Zbigniew Dlubak

© Armelle Dlubak / Fundacja Archeologia Fotografii, Warsaw

A Polish art theorist, Dlubak (1921-2005) taught himself painting and drawing in the early 1940s. He produced his first photographs while he was a prisoner at the Mauthausen concentration camp (following his participation in the armed resistance and uprising in Warsaw in 1944). He was to develop this practice after the war, during a stay at a sanatorium where, deprived of painting materials, he tried experimental photography. In 1948, he exhibited in Krakow at the First National Exhibition of Modern Art, organised by Tadeusz Kantor. Caught in the restrictive and regressive view of art of the Communist party in power in Poland, Dlubak stopped his photographic activity. In 1953, he became editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Fotografia where he worked until 1972, when he was dismissed by censorship for having published photographs that were considered politically incorrect.

From 1959, he gradually goes back to photography, documenting reality (urban landscapes and photos of his studio). Dlubak created with the Lachowicz couple the small yet influential Permafo gallery in Wroclaw where he could experiment with new scenography for his photographic series. The gallery also exhibited artists such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Kosuth, François Morellet, Ben Vautier, etc.

Following the introduction of the martial law in Poland, Dlubak moved to France in Meudon, in 1982, and dedicated himself completely to his artistic creation. From 1989, until his death in 2005, he shared his life between Meudon and Warsaw. 

The opening of his archives after he passed away, and the researches led since 2008 by the Fundacja Archeologia Fotografii in Warsaw, have shed new light on his work. 


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