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Ludmila Popiel

L udmiła Popiel was born in Zarównia on August 4, 1929. 
The threads of social involvement and "grassroots work" dominated in family traditions. Ludmiła's great-grandfather and three of his brothers created a cavalry unit for the needs of   of the November Uprising, which was defeated during the battle of Dębie Wielki. Its issuance was connected with the debts of the property that they had lost after the uprising. The next generation was engaged in crafts and the next in educational and social activities. Ludmiła's parents, Konstanty and Eleonora Popiel, were teachers. The father, who returned from several years of Russian captivity after the war of 1918, was a school director and a committed activist. Uncle Karol Popiel was a politician,   together with Wojciech Korfanty the main representative of the Christian-social movement opposing Józef Piłsudski. After his imprisonment in Brest, he was still  before World War II, he spent several times in exile in Paris, and during the war he became a member of the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile. After a short stay in Poland, warned against arrest, he left in 1948, initially to Washington and Paris, then to Rome - to emigrate, from which he never returned. Ludmiła Popiel spent her childhood in Chorzelów, where her father ran the school from 1933.


In 1949, after graduating from gymnasium and high school in Mielec, she began studies at the interior design departments of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and English philology at the Jagiellonian University. The time of studies falls on the period of Stalinism - for this reason the English Department was closed and min. Tadeusz Kantor, and on the Krakow market square, propaganda films spoke about traitors of the motherland, including Karol Popiel. At that time, Ludmiła's younger brother, Kazimierz, was sent to forced labor in the military mining corps. In 1954, Ludmiła Popiel graduated from the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts at the department of interior design. She lived and worked in Koszalin, Rome and Warsaw successively. 


Ten years after the end of World War II, the artists who then came to Koszalin undertook the organization of artistic life from scratch. Jerzy Fedorowicz, Ludmiła Popiel together with other artists (Irena Kozera, Henryk Naruszewicz, Ryszard Siennicki, Ignacy Bogdanowicz, Józef Kempiński) founded in 1955 a branch of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers in Koszalin. Ludmiła Popiel, Jerzy Fedorowicz and Irena Kozera created the designs of the first archaeological and ethnographic exhibitions for the Museum in Koszalin, historic and sacred objects in Koszalin, Kołobrzeg, Darłowo, Słupsk, numerous interior designs of offices, sanatoriums . 

But most of all - without the activities of Jerzy Fedorowicz and Ludmiła Popiel, there would be no "Meetings of artists and art theorists in Osieki" which took place every year in 1963-1981. As initiators (together with M. Bogusz),   and the organizers of the first meetings in Osieki   (1963,64,65) opened at _cc781905-5cde-136d94-bb3cf-136d94-bb3cf58 "The epoch of open air" -   successive meetings of the Polish avant-garde movement organized throughout Poland (including the 1st Biennale of Spatial Forms in Elbląg in 1965, Puławy 66, Wrocław 70).  N They did not organize all "Osiek", but it was during the meetings according to their program that breakthrough events for the art  polska _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3f-136dbad5 1967 - the first happenings of T. Kantor and W. Borowski, in 1970 - conceptual art, 1972 and 1973 - art and the problems of ecology) ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Thanks to the activities of Jerzy Fedorowicz and Ludmiła Popiel, Osieki near Koszalin became for many years, in the words of the poet Julian Przyboś - "the summer capital of Polish art". The legacy of this activity is currently one of the most valuable collections of Polish contemporary art, the Osiecka Collection, located in the Museum in Koszalin. 


Individual works  Ludmiła Popiel from the 1960s are geometric abstract compositions, the series "Gates", "Labyrinths" and numerous untitled compositions. Expressive double and triple compositions from the beginning of the seventies gave way to subtle drawings with an extraordinary existential charge in the second half of the decade - "Humana- morta- sacra", "Gates of silence", "Substant" ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

In the seventies and eighties, the artist's creative activity was mainly artistic actions - activities carried out jointly with Jerzy Fedorowicz in Wrocław (1970, Opolno-Zdrój 1971, Jagniątków 1975), Osieki (1972, 1973, 1980), Poznań (Galeria Accuatory 1979, Andrzeja symposia Matuszewski and Galeria OdNowa in Dłusk 1976, 1977 and Jankowice, 1978), Warsaw (Galeria Piwna Andrzeja and Emilia Dłużniewskich - Substanty) as well as mail-art activities   within the NET network (including activities _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ during almost several-month-long stays in Rome "I Matrimoni fatti a Roma ... or" Found Objects ") ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_


From the perspective of 50 years, the themes of the joint work of Ludmiła Popiel and Jerzy Fedorowicz, which were signaled at that time and which are relevant today, are particularly vivid:
- myth and limits of cognition / experience 
- information transfer and message manipulation areas in the field of perception and context
- the role of art and the relationship between art, culture and civilization
- attitudes  artysty - authenticity, entanglement

Ecological themes returned both in the development of program assumptions for the plein-airs in Osieki in 1972 and 1973, and in the works: Thread - together with Ludmiła Popiel during the plein-air of Ziemia Zgorzelecka, and the then utopian proposals for program solutions such as SEN (stimulators of extensive habits) aimed at the development of non-invasive towards nature of human lifestyle.

“Ludmiła Popiel and Jerzy Fedorowicz reluctantly solicited   for exhibitions, catalogs or any other form of promotion. The process of creation was enough for them, and left the rest - including documentation and interpretation - to art historians and critics. The works and ideas of Popiel and Fedorowicz - formulated four and five decades ago - resonate very strongly with the key problems of the present day ”(Kuźmicz, 2019). The extent to which the artists' legacy will be read and subjected to reflection depends on those living in this contemporary world.

Rodzina Popielow, Chorzelow 1934. Od lewej: Stefania, Ludmila, Eleonora, Janina, Jan, Kazimierz, Konstanty

The Popielow family, Chorzelow 1934. From the left: Stefania, Ludmila, Eleonora, Janina, Jan, Kazimierz, Konstanty

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