Wojciech Plewinski was born in Warsaw in 1928 in free Poland, and lives and work in Krakow. He studied architecture and quickly developed into a free-lance photographer.
His main work was theater photography, which was highly admired by directors such as Andrej Wajda, Tadeusz Kantor, Konrad Swinarski and Jozef Szajna. He was particularly successful in capturing the dynamics of Polish theater, knowing that it was among the world’s best at the time. He portrayed more than 800 productions. A book “Plewinski on Stage” was recently published on the subject by the museum of Photography in Krakau.
For more than four decades he provided the portraits of women for the covers of the renowned art magazine Przekroj.
Plewinski grew up in a Poland scarred by war. After this grey period, his first trip abroad in 1957 to Italy became a real revelation. He discovered Italy in the winter, a country as it was, without tourists. It gave him a huge boost in the development of his mobile photography, which led to the remarkable Italian series.
His photographs taken in the German part of the country that was given to Poland after the war is breathtaking. The Westerenland series is a particularly human photography using the former German ruins as scenography.
Wojciech Plewinski feels a kinship with the French humanist photographers of the 1950s, Robert Doisneau, Edouard Boubat, and sometimes of Henri Cartier-Bresson.
One can consider Plewinski “the polyglot of photographers.” In addition to theater and portrait, he excelled in his nudes, in abstract nature photography. His love for diving and swimming as well as hunting appear in his work.
The full diversity of this work will be shown in this retrospective exhibit which will start around mid-October 2022 in Villa De Bondt. The selection was made in Krakow by Wojciech Plewinski himself, his son Maciej and me.
Wim Vandekerckhove / Villa De Bondt