Fayga Ostrower

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Fayga Ostrower
Fayga Ostrower (1956).tif
Fayga Ostrower (1956)
Fayga Perla Krakowski

(1920-09-14)14 September 1920
Łódź, Poland
Died13 September 2001(2001-09-13) (aged 80)
NationalityPolish / Brazilian
EducationGetúlio Vargas Foundation
Known forEngraving, printing, painting, illustration
MovementAbstract expressionism
Heinz Ostrower
(m. 1941; died 1992)

Fayga Perla Ostrower (née Krakowski; 14 September 1920, Łódź, — 13 September 2001, Rio de Janeiro) was an engraver, painter, designer, illustrator, art theorist and university professor.[1][2]


Fayga Ostrower was born Fayga Perla Krakowski to a Jewish family at Łódź. In 1921 the family moved to Elberfeld and Barmen in Germany, where Ostrower attended primary and secondary schools. In the early 1930s, following difficulties with the German authorities, the family sought refuge in Belgium, and emigrated to Brazil in 1934, where they took up residence in Nilópolis. Ostrower began work as a secretary while studying art at the Fine Arts Association, and in 1946 attended design classes at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation’s Brazilian Society of Fine and Graphic Arts, where she studied metal and wood engraving, and art history, with tutors Axel Leskoschek, Tomás Santa Rosa, Carlos Oswald and Anna Levy. In 1955 she spent a year in New York through a Fulbright Scholarship, engraving under the tutelage of Stanley Hayter.[1][2][3]

Ostrower exhibited and won prizes in the international Art Biennials of São Paulo (1951 to 1967), Venice (1958 and 1962) and Mexico (1960).[1][2]

In 2002 the Fayga Ostrower Institute was founded in Rio de Janeiro in memory of Ostrower, to house her works and documents, and to provide for creative, fine art and interdisciplinary study.

In 1941 Ostrower married marxist activist Heinz Ostrower, both becoming naturalized in 1951. They had a son Carl Robert (b. 1949), and daughter Anna Leonor (b. 1952).[1][2]


Between 1954 and 1970 Ostrower lectured in Composition and Critical Analysis at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro. In the 1960s she taught at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and in 1964 at Spelman College, Atlanta. Subsequently, she held posts within postgraduate programmes within various Brazilian universities. Consecutively she developed art courses for workers and community centres, and gave lectures at various cultural institutions.[1][2]

Selected exhibitions[edit]


  • 1951 to 1967 – São Paulo Biennial
  • 1957 – Modern Art in Brazil (Buenos Aires, Rosário, Santiago, Lima)
  • 1958 and 1962 – Venice Biennial
  • 1960 – Mexico Biennial
  • 1960 – Certame Latin American Engraving Exhibition, Buenos Aires
  • 1965 – Contemporary Brazilian Art (London, Vienna, Bonn)
  • 1965 – Contemporary Brazilian Engravers (Cornell University)
  • 2012 – Centro Cultural Rio de Janeiro: Diálogos[3][4]



Organisational involvement[edit]

  • 1963 to 1966 – President of the Associação Brasileira de Artes Plásticas (Brazilian Association of Arts)
  • 1978 to 1988 – Director of the Brazilian committee of Unesco's International Society of Education Through Art (INSEA)
  • Honorary Member of the Academy of Art and Design, Florence
  • 1982 to 1988 – member of the Conselho Estadual de Cultura (Cultural Board of Rio de Janeiro State)[1][2]



  • Ostrower, Fayga (1983); Universos da arte; Editora Campus, Rio de Janeiro. ISBN 8570011121
  • Ostrower, Fayga (1990); Acasos e criacao artistic; Editora Campus, Rio de Janeiro. ISBN 8570015992
  • Puerto, Cecilia (1996); Latin American Women Artists, Kahlo and Look Who Else:, pp. 1407–8; Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313289344


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Falbel, Anat; Falbel, Nachman; Jewish Women Encyclopedia. Retrieved 9 April 2012
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Fayga Ostrower – a short biography Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Instituto Fayga Ostrower. Retrieved 9 April 2012
  3. ^ a b Nairn, Olivia (31 January 2012); Brazil Focus Part II: Fayga Ostrower e Alex Gama: Díalogos Archived 19 January 2013 at Archive.today, Creatures of Culture. Retrieved 9 April 2012
  4. ^ a b c Fayga Ostrower's works in museums in Brazil and abroad Archived 3 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Instituto Fayga Ostrower. Retrieved 9 April 2012
  5. ^ Fayga Ostrower Illustrator, Museu Lasar Segall 12 November 2011 to 4 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012
  6. ^ Fayga Ostrower, Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 9 April 2012
  7. ^ Fayga Ostrower, Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 9 April