Fritz Janschka: My Choice, Joyce!

30 drawings and 12 watercolors of “creative fantasies” inspired by James Joyce’s literature.

Drawings and watercolors of "creative fantasies" inspired by James Joyce's literature will be on display at Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery from September 4 through October 13. Entitled, "My Choice: Joyce!," the exhibit includes 30 drawings and 12 watercolors created by Fritz Janschka over the past half-century.

There will be a reception in the gallery on September 15 from 5p.m. to 7p.m., and Janschka will talk about the exhibit and his work at 6p.m. The Exhibit is free and open to the public.

"My Choice: Joyce!" will include pieces inspired by two James Joyce works "Finnegan's Wake" and "Chamber Music." The drawings and watercolors, which highlight Janschka's fascination with Joyce's literary imagery, will chronicle his artistic development over the past 50 years.

Janschka, who was born and raised in Vienna, knew very little English when he arrived in the United States in 1949. He read James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" and although he didn't completely understand the language, he was inspired by the "fountain of Latin, Greek and Scandinavian images."

While growing up in Austria, Janschka's education was interrupted by three years of World War II military service that ended in 1843 when he became severely wounded during armed conflict in Russia. Following months of rehabilitation in a Vienna hospital, Janschka resumed his studies at the Akademie fur bildende Kunste. There he met a group of young painters, known as the "Wiener Schule des Phantastichen Realismus," whose work consisted of surrealistic portrayals of the horrors of war and post-war experience.

Janschka moved to the United States in 1949 and became an artist-in-residence at Bryn Mawr College. During his more than 30 years as a professor of fine arts at Bryn Mawr, he adopted a style using rich colors and a decorative expressiveness, inspired less by wartime memories and more by works of literature. While he has drawn and painted images based on the literature of Franz Kafka and other notable authors, James Joyce's words have remained the major source of his motivation throughout his career.

Janscka, 81, is a founding member of the of the International Art Club as well as the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, a creative movement that grew out of classic French surrealism in 1947.

His drawings and watercolors have appeared in countless group and one-man exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, and the City of Vienna presented him with the Gold Medal of Merit in 1989.

Fritz Janschka currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.