Tadeusz Andrew Lapinski Biography

Tadeusz Andrew Lapinski

American

1928-2016

Biography

Tadeusz Andrzej Lapinksi was born on June 20, 1928 in Rawa Mazowiecka, Poland. His parents named him after Tadeusz Kosciuszko. He learned from his artist-grandfather, who was a printmaker in Poland. Lapinski graduated in 1955 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in painting, studying with Prof. Artur Nacht-Samborski and in graphic arts, taught by Prof. Jozef Pakulski and Prof. Jozef Tom. In 1944 during the Warsaw uprising, when the Germans leveled 95 percent of the city and killed thousands of civilians, Lapinski was wounded with shrapnel in his body and a bullet in his leg. He was taken first to a hospital and then a concentration camp, but he and some friends made their escape three days later. He was rescued by Polish peasants and nursed back to health. He was 16 years old.

Lapinski left Poland in 1963 and travelled to Yugoslavia, France, and Brazil, finally settling in the USA where he met and married Maria Aust, the grand granddaughter of painter Jozef Chelmonski. He began teaching printmaking at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1972. In 1978, Lapinski was awarded a Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship.

Lapinski’s great love was experimental lithography, of which he commented: "My art is manual plate lithography, using a light gum etch introduced to a sensitized metal plate," Lapinski said recently. "I build my patterns with a very mild dose of phosphoric acid and gum and I worked this way for 25 years and was never sick." He later began using benzene, often without adequate ventilation which led to an illness in 1976.

Lapinski was given an emergency blood transfusion and rushed to Sibley Hospital, where bone marrow tests were taken and a diagnosis made. After a week he was transferred to the hematology division of Mount Sinai hospital in New York and admitted in critical condition. Blood transfusions were given every few days. About 6 1/2 months after he had been hospitalized, Lapinski's body finally regained its ability to manufacture red blood cells. Lapinski's near-fatal blood disorder was "associated with exposure to an agent known to cause aplastic anemia." He was unable to do his own printing after that.

He visited his native Poland often regularly visiting the Warka and The Casimir Pulaski Museum, where he exhibited in 1997 and was awarded the title of Grodzisk Mazowiecki Honorary Citizen. In 2008, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland awarded him The Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. In 2012, he received a Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Tadeusz Lapinksi died September 14, 2016