About the Artist

Waldemar Smolarek
(1937 - 2010)

Born on 5 September 1937 in Warsaw, Poland. During World War II the family was separated by the German occupying forces and in 1943, his father was sent to Mathausen concentration camp in Austria where he was shot whilst trying to escape, one day before liberation by US forces in May 1945.

Raised by his mother with his younger brother Apolinary, during the post war years he learned quickly to become independent and self supporting. It was during these younger years that he became interested in metalwork and painting and together with his brother he attended art classes in the Praga district of Warsaw. After these initial classes he then took lessons with Prof. Zygmunt Tomkiewicz and Alexander Kobzdej from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. He continued his studies in the College of Vincent Sliwinski.


Between 1958-1967 his work was exhibited in Warsaw and together with Zbigniew Kupczynskim, John Naliwajko, Alexander Socko Qohn Wegner) he became an active participant in public, informal and independent exhibition at the Barbican in Warsaw in the years 1962 to 1967. The works exhibited at the Barbican put him in contact with other independent artists with the result in a comprehensive development of the arts during the 1950’s and 60’s. His early creations were metalwork sculptures applied to canvas as well as paintings.

He later specialized in painting abstract works in oil on canvas and paper. In 1968, during the Russian/Communist occupation of Poland, he began his artistic emigration and first went to Sweden where he forged many friendships with like souls in the art world who helped him to remain in Sweden until in 1970 he left for Canada where he worked continuously until his unexpected death in August 2010. During his artistic life Waldemar met and worked with many well-known painters such as El Salvador Dali, which also had an affect upon his work.


Throughout his life his work was exhibited at many international exhibitions and his works are in many galleries and museums and in private collections worldwide. Over the past few years in Vancouver, Canada, Waldemar donated several of his paintings for charity auction at the Cancer Societies annual fundraising event. His paintings have provided a significant contribution to the societies funds. Waldemar has been recognized as a contributor to the art world in several publications not least the: 1996—2009 Who’s Who in the World 2008 Who’s Who in America 2009 Who’s Who in American Art. 

Waldemar Smolarek
(1937 - 2010)


If you enjoyed his life's journey, you may find this video interesting. It has been created in memory of Waldemar Smolarek.