Known for Sculptor
|Name Karol Tchorek|
|Born 30 October 1904 (age 80) Serock|
Died 10 April 1985 (aged 80) Warsaw
Similar Józef Gosławski (sculptor), Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz, Alina Szapocznikow
Karol Tchorek (born 30 October 1904, in Serock, died 10 April 1985, in Warsaw) was a Polish sculptor, art dealer and art collector. The designer of monuments, an activist in the ZPAP, and winner, among other awards, of the Polish Order of Polonia Restituta.
Karol Tchorek was born on October 30, 1904 in Serock. He came from a poor peasant family and his general education ended quickly. At the age of 15, as a volunteer, he took part in the Polish–Soviet War.
In his youth, he worked as a sandblaster on the Vistula river. His artistic education began at the Municipal School of Decorative Arts and Painting in Warsaw, and continued at the capital's School of Fine Arts (Szkoła Sztuk Pięknych). His teachers included sculptors Jan Szczepkowski and Tadeusz Breyer. From 1929, he was a member of the Cooperative Sculptural Form (Spółdzielni Rzeźbiarskiej Forma). He collaborated with the Society for the Promotion of Industry People (Towarzystwem Popierania Przemysłu Ludowego), and also began collecting Kurpian cutouts. In 1932 he was given a grant from the National Culture Fund (Funduszu Kultury Narodowej). In 1937 he designed the sarcophagus for former Polish leader Józef Piłsudski.
During World War II, two of his studios were destroyed - one in the Warsaw suburb of Powiśle and the other in the town of Brok. He lost his home and also the gallery he ran from 1943 to 1944: the Art Salon Nike. His work continued from 1945 to 1951. Nike was a de facto merger of a private art gallery with an informal antique shop. In 1945 he took part in the General Assembly of Delegates of ZPAP in Kraków, and he became the secretary of the Presidium of its board. He held this position from 1945 to 1946. During this time, he also helped folk sculptor Leon Kudła, whose works he collected. In later years he held senior positions in the Sculpture Section of ZPAP's Warsaw district.
In 1949, Karol Tchorek won a competition for the design of plaques commemorating public executions in Warsaw during World War II. To this day, in Warsaw, there are over 160 plaques designed by the artist still remaining. In 1952, he took part in work on the Marszałkowska Residential District, which resulted in the creation of relief Macierzyństwo (Motherhood) at Marszałkowska Street in Warsaw. From 1959 he made a monument for soldiers and guerrillas in Ostrów Mazowiecka. In 1970, he made a monument to Polish soldiers in the Scottish city Perth, and in 1975, he designed the sculpture Warszawska jesień (Warsaw Autumn), which is located on the Bohdan Wodiczko square behind the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
Karol Tchorek married Zofia Kochanowiczów. They had two children - Mariusz and Olaf. After World War II, the family lived at ul. Miedzeszyński in Saska Kępa, Warsaw.
As the winner of a nationwide contest in 1948, Tchorek became the designer of plaques commemorating the places of execution during World War II in Warsaw. The city placed around 200 plaques made according to his designs from 1949 onwards in places where executions and fighting had taken place. Some of them contain incorrect details so the Council for the Protection of Memory of Combat and Martyrdom had to intervene, although some are still incorrect.
In Serock, the hometown of the sculptor, there is a street named after him (Karola Tchorka Street).
In 1990, his studio at Smolna Street was entered in the register of monuments and his legacy is looked after by the Fundacja Tchorek-Bentall whose founder is the artist Katy Bentall, widow of Mariusz Tchorek, the son of the sculptor.