Studied painting at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts (graduated in 1980), now he is a Professor at his alma mater. Outstanding painter, he was member of the “Gruppa” (1983 -1992) – the most crucial group of painters in the eighties in Poland. He carried out his own distinctive strategy of painting, spanning the school of pure painting (derived from the studio of Stefan Gierowski) with the suggestive figurative formula of Andrzej Wroblewski. Employing formal density and “momentary” narrative – he depicts moments from reality captured like staged scenes: everyday situations, fragments of interiors or landscape. Every painting operates within realism. Nevertheless, by the means of a schematic, simplified and monumental expression he approaches the subject matter arbitrary, transmuting the mundane into the sublime. “I chose the side of reality and objective realm – says the artist – I suppose by confronting this reality I have the opportunity to speak about profound, ethical issues.”
The characteristic aura of Modzelewski’s paintings and cinematic technique of conveying makes him being compared with Edward Hopper by critics. In 1998 Modzelewski received the Passport Award from the Polish weekly “Polityka” and in 2004 the prestigious Jan Cybis Award. Zderzak Gallery published catalogue raisonné of his paintings, “Jaroslaw Modzelewski. Obrazy 1977-2006” (2006).