Born in Lviv (formerly part of the Republic of Poland, now in the Ukraine) in 1927, Piotr Kowalski’s career as an artist did not begin until late in life. After World War II, Kowalski emigrated to Sweden, then France and Brazil before finally settling in the United States in 1947. He went on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, taking courses in mathematics, architecture and physics. After working as an architect in New York from 1952 to 1957 on projects such as the UNESCO headquarters, Kowalski decided to practise sculpture. He relocated to France, but travelled often between Japan and the United States and also taught at the Ecole des Beaux–Arts in Paris.
Kowalski’s sculptural work drew upon his fascination with science and his interest in experimentation, yet was often left at the planning and theoretical stage due to the immense cost involved in its realisation. He worked with Kenneth Tyler at Gemini Ltd in 1965 on the lithographic series Project for a distance and Now explosion forming—both of which are typical of the artist’s scientific preoccupation. The subject of Now explosion forming is a sequence of equations and diagrammatic representations, while Project for a distance suggests an exploration of perspective.
Works with landscape architect Roberto Burle-Marx
Solo exhibition, Kunsthalle, Bern, Switzerland
Solo exhibition, Centre Pompidou, Paris
Kate Buckingham, 2007
This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.
Last updated November 2014