Theo Wujcik (1936-2014) is an American painter and printmaker from Detroit, MI. Wujcik is famous for his innovative techniques which enlisted a multitude of styles and materials, unbound by any specific artistic style. These included drawings and prints of the famous artists he called friends, using charcoal and polymer emulsion to pioneer the chiseled engraving technique, and the chain link motif found throughout his various installations, which he used to communicate his ideas, memories and stories on environmental and sociopolitical issues through layers of paint and various salvaged materials.
Wujcik trained at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit under modernist, Sarkis Sarkisian, before completing his postgraduate work at the University of New Mexico. He would go on to train as a master printer at the Tamrind Lithography Workshop in Albuquerque and in Los Angeles where he printed for artists such as John Altoon, Ed Moses, and Jasper Johns.
In 1970, he moved on to the University of South Florida where he became the director of the university’s, Graphicstudio. During this time, he began illustrating portraits of the periods leading artists and his friends, Rosenquist, Ruscha, Jasper Johns, Philip Pearlstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy Lichtenstein, among others. However, by the end of the decade he began to shift his focus from drawing and printmaking to painting and working with mixed media. Inspired by punk rock music and slam dancing, he began dumpster diving for materials to use in installations, which he called “combustibles.” These were shown in vacant buildings and streets across South Florida.
Wujcik’s works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Chicago Art Institute, the Library of Congress and The National Gallery of Art, among other prestigious institutions. He also, received recognition in the forms of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, a Ford Foundation Grant, an NEA Printmaking Fellowship, Richard Florsheim Art Fund, and the Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting.