Henryk met Janet Marcham, his second wife, at a party in London in April 1938. Within two days of meeting they were engaged, and two months later were married in Paris. They would remain married until Henryk’s death in 1966, with Janet devoting her life to his work and his legacy. Here Janet tells of their meeting and their first years together. She describes their life in Poland in 1938-9, and then in London during the war. She introduces Henryk’s friends and family, and gives a personal insight into Henryk’s early life, his inspiration and ways of working.
|1890||Born to a middle-class family in Cracow.|
|1908-1910||Studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Cracow and because of family pressure, read law at Cracow University.|
|1911-1913||Attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna and continued studying law.|
|1913-1914||Studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Art, under Angelo Janka.|
|1914-1918||At the outbreak of the First World War was conscripted into the Austrian army and spent most of the war in the press department in Warsaw.|
|1916||Showed his work for the first time in public – at an exhibition organised by the Society for the Protection of Jewish Children.|
|1917||Joined the Polish Socialist Party.
Exhibited at the Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw.
|1918||Became a member of the Society of Polish Artists who organised his first one-man show in Warsaw.|
|1919||Returned to Cracow and became a leading member of the Polish avant-garde ‘Formist’ movement.|
|1921||One-man show at the Caspar Gallery, Berlin.|
|1922||One-man show at the Van Gogh Gallery, Amsterdam.|
|1923-1926||Worked in Paris, participating in exhibitions at the Salon d’Automne, Salon de Tuileries and the Salon des Indépendants; was Paris art correspondent for the Warsaw Times.|
|1924||His album of lithographs, Lamour dans la rue, was published|
|1926||One-man show at the Galerie Montparnasse.
Went to live near St Paul de Vence in the South of France.
|1928||Became a member of the Society of Polish Artists in Paris.|
|1929||Spent a year living at Quimper, in Brittany.
During these years, regularly returned to Poland and exhibited there as well as Berlin, Brussels and Stockholm.
|1930||Returned to Poland and joined the ‘Group of Ten’.|
|1930-1932||Taught painting and drawing at the Mehoffer art school in Cracow.|
|1932-1933||Edited ‘The Voice of the Artists’ and gave radio lectures on art.
Became leader of the ‘New Generation’ group. Designed sets for the Cracow ‘Cricot’ theatre.
|1933||Lived in Italy for a year.|
|1934||Spent six months in Greece.|
|1934-1935||Went to Spain for ten months.|
|1936-1937||Regular contributor to the .Literary News’ in Poland.|
|1938||A Warsaw publishing house commissioned him to write and illustrate Travels of a Painter, but war intervened.
One-man show at the IPS Gallery, Warsaw.
During a visit to London, met Janet Marcham – they married six weeks later in Paris.
|1939||Spent three months painting in Cornwall but, prevented from returning to Poland when war broke out, remained in England for the rest of his life.
His studio in Warsaw was destroyed by a fire bomb on the second day of the war.
|1940||Was invited to join the London Group (at that time only a foreign member).
Completed Warsaw September 1939, the middle part of his Polish War Triptych (also known as Christ in Warsaw).
|1941||Warsaw September 1939 was exhibited in ‘Contemporary Continental Art’ at the Leger Gallery, London.|
|1941-1943||Took part in ‘Allied Artists’, a British Council touring exhibition.|
|1941-1945||Principal and teacher at the Polish College of Art, set up by the Polish government in London.|
|1942||His book Polish Painting was published.
Participated in an exhibition of Polish art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottowa.
Also took part in ‘Exhibitions of Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture’, Leger Gallery; ‘Exhibition of Works of Polish and Czechoslovak Artists’, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; ‘Paintings and Watercolours by Living Artists’, Leger Gallery; ‘Henryk Gotlib, Marek Zulawski, Tadeusz Koper’, Agnews Gallery, London.
The London Group’s fourth wartime exhibition, Leger Gallery.
|1943||Painted Mickiewicz Returns to Cracow, the second part of his Polish War Triptych, and showed it with the London Group at the Royal Academy.
Took part in the ‘Third United Artists’ exhibition, Royal Academy; ‘This Extraordinary Year’, Whitechapel Art Gallery; ‘Society of Scottish Artists’ exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy.
|1944||Completed Stabat Mater, the third part of his Polish War Triptych and showed it with the London Group at the Royal Academy.
Participated in a Polish art exhibition at the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield.
|1945||First one-man show in Britain at Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London.
Took part in an exhibition of Polish art in Nottingham, Norwich, Hull and Bradford.
Visited Cracow and Warsaw under the auspices of the international PEN club.
|1946-1949||Principal and lecturer at the Hampstead School of Art.|
|1947||One-man show at Roland, Browse and Delbanco.
Took part in ‘School of London’, Victor Waddington, Dublin.
‘Artists of Fame and Promise’, Leicester Galleries, London.
‘British Paintings of the Past 50 Years’, Roland Browse and Delbanco.
Travels of a Painter published in Polish (the original illustrations were destroyed during the war and Gotlib used old master drawings instead).
|1948||Took part in the London Group’s Exhibition, Leicester Galleries, London; ‘Names to Remember’, Roland, Browse and Delbanco; ‘Contemporary Flower Painting’, Arts Council of Great Britain, London.
Donated his Polish War Triptych – which was never exhibited complete in England – to the National Museum of Poland, Warsaw.
|1949||One-man show at Roland, Browse and Delbanco (‘Paintings and Sculptures by Henryk Gotlib’).|
|1949-1950||Went to Poland to become professor at the Academy of Fine Art, Cracow but returned to England in May.|
|1950||Took part in ‘Valse des Fleurs’, Leger Gallery.|
|1951||Moved to South Godstone, Surrey.
Took part in two shows with the London Group, both at the New Burlington Gallery, London.
|1952||Took part in the Bradford City Art Gallery’s spring exhibition and the London Group’s annual exhibition, New Burlington Gallery.|
|1953||One-man show at the O’Hana Gallery, London (not a single painting sold).
Participated in a group show in Bradford and with the London Group.
|1954||Took part in mixed exhibition at Bradford City Art Gallery; Roland, Browse and Delbanco and with the London Group.|
|1955||Participated in various group shows, Bradford, Reigate, Portsmouth, Southampton and London (Ben Uri).|
|1956-1957||Took part in ‘The Seasons’, organised by the Contemporary Art Society at the Tate Gallery; mixed exhibitions in Bradford, London and Reigate.|
|1958||One-man show at Crane Kalman Gallery, London.
|1959-1960||Participated in various group shows.|
|1961||One-man show, Crane Kalman Gallery.
|1962||Took part in three mixed exhibitions.|
|1963||One-man show, Crane Kalman Gallery.|
|1964||Included in ‘Fifty years of British Art’, Tate Gallery.|
Died in South Godstone, 30th December.