„„… Sztuki nigdy nie należy agresywnie tłumaczyć; sztuka powinna być odczuwalna… ”– Andre Zarre.
Andrzej Lech Sowulewski (pseud. Andre Zarre) (ur. 10 czerwca 1942 w Suwałkach/Polska, zm. 15 lipca 2020 w Nowym Jorku) – marszand sztuki, poeta.
Do Ameryki przyjechał ok. 1960 r., najpierw do Chicago, a potem do śmierci mieszkał w Nowym Jorku.
W 1974 r. założył pierwszą galerię Andre Zarre Gallery na Manhattanie, najpierw na Madison Ave., potem kolejno: 41 East 57th St. (w słynnym Fuller Building), 375 W Broadway Frnt (SoHo), 529 West 20th St. (Chelsea) a ostatnią otworzył w stolicy Belgii - Brukseli.
Na przestrzeni lat w Andre Zarre Gallery, pokazywane były prace dziesiątków artystów m.in. Richard Anuszkiewicz, Nancy Azara, Ellen Banks, Mary Barnes, Tony Bechara, Juan Bernal, Stephanie Bernheim, Randy Bloom, Ed Bonagurio, Elena Borstein, Michael Boyd, Fritz Bultman, Ed Buonagurio, Yoan Capote, Susan Crile, Czesław Czapliński, Nassos Daphnis, Gene Davis, Sonia Delaunay, Nassos Daphnis, Cathy Diamond, Sari Dienes, Joseph Dolinsky, Beata Drozd, Ronnie Elliot, William Fares, Perle Fine, Lynne Frehm, Ben Georgia, Mikel Glass, Winifred Godfrey, Dana Gordon, Juanita Guccione, Fred Gutzeit, Don Hazlitt, Amy Hill, Clinton Hill, Monroe Hodder, Budd Hopkins, Arlan Huang, Richard Hunt, Rhia Hurt, Buffie Johnson, Alexander Kaletski, Robert Kaupelis, Constance Kheel, Joseph Konzal, Harry Koursaros, Jerzy Kosinski, Nina Kuo, Ellen Lanyon, Tadeusz Łapiński, Raeford Liles, Pat Lipsky, Jerry Lubensky, Despo Magoni, Michael Malpass, Demetrius Manouselis, Ron Mehlman, Susan Michod, Jay Milder, Robert Motherwell, Loren Munk, Robert Murray, Douglas Ohlson, Rafał Olbiński, Chuck Olson, Irene Rice Pereira, Tanya Pfeffer, Billy Quinn, David Rankin, Peter Reginato, Monique Rollins, Jan Sawka, Barbara Schwartz, Dee Shapiro, Louise P. Sloane, Dee Solin, Marjorie Strider, Joan Thorne, Richard Timperio, Stephen T. Vessels, Lilian Voorhees, Joy Walker, Charmion Von Wiegand, Thornton Willis, Kit White, Scott Wixon, Nicholas Wolfson, Jean Xceron, Sue Yang, Kes Zapkus, Susan Zises.
Jako poeta Andre Zarre debiutował dzięki Zbigniewowi Herbertowi w warszawskim miesięczniku Poezja w 1967 r. Autor trzech tomików wierszy – „Akwarele bez ramek“, „Barwa ciszy“, „Popioły pamięci“. Jego wiersze były drukowane w warszawskim magazynie „Sztuka“, paryskiej „Kulturze“, londyńskim „Merkuriuszu“, nowojorskim „Przeglądzie Polskim“, w „Dzienniku Chicagowskim“, „Dzienniku Związkowym oraz amerykańskich pismach literackich.
Był jednym z redaktorw „New York Arts Journal“. Przez lata był członkiem zespołu redakcyjnego, amerykańskiego kwartalnika literackiego „Boulevard“ wydawanego przez Saint Louis University.
Pierwszy raz z Andrzejem Zarre spotkałem się w maju 1981 r. w jego galerii na 57th Street w Nowym Jorku, poznał nas Franciszek Starowieyski, który przylatywał do Nowego Jorku. Pamiętam niezwykła galeria, na w sumie niewielkiej przestrzeni, genialnie rozmieszczone obrazy i rzeźby, robiły wrażenie. Kiedy dowiedziałem się, że Zarre również pisze wiersze, zrobiłem serię zdjęć łączącą poezję i sztukę. Na końcu spotkania, kiedy już się zbliżyliśmy, zapytałem go o oryginalne nazwisko. Uśmiechając się powiedział Sowulewski – jak z takim nazwiskiem mógłbym otworzyć galerię w Nowym Jorku?
Kiedy następnym razem przyniosłem mu zdjęcia, które zrobiłem w czasie pierwszego spotkania, wciągnął mnie na listę i zaczynałem dostawać zaproszenia na wernisaże wystaw jakie robił z wybitnymi artystami. Pamiętam, że u niego zrobiłem portrety wybitnego artysty Richarda Anuszkiewicza, a kiedy Głoria Vanderbilt miała swoją wystawę, wręczył jej mój album FACE to FACE, gdzie był jej portret. Zabrał mnie do wybitnej pisarki Marguerite Young na Greenwich Village, gdzie mogłem ją fotografować prywatnie wśród jej kolekcji lalek, nikomu na takie zdjęcia się nie zgodziła.
Po pewnym czasie zaprzyjaźniliśmy się, namówiłem go na wystawę zdjęć wybitnego pisarza Jerzego Kosińskiego z lat piędziesiątych. Mało kto o tym wiedział, że Kosiński był fotografem, a ja sięz nim przyjaźniłem w Nowym Jorku, którą pomogłem mu zorganizować w 1988 r., już w przepięnej galerii na SoHo. Po trzydziestu latach znajomości i przyjźni, zaproponował mi indywidualną wystawę portretów wybitnych postaci FACE to FACE, która otworzyła się 30 marca 2010 r.
Oprócz wernisaży i spotkań w Nowym Jorku, spotykaliśmy się w Warszawie, gdzie Andrzej przylatywał i miał promocje swoich zbiorków wierszy. Pamiętam jak w Klubie Księgarza w Warszawie, sensację wzbudziło spotkanie z nowym tomikiem poezji Zarre, który czytała aktorka Beata Tyszkiewicz (29 października 2009 r.).
Ostatnią rozmowę telefoniczną z Andrzejem Zarre odbyłem na trzy tygodnie przed jego naglą śmiercią. Mowił o planach budowy domu-galerii w Polsce, gdzie chciał pokazywać wystawy i umieścić swoją kolekcję obrazów. Szykował się do wyjazdu do Polski. Rozmawialiśmy również o malarce Ellen Banks, o której pisałem w PORTRET z HISTORIĄ, z którą kilka lat temu mnie zapoznał. Robiłem portrety w jej pracowni na Brooklynie, a ona zostawiła testament zapisując wszystko Andre Zarre, obecnie sprawa była u prwaników, gdyż ktoś chciał ten testament zmienić…
Nie wiedziałem oczywiście, że będzie to nasza ostatnia rozmowa, gdyż nic na to nie wskazywało. Wysłał mi kolejny wiersz do projektu, który wspólnie robiliśmy (jego wiersze, moje portrety) i miał go wydać w formie albumu.
DLA UMBERTO ECO
W KOLORACH BRĄZU
I PRZYGASŁEJ MIEDZI
BIEL SIĘ POWTARZA
Z SZAROŚCIĄ SKLEJONA
GINĄ W TĘGICH DZWONACH
W SPAZMACH SEKRETÓW
CHRONI OD WIEKÓW
FAŁSZU GRUBY PŁASZCZ
W ZŁOCIE I PURPURZE
Z ARMIĄ ŚWIĘTOKRADCÓW
POCHYL NISKO CZOŁO
OBMYJ BLADĄ TWARZ
Tragiczna informacja 15 lipca 2020 r. o śmierci Andre Zarre, przerwała wszystko…
PORTRAIT with HISTORY Andre Zarre
“…Art should never be aggressively explained; art should be felt…” – Andre Zarre.
Andrzej Lech Sowulewski (pseud. Andre Zarre) (born June 10, 1942 in Suwałki / Poland, died July 15, 2020 in New York) - art dealer, poet.
He came to America around 1960, first to Chicago, and then lived in New York until his death.
In 1974 he founded the first Andre Zarre Gallery in Manhattan, first on Madison Ave., then successively: 41 East 57th St. (at the famous Fuller Building), 375 W Broadway Frnt (SoHo), 529 West 20th St. (Chelsea) and the last one he opened in the capital of Belgium - Brussels.
Over the years, the Andre Zarre Gallery has shown works by dozens of artists, incl. Richard Anuszkiewicz, Nancy Azara, Ellen Banks, Mary Barnes, Tony Bechara, Juan Bernal, Stephanie Bernheim, Randy Bloom, Ed Bonagurio, Elena Borstein, Michael Boyd, Fritz Bultman, Ed Buonagurio, Yoan Capote, Susan Crile, Czesław Czapliński, Nassos Daphnis , Gene Davis, Sonia Delaunay, Nassos Daphnis, Cathy Diamond, Sari Dienes, Joseph Dolinsky, Beata Drozd, Ronnie Elliot, William Fares, Perle Fine, Lynne Frehm, Ben Georgia, Mikel Glass, Winifred Godfrey, Dana Gordon, Juanita Guccione, Fred Gutzeit, Don Hazlitt, Amy Hill, Clinton Hill, Monroe Hodder, Budd Hopkins, Arlan Huang, Richard Hunt, Rhia Hurt, Buffie Johnson, Alexander Kaletski, Robert Kaupelis, Constance Kheel, Joseph Konzal, Harry Koursaros, Jerzy Kosinski, Nina Kuo, Ellen Lanyon, Tadeusz Łapiński, Raeford Liles, Pat Lipsky, Jerry Lubensky, Despo Magoni, Michael Malpass, Demetrius Manouselis, Ron Mehlman, Susan Michod, Jay Milder, Robert Motherwell, Loren Munk, Robert Murray, Douglas Ohlson, Rafał Olbiński, Chuck Olson , Irene R ice Pereira, Tanya Pfeffer, Billy Quinn, David Rankin, Peter Reginato, Monique Rollins, Jan Sawka, Barbara Schwartz, Dee Shapiro, Louise P. Sloane, Dee Solin, Marjorie Strider, Joan Thorne, Richard Timperio, Stephen T. Vessels, Lilian Voorhees, Joy Walker, Charmion Von Wiegand, Thornton Willis, Kit White, Scott Wixon, Nicholas Wolfson, Jean Xceron, Sue Yang, Kes Zapkus, Susan Zises.
As a poet, Andre Zarre made his debut thanks to Zbigniew Herbert in the Warsaw monthly Poezja in 1967. Author of three volumes of poems - "Akwarele bez ramek", "Barwa ciszy", "Ashes of memory". His poems have been published in the Warsaw magazine "Sztuka", the Parisian "Kultura", the London "Merkuriusz", the New York "Przegląd Polski", in the "Chicago Journal", the "Union Journal" and American literary magazines. He was one of the editors of the New York Arts Journal. For years he was a member of the editorial team of the American literary quarterly "Boulevard" published by Saint Louis University. I met Andrzej Zarre for the first time in May 1981 in his gallery on 57th Street in New York, we were met by Franciszek Starowieyski, who was flying to New York. I remember an unusual gallery, in a rather small space, brilliantly arranged paintings and sculptures, made an impression. When I found out that Zarre also writes poetry, I took a series of photos combining poetry and art. At the end of the meeting, when we got closer, I asked him for his original name. Smiling, Sowulewski said - how could I open a gallery in New York with such a name? The next time I brought him the photos that I had taken during the first meeting, he put me on the list and I started getting invitations to openings of exhibitions he was doing with outstanding artists. I remember that with him I made portraits of the outstanding artist Richard Anuszkiewicz, and when Głoria Vanderbilt had her exhibition, he gave her my album FACE to FACE, where her portrait was. He took me to the eminent writer Marguerite Young in Greenwich Village, where I could photograph her privately among her dolls collection, she refused such photos to anyone.
After some time we became friends, I persuaded him to attend an exhibition of photos of the outstanding writer Jerzy Kosiński from the 1950s. Few people knew about it that Kosiński was a photographer, and I was friends with him in New York, which I helped him organize in 1988, in a beautiful gallery on SoHo. After thirty years of acquaintance and friendship, he offered me an individual exhibition of portraits of prominent figures FACE to FACE, which opened on March 30, 2010.
In addition to vernissages and meetings in New York, we met in Warsaw, where Andrzej came and had promotions of his poetry collections. I remember at the Bookseller's Club in Warsaw, a meeting with the new book of poetry Zarre, read by actress Beata Tyszkiewicz (October 29, 2009), caused a sensation.
I had my last telephone conversation with Andrzej Zarre three weeks before his sudden death. He spoke about the plans to build a house-gallery in Poland, where he wanted to show exhibitions and place his collection of paintings. He was getting ready to leave for Poland. We also talked about the painter Ellen Banks, about whom I wrote in PORTRAIT WITH HISTORY, with whom he introduced me a few years ago. I did the portraits in her studio in Brooklyn, and she left a will and wrote everything down Andre Zarre, now the case was with privateers, because someone wanted to change this will ...
Of course, I did not know that this would be our last conversation, as there was no indication of it. He sent me another poem for a project we were doing together (his poems, my portraits) and he was going to publish it as an album.
FACE OF THE VATICAN
FOR UMBERTO ECO
IN BROWN COLORS
AND FADE COPPER
BONDED WITH GRAY
TOUCHES THE HEAVEN
DIE IN THESE BELLS
IN THE SPASMS OF SECRETS
PROTECTS FROM AGES
FALSE THICK COAT
ABOUT THE VATICAN
IN GOLD AND PURPLE
WITH THE ARMY OF SAINT TRADERS
LOW HEAD LOW
WASH A PALF FACE
The tragic information on July 15, 2020 about the death of Andre Zarre interrupted everything ...
Upper East Side art dealer Andre Zarre leaves fortune to deli worker in Queens By Isabel Vincent October 17, 2020 | 11:34am | Updated Jose Yeje At the height of his fame in the New York art world of the 1970s and ’80s, Andre Zarre was a leading contemporary dealer who partied with the city’s literati and international elites, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Jerzy Kosinski and Joyce Carol Oates. He lived in a luxury building on Park Avenue and ran eponymous galleries on the Upper East Side, Soho and Chelsea. Friends say he amassed a sizable collection of art that could be worth millions, established a gallery in Brussels and was building a new art space in his native Poland, where he is well known as a poet. “He wanted to create an American-style gallery and place his collection of paintings in Poland,” said Czeslaw Czaplinski, a Princeton-based photographer and longtime friend who was collaborating with Zarre on a book. “He was getting ready to go to Poland when I spoke to him.” That phone conversation, which took place in the summer, would be their last. On July 15, Zarre died after falling in his apartment, barely a month after his 78th birthday. Three days after his death, Zarre’s first cousin in England received a curious call from New York. Jose Yeje, a counterman at a deli in Queens, introduced himself as the executor of Zarre’s will and the sole beneficiary to his multi-million dollar estate. Andrzej Lech Sowulewski was born in Suwalki, a city of nearly 70,00 in northeastern Poland in June 1942. There is little known about his early life. Friends say his mother was a socialite who died when she was 40 years old. His father, John Sowelewski, was born in the US and brought his son to Chicago, where he enrolled him in school in 1959. He has a younger brother who has spent most of his life institutionalized in Poland. By 1973, Sowulewski had changed his name to Andre Zarre and moved to New York City, where he established his first gallery a year later. “Zarre had a real ‘eye’ and was a champion of abstract art from the moment he founded his gallery,” wrote artist Dana Gordon in The New Criterion in Augusta. “His galleries were always spacious and unpretentious, oriented simply to show the art.” In 1981, he moved to the Fuller building at 41 East 57th St., where the city’s most important galleries were located. He showed art by Vanderbilt and photographs by “Being There” author Kosinski. He partied with Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky and diplomats from around the world. He was friends with Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose wife Emilie Benes Brzezinski, a sculptor, was among his stable of artists. Brzezinski, who diet in 2017, was President Jimmy Carter’s National Security advisor and a counselor to President Lyndon Johnson. He was the father of journalist Mika Brzezinski Scarborough. Andre Zarre Czeslaw Czaplinski
Zarre was among the first gallerists to champion the work of contemporary women painters, including Ellen Banks, Dee Shapiro, Elena Borstein and Pat Lipsky. He also collected works by Irene Rice Pereira, an abstract painter and poet who had an important influence on modern art in the US before her death in 1971. Most of his artists would go on to have their works included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney. “He was always following things very acutely,” said Lipsky, 79, adding that Zarre had two of her paintings in his collection. “He is unprecedented in my experience, but he could also be strange.” In 1990, when he was helping Lipsky hang her paintings for a show, he was convinced that his hands were being poisoned by the frames, she said. “He had really good taste, but he could also do things that were really bizarre,” she said. In addition to preparing art shows and writing poetry, Zarre was always looking for new business opportunities, friends told The Post. He once tried to champion Polish cuisine by investing in a food truck, they said. “I never understood why he would get involved in anything except art,” said Nick Wolfson, a New York- and Puerto Rico-based artist who was represented by Zarre, whom he also considered a close friend. “He was a very capable art dealer who was very respected in the art world, but the food truck was a disaster.” When Zarre told Wolfson that he was buying a deli in Queens and working with Yeje last year, Wolfson said he was surprised and a little worried. By then, Zarre was in failing health and nearly blind — easy prey for a hustler, he said. “I realized that Andre was vulnerable,” recalled Wolfson, 76. “He was really going blind and could barely put one foot in front of the other. I asked if he had any plans for his estate.” But Zarre, who was “very guarded and private,” according to Wolfson, shrugged him off, even after Wolfson introduced him to a lawyer friend who urged him to create a will. Instead, on Oct. 19, 2019, Zarre became sole incorporator of the Palermo Delicatessen in Glendale. Yeje was put in charge of the Myrtle Avenue operation, which he told The Post he co-owned. “He asked me to send Yeje some of my paintings so they could hang them in the deli,” Wolfson told The Post, adding that it was the first time he became aware of Yeje. “I guess Andre was trying to make the deli more upmarket and sophisticated, but I thought, ‘Who is this guy? Is it safe to send my paintings?'” Yeje, 50, who describes himself as a businessman, said he lives with his wife and four children in Ozone Park. He runs an ice-cream wholesale business and became business partners with Zarre in the deli, he said. Yeje said he first met Zarre in 2016: “I met him in Valley Stream over an ice cream deal,” he said. “I was the wholesaler and he wanted to be a distributor.” Although the deal fell through, the two became friends, said Yeje. “He was an awesome person,” he said, adding that he eventually became his “caretaker” when Zarre’s health went into further decline and he started to close up his gallery business. “He had bad knees, he couldn’t walk and he had heart problems, diabetes and gout,” said Yeje. “I washed him, I bought his groceries and fed him. He trusted me and I took care of him. He was almost on the verge of coming to live with me in my home. We talked about it a lot.” At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Zarre tested positive for COVID and began experiencing greater problems with his heart. He was rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital where doctors installed a pacemaker, Yeje said. “I washed him [Zarre], I bought his groceries and fed him. He trusted me and I took care of him. - Jose Yeje Jeanette Malaty, a lawyer whose office is next to the Palermo Deli, recalled seeing Zarre six days a week when she would stop in to buy her morning coffee. “Jose would order a car service for him to come every day, and sometimes Andre would fall asleep with his head on the table in the back,” said Malaty. She said Zarre approached her in January to draw up a will. She told The Post that she asked him for a list of assets but by the time she was ready to draft the will, she was forced to shut down her office due to the pandemic. According to friends and some of the artists he represented, Zarre closed down his Chelsea gallery — the last one he owned in the city — when his health began to fail a few years ago. He had some of the art he had acquired over the years in his apartment, but had also put a great deal in storage, said a friend who did not want to be identified. “I can’t comment on the will,” said Malaty, adding that she did not draft it although she said she has seen a copy. The copy of the will that The Post viewed did not include an inventory of the art dealer’s assets. “I am not going to talk about any of his assets because it’s all confidential,” said Malaty. “All I can tell you is that Jose was the closest person in his life. I saw it myself.” But neighbors and workers at Zarre’s Park Avenue building where he lived for 32 years told The Post that Yeje only started to come around in the last several months of Zarre’s life. “He only knew the guy for the last eight months, if that,” said a building maintenance worker who did not want to be identified. “Nobody liked him here. … He just took over his life.” Still, on July 15, when Zarre was rushed to hospital after falling in his bathroom, it was Yeje who was called by building management and it was Yeje who was entrusted with the care of the gallerist’s beloved 12-year-old cat Cappuccino. “They called me from the building, and while I was in the process of driving over there in my car, Andre had a heart attack,” said Yeje, whose signature appears on Zarre’s death certificate where he claims to be the art dealer’s nephew. Shortly after Zarre’s death, Yeje contacted Zarre’s cousin in England, informing him that Zarre had died and that he was now the art dealer’s sole heir. “I was shocked,” said Arkadiusz Tomasik, speaking through his son Daniel, who translated from the Polish. “For more than 30 years, he said that he would leave us everything. He never told us he had changed his will.” Tomasik told The Post that he last spoke to Zarre on July 6 — the same day he signed a will making Yeje his sole beneficiary. But the subject never came up. “We can’t believe that he did this,” said Tomasik, adding that Zarre took care of his brother, Krysztof, who is institutionalized in Poland. “It’s not possible.” Others who knew the art dealer also had questions. “How did he sign his name? Did he know what he was signing and how did he get to Queens?” said Phillys Dubrow, a Manhattan trusts and estates attorney who had urged Zarre to make a will years before, and represented him in a failed legal action to recoup one of his artist’s estates a few years ago. “This can’t be,” said another longtime friend in the Park Avenue building. “Andre was legally blind. We used to take his finger to help him sign his checks.” Yeje refused comment on the will, where he is listed as “friend/caretaker” to Zarre. “He always gave me instructions with people I needed to call after his death,” said Yeje. “And I have called all of them.” On Sept. 21, Yeje sent a notarized letter to Tomasik offering cash and land that Zarre owned in Poland in exchange for not challenging the will. “Also I will give to them a sum of $45,000 from bank account in Poland upon signature required for a non-contest of will which is attached to this document,” said the statement that Malaty notarized, viewed by The Post. Tomasik said that he suspects that Zarre had a great deal more in cash in Polish accounts, and the family is considering legal action. This surprised Malaty and Yeje, who said they have had nothing but cordial conversations with Tomasik. After his death, Zarre’s remains were sent to the Fresh Pond Crematory in Middle Village, according to the death certificate viewed by The Post. Yeje said he couldn’t hold a funeral and invite Zarre’s friends because of the coronavirus pandemic. But he said he had promised his family in England that he would send them a portion of Zarre’s ashes.