Anna Sobol-Wejman

Born 1946, Rybnik, Poland

Anna Sobol-Wejman is a Polish printmaker whose practice includes , , mezzotint, and . 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.

—Ian Karp