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Eric Karpeles

Jozef Czapski's 20th Century Life

Polish painter and writer Jozef Czapski (pronounced CHAP-skee) is virtually unknown to American artists and readers of the English language, though he is a figure of considerable historical, political, and cultural importance in both Western and Eastern Europe. Moved by the quality of Czapski’s work and the integrity of his life, Commonweal Board Member Eric Karpeles is writing a book that will be both an introduction to his character and achievements, and a critical assessment of his painting and writing, placing this creative legacy into an historical context. Fresh from his return after a long research trip to Poland, Eric presents an illustrated talk about Czapski to TNS, followed by a conversation with Michael Lerner.

Jozef Czapski


Eric Karpeles

Commonweal Board Member Eric Karpeles is a painter and writer. Born and raised in New York, he has also lived in India and in France, settling in Bolinas in 2007. His painting career has been shaped by the quest for a spiritual presence in art, and by a negative response to the elitism of the contemporary marketplace. The Rockefeller Chapel is a room-sized painting he completed in 1996, a permanent installation at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York City. Karpeles writes about painting and the intersection of literature and visual aesthetics; his book, Paintings in Proust, translated into several languages, was a “book of the year” in the NY Times, the Times of London, and The Wall Street Journal.