Bronislaw Josephus Bobak
Bronislaw Josephus Bobak, "Bruno," artist, arts administrator (b at Wawelowska, Poland 28 Dec 1923; d at Fredericton, NB, 24 Sep 2012). Throughout his career, Bobak maintained a lifelong devotion to the figure, landscape and still life while extending the expressionist attitude of the early 20th century.
Bruno Bobak emigrated Canada in 1927 and began studying art at the age of 13 in Toronto under Arthur Lismer. He was Canada's youngest official war artist when commissioned in 1944. His WWII art used an expressive-realist mode, derived from his training with Carl Schaefer. After the war he lived in BC (1947-59), where he developed a "surrealist" style in response to the mystical qualities of BC's interior landscape.
Following visits to Europe (especially Norway), he settled in New Brunswick (after 1960) and joined a passionate response for the art of Edvard Munch and Gustave Vigeland with an admiration for Oskar Kokoschka. The result was a series of powerful oils (Wheel of Life, 1966), drawings and woodcuts dealing with the figure and landscape.
Bobak has exhibited throughout Canada, the US and Europe. In 1962 he became director of the Art Centre at the University of New Brunswick where he remained until his retirement in 1988. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of Canada.
Bruno Bobak was married to Molly Lamb Bobak, an accomplished Canadian artist in her own right. The couple continued to live and work in Fredericton and Bruno contributed work to exhibitions until his death.