Professor Jan Berdyszak’s artistic projects cover a wide range of fields and techniques, among others painting, graphic design, sculpture, installations and photography. He is also the author of the stage designs for theatre performances. The interdisciplinary activity of the artist is accompanied with a detailed theoretical reflection. What distinguishes his art is analytical attitude, academic character and a consistently realized concept. The artist arranges his experiments and projects in series in which he deliberates on diverse variations of particular problem. Sometimes he takes up the already finished threads anew and finds a continuation for them in consecutive series. The character of his creative method, which is open to new experiments, is well explained by the words he jotted down in his sketchpad and in which he analyzes one of the key notions of his art. “Transformation is something like a bridge that not only connects the two banks but also leads to another one”. Berdyszak’s observations concentrate on the issue of space, which he defines as the original being, and also density, darkness, void, transparency and potentiality. From 1962 till 1964 the artist was working on a series Double Circles, in which he undertook an attempt to overcome the traditional way of constructing a picture. These problems were later continued in the series, started in 1963, Compositions of Circles whose open form was described by the term integral format. In 1965 he made Structural Painting with an OpeningIII, which marked a new stage of experiments connected with the introduction of real space into a painting. Parallel to the series of paintings, he made sculpture projects (Sketched) and stage designs. Shows of Animated Art (1966 – 1970) are a reflection on the problems that bothered the artist; they are a series of ephemeral activities connected with light, words and movement. The decade of the 70s brought penetration of issues related to space. Then, Berdyszak’s deliberations focused on the notion of sacrum, time-space continuum and infinity. The series from that time include Transparent (1970 – 1979), Frames of the East (1972), Silence (1972 – 1975), Reserved Seats (1973 – 1976), Infinity (1975 – 1977), Beams of the Cross (1977 – 1988). The 80s brought the following projects: Fragments as Radical Wholes (1982 – 1984), Others to Bases (1982 – 1984), States of Morality (1985 – 1987), At the Stone (1986 – 1988), Neither Necessity Nor Possibility (1987 – 1995), Beams (1988 – 2001). Since 1990 the artist was working on a series Passe-pas-tout whose continuation is Apres Passe-par-tout, which has been realized since 2000. The artist uses here the classical solution, which is a kind of painting frame which directs the viewer towards the empty inside. At present, the artist is also working on series Photographic Re-Installations (continued since 1992), Covers (continued since 1995) and Aftercovers.
Jan Berdyszak (born 1934), from 1952 till 1958 studied at the Sculpture Department of the State College of Fine Arts in Poznań (now Fine Arts Academy), in which he is lecturer now. He participated in numerous exhibitions both in Poland and abroad. His works were exhibited in the Foto-Medium-Art Gallery in 1980,1986, 1995 and 2007.
The artist’s works have been purchased by museums and private collections (among others: National Museums in Warsaw, Cracow, Wrocław; Art Museum in Łódź, Staatliches Museum in Berlin, UNESCO Collection in Paris, The Kościuszko Foundation in New York, Museum of Fine Art in Boston, Puszkin Museum in Moscow).
In honor of his merits for culture he was appointed a Knight of Polonia Restituta Order (1988) and an Officer of Polonia Restituta (2001) as well as he received the Doctorate Honoris Causa of Fine Arts Academy in Bratislava (1999).
His works have been analyzed in many publications. Their authors are among others: Bożena Kowalska, Alicja Kępińska, Anna Grzegorczyk, Grzegorz Dziamski, Jan Kurowicki, Dorota Folga-Januszewska.