The Bonfoey Gallery presents the works of Julian and Barbara Stanczak

Photo by Mark Satola
Photo by Mark Satola
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The Bonfoey Gallery is featuring the latest works of Julian and Barbara Stanczak. We were visited by Barbara and Diane Schaffstein, co-director of the gallery. 

The Bonfoey Gallery, 1710 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio - will be exhibiting the works of Julian and Barbara Stanczak. The exhibition, Color & Form, will be on view in our street level and lower gallery from November 6. – January 2. An opening reception with the artists will be held at the gallery, Friday, November 6th, from 5 – 8 pm. A conversation with the artists will be held on Saturday, December 5th at 10:30 am.

When talking about artists in Cleveland, it is impossible not to start that conversation with Julian Stanczak. His work is highly respected nationally and internationally. Julian Stanczak was born in Borownica, Poland, in 1928. During World War II, the Stanczak family was imprisoned in a labor camp in Siberia, where young Julian lost the use of his right arm. He learned to write and paint with his left hand in a refugee camp in Uganda, Africa, and, fascinated with the awesome nature around him, he started recording it with drawings and watercolors. After seven years in Africa, Stanczak attended the Borough Polytechnic Institute in London before immigrating to the United States in 1950. His family settled in Cleveland and he attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, earning his BFA after four years. In 1956, Stanczak became a United States citizen and received his MFA from Yale University under Josef Albers and Conrad Marca Relli. 

Stanczak’s intense curiosity about color perception, lead him to make color his intense pursuit for the past 60 years. The pioneering spirit of the Op Art movement, he fills his canvasses with complex color relationships, which transform paint and geometric shapes into an experience of the intangible and mysterious. After teaching seven years in Cincinnati, Julian Stanczak returned in 1964 to his Alma Mater as professor of painting till 1995.

The Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery in New York represents Stanczak nationally and internationally. His work is held in almost a hundred museums, such as The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the Smithsonian. His work is held in numerous major private and corporate collections. 

Barbara Stanczak was born in Hamm, Germany, in 1941. Early on Barbara apprenticed with a mural painter, executing wall mosaics for a church, followed by studies at the School of Arts and Crafts in Münster. In 1960 Barbara came to the US. She worked on church frescos and enrolled at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she majored in painting and printmaking and minored in sculpture and graphic design. Stanczak would later go on to earn her BFA and MA in Art Education and Art History from CWRU and the Cleveland Institute of Art.  Julian and Barbara married in 1963 and have two children. Barbara taught two and three-dimensional design at the Cleveland Institute of Art for 36 years.

After working in a variety of media, Barbara focused for the past 30 years on carving in wood and stone. Her sculptures reveal Nature’s secrets, which she releases in intuitive forms of intimacy and imagination.

Her sculptures are held in multiple private and public collections, including The Butler Museum of American Art, the Housatonic Museum of Art and The Cleveland Clinic. She has been awarded the Judson Smart Living Award for contribution to excellence in education from Cleveland’s University Circle and the Viktor Schreckengost Teaching Award from The Cleveland Institute of Art. Barbara’s sculptures have been shown in many solo and group exhibitions, such as Director’s Choice, at The Canton Museum of Art and Barbara Stanczak: Intuitive Parallels, at The Butler Museum of American Art.

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