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  • Zbigniew Horbowy

Born in 1935. A visual artist designing unique and functional glass. Professor at the Faculty of Ceramics  and Glass and Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław. Considered a leading Polish designer of utility glass and the creator of his own design school, associated with Lower Silesia.  He received his artistic education in the glass workshop of the then rector Stanisław Dawski. He completed his diploma thesis in 1959 at the "Sudety" Glassworks in Szczytna, making a full set of glassware (as the first student of this university). In this glassworks he also took his first job after graduation, as a designer in the Design Center, which in later years he also managed. Later he was associated with the Artistic Glassworks ''Barbara'' in Polanica-Zdrój, where in the years 1975-1989 as an artistic director he ran an experimental design studio. At that time, he was involved in the organization of the Polanica glass plein-airs – in the years 1978-1989 he was their organizer and commissioner. He was inspired by the establishment of the Artistic Glass Studio ''Inco'' in Wrocław. From 1965 he started teaching at his alma mater, while working in industry. During 40 years, he went through all scientific and administrative levels of PWSSP. In 1989 he received the title of full professor. He was the head of the laboratory and the Department of Glass, vice-dean, dean, vice-rector. In the term 1999-2005 he was the rector of the university (since 1996 called the Academy of Fine Arts). He was a member of the senate of this university. His students included well-known artists m.in. Czesław Zuber, Prof. Małgorzata Dajewska, Prof. Kazimierz Pawlak, Janusz Robaszewski and Dr. Mariusz Łabiński. He lived in Polanica-Zdrój, running his own design studio, developing, m.in glass packaging designs for Polish spirits (m.in for the Lubuska Wytwórnia Wódek Gatunkowych ''Polmos'' in Zielona Góra). He is considered a designer who in Poland was one of the first artists to move away from traditional patterns and pave the way for new thinking in the field of artistic glass. His patterns are based on simple construction, economy of form, economical colors, cool, objective line. In many opinions, he is also considered a reformer of Polish design and the first "thoroughbred" designer in Poland. In the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century, Horbowy glasses were sought in stores, which in the times of the Polish People's Republic was an exceptional phenomenon. The descriptions of Horbowy's work emphasize the artist's preference for compact shapes and simple, even raw forms. He devotes a lot of attention to technological experiments enriching the color scheme and differentiating the consistency of glass by adding metal compounds to the glass mass. The professor willingly undertook designs and implementation of large architectural forms in glass, m.in stained glass windows with an area of 180 m² for the church (St. Hedwig) in Częstochowa, spatial compositions at the Feature Film Studio in Wrocław, glass realizations at Cuprum and Provent in Wrocław.

I invite you to watch and purchase glasses designed by Prof. Zbigniew Horbowy.