Poland, 1936 - 2017
Graduate of a technical secondary school for miners, Wladyslaw Grygny worked as an electrician-technician at the “Kleofas” mine in Katowice. Grygny began studies at the Academy of Economics in Katowice, but did not graduate. For a certain period, his occupation involved touring with famous music bands, Niebiesko-Czarni and Trubadurzy, to provide soundman’s assistance and photographic documentation of performances. Grygny established a family, but his mental illness paved the way for its collapse. Thenceforth, the artist has been living a life of solitude. Relying on a pension from the state to cover his expenses, Grygny was completely devoted to his art. In the 1980s, he began bringing his works to the Ethnographic Museum in Cracow: abandoning the paintings with an attached train ticket from Chorzów to Cracow, leaving without talking to the museum employees. Grygny recorded his thoughts about the world in the form of letters that adopt the form of a commentary, play on words or a particular manifesto. Text is often inscribed within the shape of the human head. His works also incorporate found elements, fragments of envelopes, old papers. An interesting phenomenon in his practice, cosmic records are created on music paper, graph paper, carbon paper, and pages from a notebook. Importantly, each of the letters bears an attached revenue stamp and a post seal. His works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in 2016.