Jacek Stryjenski (Kraków, Poland, 1922 – Geneva, 1961)
Collection : Fonds d'art contemporain de la Ville de Genève (FMAC)
Originally from Poland, the multidisciplinary artist Jacek Stryjenski moved to Geneva in 1946 and worked mainly as a painter, costume designer and set designer. For the ornamentation of the new ceiling at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, he created aluminum panels covered with gold, copper and silver leaves, and studded with over a thousand luminous glass stars. This ambitious project was not completed until after his death in 1961, only a few months before the inauguration of the newly decorated theater. The ceiling’s 252 panels make up a luminous celestial dome connected to an iron stage curtain that vertically extends this vast, spiraling galaxy. The house lights and spotlights are hidden behind this glittering sky.
The Grand Théâtre had to be reconstructed following a fire in 1951, and an international competition was organized for the decoration of the auditorium. Jacek Stryjenski won the competition for his monumental décor, whose technical and artistic audacity was unprecedented in the theater world. The use of metal as a creative medium enabled him to design a work that brought a great deal of plastic unity to bear in its response to the technical challenges of a theatre.
Article commissioned by P3Art
Notice: Séverine Fromaigeat, translation: Matthew Cunningham