostly in France.
During his first stay in Paris, Dobrzycki’s works from this first period showed an evolution from Fauvist to Cubist influence, particularly after his visit to St-Paul-de-Vence in the Midi region. After 1931, he executed sculptures in coloured wood. In 1950, he took part in the decoration of several churches in Belgium and from 1961 he collaborated on the decoration of churches in France. He executed the Monument to Polish Heroes at St Nicolas in Belgium in 1965. That same year, he executed a 90 feet (28 metre) façade for the Cité Administrative in Brussels. Only marginally influenced by several artistic movements at the beginning of the century, Dobrzycki’s work may be grouped with the École de Paris of between the wars. He imposed a classical serenity upon his description of an enchanted world, with harmonious beings, women and horses, moving through a décor that was both noble and fairy-like.
Dobrzycki participated in numerous collective exhibitions, including: Venice Biennale (1937); 1937 Exposition Internationale, Paris receiving a gold medal. Solo exhibitions include: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (1929); Antwerp (1929, 1931); Brussels (1931, 1933, 1934, 1936); Cannes (1940); Paris (1947, 1949); Bruges and Brussels (1949); Bruges and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Ghent (1950); Bruges (1951); Uccle (1953); Brussels (1954); Paris (1959); Le Puy-en-Velay (1960 and 1965); Lyons (1961)..