Bolek Greczynski, 44, Art Therapist at Creedmoor (New York Times, March 10, 1995)
Bolek Greczynski, who was known for his work with patients as artist-in-residence at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, died on Saturday at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Mr. Greczynski, who lived in Manhattan, was 44.
The cause of death was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said a friend, Dr. Janos Marton, a psychologist at Creedmoor.
In 1984, Mr. Greczynski founded what came to be known as Creedmoor’s Living Museum, transforming a dining hall into an exhibition site for art created by Creedmoor patients. One show, “White Sale: Revolution Denied” in 1984, was characterized by the use of bandagelike wrappings, anonymous white-painted objects and declamatory texts.
On several occasions, Mr. Greczynski exhibited collaboratively with his patients, whom he sometimes referred to as “aristocrats of the mind.”
Over the years, some 50,000 people visited the Living Museum. Resolutely anti-collector, Mr. Greczynski never sold or gave away the components of the exhibitions.
Mr. Greczynski was born in Cracow, Poland, and attended the Academy of Fine Arts there. He became involved with Wprost, a group of painters and intellectuals involved in political art. He was also a member of the highly regarded, experimental Theater Stu and its associated gallery.
He left Poland for Argentina in 1978, arriving at the height of a reign of terror. Before the year was out, he opened a show that was ostensibly a homage to the German painter Matthias Grunewald. But the installation included a prison cell and torture chamber and was read as a political act, which led to a series of bomb threats at the exhibition site.
Mr. Greczynski moved to the United States in 1984.
He is survived by his parents, Stanislava Zaviszanka and Tadausz Greczynski, both of Cracow, and a half brother, Jan Greczynski, of Columbus Falls, Mont.