Karin Jaroszynska English

Karin Jaroszynska, née Heikkinen was born in Helsinki (Finland) in January 1934. She studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Helsinki between 1951 and 1956, where she met fellow-student Tadeusz. They married in 1954 and moved to South Africa in 1957.

In 1978, Karin et Tadeusz moved to the Loire Valley, in France, where they painted for 5 years.

Karin and Tadeusz returned to South Africa in 1983. In 1997, they moved back to France.

Karin died in April 2014. 

Karin Jaroszynska, née Heikkinen (1934-2014), was born in Helsinki on January 22nd, 1934. Her parents were Finns of Swedish origin and her father, Uno, was a passionate painter who conveyed his love of art to his daughter from an early age.

During the Russian bombings over Helsinki, in 1939, Karin, then only 6 years old and her two younger siblings Marianne and Henryk were sent to Sweden by sea. They wore labels on their necks, including their and their parents’ names and joined the 80,000 children sent out of Finland to escape the bombing, while their parents remained. The children only returned after the war.

Inspired by her father, Karin drew and painted throughout her childhood as well as playing the piano and practicing gymnastics at a high level and was even short listed for the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games. She was once spotted by Ingmar Bergman’s film agency scouts but turned down their movie proposal!

In 1951, Karin was admitted both to the Academy of Fine Arts and the Helsinki Conservatory of Music. She chose to study painting.

Karin and Tadeusz met during their years at the Academy and married in 1954. Their had their two first sons, Dino and Jan while they were both still students.

The family subsequently settled down in South Africa in 1957, where their daughter, Karolina and later their son, Henryk were born.

They would eventually be surrounded by the many animals that inspired their art: chickens, monkeys, parrots and horses.

While Karin painted and taught sculpture, Tadeusz worked for Olivetti. Those early years were difficult, and Karin would sometimes sit in Ansteys Department Store, in Johannesburg drawing portraits of whoever came by to supplement the family’s income.

However, in 1967 Tadeusz’s painting talent was recognised when he received the Transvaal Academy Award. This bolstered his confidence and allowed him to devote himself to painting full time from 1972.

In the early ‘70s Karin and Tadeusz developed an interest in lithographs while visiting Finland and published a work entitled “The Helsinki Series” in Johannesburg between 1975–1977.

This work got them noticed on the European exhibition scene and led to their work being shown every year at the prestigious art fair in Basel, Switzerland.

Their paintings were also regularly shown at the Graphic Biennale and International Art Fair, in New York, Paris (FIAC and MIGAME), London, Strasbourg (ST’ART ), Cologne, Bologna and further afield.

In 1977 the couple left South Africa for Sweden, where they spent a year before settling in France.

In 1984 Karin and Tadeusz returned to South Africa where they lived and painted near Tzaneen in the north of the country.

In 1989, the South African art historian, Leoni Schmidt published ‘Karin Jaroszyńska: An introduction to her work’, which was displayed at Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the couple travelled extensively in Europe as well as visiting Hong Kong, China, the Philippines and Australia. In 1997, the couple settled permanently to France, their adopted homeland and lived in Villeloin Coulangé, in the Touraine, near their daughter Karolina.

In 2019, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum (South Africa) organised an important art show entitled “The clown, the horse and the hound by Karin Jaroszynska” as a celebration of female artists in South Africa.

Karin died in 2014.


Solo Exhibitions

1965 Gallery 101, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gallery Strindberg, Helsinki, Finland

1971 Lidchi Gallery, Johannesburg

1972 Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

1980 Galerie Romanet, Paris, France

1982 Galerie Romanet, Bâle, Switzerland

1984 Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

1984-85 Collector’s Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

1985-87 Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

1992 Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg

1993 Galerie Etienne de Causans, Paris

1996 Sheila Nussbaunu, Mittburn Gallery, New Jersey, USA

1997 Galerie Hughes de Payns, Troyes, France

2019 Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfountaine, South Africa

Exhibitions with Tadeusz Jaroszynski

1974 Gallery Artek, Helsinki, Finland

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa

1975 Gallery 21, Johannesburg

Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa

1976 Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of the Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg

Gallery International, Cape Town

Arts Association, Pretoria, South Africa

Public and Private Collections

South Africa : South African National Gallery (Cape Town) – Pretoria Art Gallery (Pretoria) – Sandton Municipal Art Gallery (Sandton) – Pietersburg Art Gallery (Pietersburg) – Potchefstroom Art Gallery (Potchefstroom) – Rand Afrikaans University (Johannesburg) – University of the Witwaterstrand (Johannesburg) – Sasol Limited (Johannesburg)

PELMAMA Permanent Art Collection

Finland : Jantti Collection (Helsinki)

USA : Anglo-American (New York)

Germany : Frenchen Biennial (Frenchen)

United Kingdom: Anglo-First Kensington (London) – Schlensinger Collection (London)

Suède : Ostergotalands Lans Landsting (Linkoping)

Many private collections: Mary Slack, Oppenheimer…

Group Exhibitions

Helsinki – Johanneburg – Pretoria – Bâle – London – Frenchen – Segovia – Ljubjana –

Cologne – Vienna – Cape Town – Frederikstad – Biella – San Francisco – Monte Carlo –

Washington – Paris – New York