Jerzy Marek ( 1925 - 2014)_
JERZY MAREK (1925 – 2014) was born in Poland in 1925 and showed early promise in both art and woodcarving. But the outbreak of World War II in 1939 when he was only 14 put a complete hold on his artistic career for many years. In fact, he ended the War with the British Army in Italy and finally settled in the UK in 1948. For the next many years, Jerzy pursued a successful career as a civil engineer and bridge designer but the call of art was always there despite a complete lack of any formal artistic education. He started painting in oils in 1970 and initially spent much of his leisure time encouraging other artists locally in the Preston area where he eventually found himself. This group became known as the “Marek Circle” and even included his mother-in-law Margaret Baird who subsequently became a successful primitive artist in her own right. After taking early retirement in 1983 Marek began to paint more or less full time. His early work featured sporting themes but these soon gave way to pastoral themes and then close-ups of animals and birds, all painted from memory. His pictures of cats are particularly memorable and will stir recognition from the many myriads who have bought copies of his wonderful prints without really even knowing the artist’s name. Jyrki Marek’s work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide including Glasgow, Paris, Hamburg and many other cities. Reference to his work is made in the Rona Guide to the World of Naïve Art as well as Muller’s World Encyclopedia of Naive Art. Jerzy Marek died in early 2014 in his 90th year.