One of the most interesting subjects for me is the study of human history. In my work I map the history of the world and the history of my homeland, especially from the times of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Republic. Books by Henryk Sienkiewicz and Uladzimir Karatkievič, the works of Artur Grottger and Napoleon Orda were a strong impulse to understand that our region has an extremely rich and heroic history, but also exposed to hostile forces – including the actions of tsarist and later Bolshevik officials. I think that the history of warring elements and worldviews continues, and as an artist I feel very strongly about this daily struggle for ideas and values – Źmicier Šapavałaŭ from the introduction to the GRAPHICS catalog.
As part of “Culture in Exile”, an exhibition of works by Belarusian artist Źmicier Šapavałaŭ is being presented from October 8 to November 12 in the spaces of Villa Decius.
An accompanying event to the exhibition will be a meeting with the artist, which will take place on October 16 at 6 pm at Villa Decius.
We are pleased to give you a catalog presenting the work of a young Belarusian artist, Źmicier Šapavałaŭ, a talented graphic artist and art historian who has been living and working in exile for several years, and whose works explore many of the themes common to the past of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. The artist, reinterpreting the past of the eastern part of Europe, creates an original historical narrative, in which we can find both well-known figures, important from the point of view of the material heritage of the place, as well as variations on folk tales and legends – says Dominika Kasprowicz, director of Villa Decius.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog of the artist’s works published by the GUTENBERG publishing house, as part of the IKWD publishing series.
Źmicier Šapavałaŭ – born in 1985 in Minsk, master of historical engraving on copper, graphic designer, painter, visual artist, medalist, patternmaker. In 2004 he graduated from the Minsk State Educational Complex “Gymnasium-College of Arts” with a diploma as a specialist in design and patternmaking. He continued his education at the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Belarusian Academy of Fine Arts, where he earned a specialist degree in graphic design and a master’s degree in art history. After graduation, he worked as a painter at the National Center for Contemporary Art of the Republic of Belarus. Since 2012, he has been working as an independent artist. He is currently in exile in Poland.
He is the author of a series of engravings dedicated to the army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as well as a reconstruction of a lost engraving of the City of Grodno by Polish cartographer Tomasz Makowski from 1600, which he worked on, among other things, during his residency at Villa Decius.
Źmicier Šapavałaŭ’s work has been presented not only in his native Belarus, but also at numerous international exhibitions, including those in Austria, the Czech Republic and Warsaw. His works are in the collections of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the Museum of Modern Art of the Republic of Belarus, the Malbork Castle Museum, as well as in the private collections of Sergey Bradovich (Ukraine), Luděk Křiž (Czech Republic), Yasuhiko Aoki (Japan), Thea & Tjalling Vogelvanger (Kingdom of the Netherlands) and other private collections in Belarus, Poland, Serbia and elsewhere.
Źmicier Šapavałaŭ is a laureate of international printmaking and ex-libris competitions. Among other awards, he received the main prize in the “Bread Cultural Heritage” ex-libris competition in 2006 in Belgrade, as well as in the 1st International Woodcut Triennial in Zakopane. In 2015, his significant contribution to the popularization of historical knowledge in Belarusian society was recognized with the Vaclav Lastovsky Award. In 2019, he won the Belarusian competition of young illustrators and patternmakers “Арт-Прадмова” in the “Illustration” category.