In the Stream of Time. Romuald Oramus. Painting and prints
Where: Link-Lee Mansion, The University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston Texas 77006
Opening of the exhibition: Wednesday, May 18, 5:30-8:00pm.
Co-sponsored by Richard and Melynda Ludwick, President and First Lady of the University of St. Thomas, the Saint John Paul II Institute and the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Houston
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Exhibit open for viewing:
Thursday and Friday, May 19, 20. 3:00pm-7:30 pm
Saturday and Sunday, May 21, 22. Noon-4:00 pm
Thursday and Friday, May 26, 27. 3:00pm-7:30 pm
Saturday, May 28. Noon-4:00 pm
The University of St Thomas is delighted to host the work of eminent Polish artist, Romuald Oramus. It is an honor to present his work to an American audience here in Houston, a city very favorable to the fine arts. Mr. Oramus’s work shows a remarkable range of style, technique and theme. His life and work in Poland spans a time of political unrest, including martial law, and the rewinning of freedom for Poland. From his third floor studio overlooking Kraków’s historic “Rynek Główny” or Main Market Square, Oramus has for many decades beheld the banality and grit of everyday life of his beloved city, as well its beautiful grandeur; he witnessed the tragic events of Poland’s post-war era and the triumphs of a Polish Pope and solidarity. Drawing upon the rich heritage and legacy of Polish culture and art, Oramus is innovative in his creation of a visual art “between geometrical abstraction and lyrical figuration.” His work brings to us not only the beauty of shape and color and the humor of his observation of human behavior and ritual, but also a wide panorama of thematic leads, suggestions and riddles. I have found that the critics often use the word “kaleidoscopic” to describe his work. The term promises to fit the viewer’s first encounter with his work. The multiplicity of colors and shapes and planes and figure throughout a given work and series of works leaves one wondering how the shifting pieces and scraps might come into a larger focus. That discovery awaits the viewers. The artist himself has said of his work “I believe one needs to contemplate paintings in one’s own way, fitting every individual’s ken, selecting the phenomena that we find familiar and exciting or important.” One does find a measure in the images and juxtapositions – there is a pervading sense of empathy for what is human, the personal and common efforts to make sense of the world despite failures and oblivion. In his later cycle on Cathedral, the kaleidoscopic effect converges on moments of contemplations afforded by the structures and colors of the monuments of faith, but now depicted not in a monumental fashion as of old, but rather in the movement of color and vectors of geometry towards the mystical.
I have had the good fortune to receive the gracious hospitality of Romuald and his wife Beata at the studio in Kraków on more than one occasion. Their love of Poland, their faith and art, their humble gentleness and kindness, and their willingness to engage a newcomer to Kraków and Polish art such as myself and my artist son impressed us very deeply. We now look forward to offering in gratitude the warm and open reception of our University and the newly founded Saint John Paul II Institute. The work of Romuald Oramus has been shown more than once in the Archdiocesean Museum of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla in Krakow. For indeed his art illustrates the very idea set out in John Paul II’s Letter to Artists (1999):
Every genuine artistic intuition goes beyond what the senses perceive and, reaching beneath reality's surface, strives to interpret its hidden mystery. The intuition itself springs from the depths of the human soul, where the desire to give meaning to one's own life is joined by the fleeting vision of beauty and of the mysterious unity of things.
John P. Hittinger
Director, Saint John Paul II Institute
The University of St. Thomas