Ex Libris Odyssey

The exhibition of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Marek Bak, author of over 1,400 ex libris (bookplates) and commemorative drawings, was inaugurated in the San Stefano gallery in Sofia. It is titled Ex Libris Odyssey and will be open to public till 30 July.

The exhibition of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Marek Bak, author of over 1,400 ex libris (bookplates) and commemorative drawings, was inaugurated in the San Stefano gallery in Sofia. It is titled Ex Libris Odyssey and will be open to public till 30 July.
Krzysztof Marek Bak graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. Currently, he is head of the graphic design department at the Arts Institute with the University of Silesia, deputy dean of the arts department in Cieszyn, artistic director of the International Ex Libris Exhibition in Glivice (Poland) and member of Ex Libris Association of Germany. He has staged 90 solo exhibitions in Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Finland, Great Britain, US, Kuwait and Bulgaria. Krzysztof Marek Bak is a laureate of 30 awards and honourable distinctions.
For over 12 years, he has been working in the field of digital graphic design, ex libris and small graphic forms. He creates his forms with filigree precision, which illustrates not only his intense sensibility, but also his aesthetic sense of artistic limits - to what extent should he accentuate the details or consolidate the image in its artistic conventionality. The artist uses software for vector graphics that enables him to translate his own vision of this art. Each of his bookplates is made with several thousand strokes, just like in classical copper etchings. Regardless of his attention to detail, content in his works always has priority over implementation technique.
The author tries to make a visual synthetic metaphor out of each ex libris, so that it could be interpreted in different ways. Each ex libris tells an individual story about the person whose first and last names are engraved on it. A traditional ex libris usually shows who the book's owner is, while today it is rather a metaphorical tale, a dialogue between the “patron” and the artist.
Ex libris has become part of communicating with the book, a deeply emotional and aesthetic experience. Printed books have preserved their value despite the extensive use of their digital counterparts. Nothing can replace touching the paper and the book cover, nor the admiration for an exquisitely made ex libris. The exhibition of Krzysztof Marek Bak draws again our attention to this specific genre of small scale graphics.

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