Born 1946, Rybnik, Poland
Anna Sobol-Wejman is a Polish printmaker whose practice includes Citation: An intaglio printing technique in which an acid-resistant ground of asphaltum, varnish, beeswax, or rosin is applied to the surface of a copper, zinc, or other type of metal plate. Using a steel etching needle, scribe, or other sharp tool, the artist scratches an image through the ground, exposing the underlying metal surface, Then the plate is immersed in a ferric chloride or Dutch mordant (solution of dilute hydrochloric acid with potassium chlorate), at which time the areas of exposed metal are bitten (etched) by the chemical action of the acid. The ground is removed, and the etched plate is inked, wiped, covered with a dampened sheet of paper, and run through a press. The press forces the paper into the etched lines, causing the transfer of ink to paper., Citation: An intaglio technique for printing broad areas of tone from an etched metal plate, usually copper or zinc. It is often used in conjunction with etching or engraving. To prepare the plate, powdered rosin is dusted onto the surface, and the plate is heated. The rosin particles melt and adhere to the plate, forming a porous acid-resistant ground. When the plate is immersed in a bath of ferric chloride or Dutch mordant (solution of dilute hydrochloric acid with potassium chlorate), the acid bites around the grains of rosin, evenly etching the plate’s surface. In combination with stopping-out techniques (in which certain areas of the plate are masked to prevent further etching), this process can be repeated to create an infinite number of gradations in tone. When the ground is removed and the aquatint plate is inked, wiped, and printed, lightly etched areas print as lighter tones, whereas deeply etched areas print as darker tones. Its name, from the Italian acqua tinta (dyed water), alludes to its watercolor-like appearance., mezzotint, and Citation: A planographic printing technique based on the antipathy of oil and water. The image is drawn with grease crayons, lithographic pencils, ink (tusche), or any other oil-based substance on a stone (usually Bavarian limestone) or a grained aluminum or zinc plate. The stone or plate is then treated with acid and gum arabic to make the image areas receptive to ink and the nonimage areas receptive to water. The printer dampens the matrix and applies an oil-based ink with a roller; ink adheres to the image areas and is repelled by the wet areas. Finally, a sheet of paper is placed on the matrix and run through a lithographic press. Each color of a multiple-color print requires a separate stone or plate.. Though her subjects are primarily abstract, she never fully abandons representational or figurative forms. Rather, her practice strips visual conventions to their skeletons, reducing them to their necessary parts. In her work, entire domestic spaces are rendered as just a few geometric shapes and marks, symbols and letters are dissected and rearranged, and the human figure is only a faint trace of a silhouette. By toeing a line between geometric abstraction and minimalist representation, Sobol-Wejman’s practice questions the essentials of visual communication.
Sobol-Wejman attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków, where she met Stanislaw Wejman, a fellow student, artist, and her future husband and exhibition partner. After graduating from the academy’s graphic arts department in 1972, she became a full-time practicing printmaker. In 1984, Sobol-Wejman helped establish an art exchange program between her alma mater and the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where Stanislaw Wejman held a professorship at the time. She gave a large selection of Polish prints to the university’s printmaking department with the intention of facilitating cultural exchange and fostering American interest in Cracovian graphic art made under and in reaction to postwar communism in Poland. The next year, Sobol-Wejman accepted an invitation to teach printmaking workshops in Iceland at the Reykjavik Academy of Fine Arts. After her stint there, she moved back to Kraków and spent the next four years as manager of the Theater Scena STU gallery. During that time and thereafter, Sobol-Wejman found international renown by exhibiting her work in Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Germany, the United States, and elsewhere.
In March of 2002, an exhibition of prints by three Polish artists—Sobol-Wejman, Stanislaw Wejman, and Dariusz Vasina—opened at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. The artists arrived in Minnesota in late February to assist with the final preparation of the show, and then over the following week produced prints at Highpoint’s printmaking studio. The day before her first day in the studio, the Twin Cities recorded its coldest air (-3°F) of that winter season, and on her last day at Highpoint, two-thirds of the entire month’s snowfall fell on Minneapolis. The two lithographs Sobol-Wejman made during her stay, Minnesota, Minneapolis (2002) and Winter, Minnesota, Minneapolis (2002), both feature her minimalist style of abstraction in response to the harsh Minnesota weather. Her collaboration with Highpoint also marked a new international relationship based on a shared appreciation for printmaking, furthering a long-standing effort by Sobol-Wejman and Stanislaw Wejman to bring Polish prints to the United States.
Sobol-Wejman was named laureate of the 1995 International Biennial of Drawing and Graphic Art in Győr, Hungary. In addition to participating in numerous group exhibitions, she has had solo shows at Jan Fejkiel Gallery, Kraków (2015, 2009, 2005, 2000, 1997); the Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University, Germany (2008); and Galeria Grafiki i Plakatu, Warsaw (2000). She lives and works in Kraków.