Polish Posters

Teresa Pagowska – Exhibition of Paintings by Henryk Tomaszewski / Poland
12th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1988
Gold medal in the category of posters promoting culture and art
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The prestigious Warsaw International Poster Biennale (IPB) was first held in 1966, co-founded by Polish artist Józef Mroszczak (1910-1975) who served as its chairman until the time of his death. If you are familiar with this event you well know many of the finest names in the creative industry have been associated with the Biennale over its ongoing lifespan. Since 1994, the Wilanów Poster Museum in Poland has organized the IPB and hosted the poster exhibit. The museum itself is quite a destination, boasting one of the largest collections of art posters in the world—over 55,000 works  and counting. Anyone I know who has had the good fortune to visit the museum swoons about it. Needless to say, it is on my ‘to do’ list.

Bez etikietki grustno! by Andrey Logvin / Russia
15th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1996
Gold medal in the category of advertising posters

Hadrian VII by Henryk Tomaszewski / Poland
3rd International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1970
Gold medal in the category of posters promoting culture and art

Feta – Young Theatre Festival by Joanna Górska / Poland
18th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 2002
Honourable prizes

Death Kit – Susan Sontag by Wieslaw Rosocha / Poland
15th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1996
Special prize of Józef Mroszczak

Alpha Cubic by Makoto Saito / Japan
13th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1990
Silver medal in the category of advertising posters

Love by Henryk Tomaszewski / Poland
14th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1994
Bronze medal in the category of advertising posters

Dietrich Schade by Jørgen Stock / German Democratic Republic (GDR) – East Germany
5th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1974
Gold medal in the category “Water, an element of life”

Stach & Piotr Mlodozeniec Paintings by Piotr Mlodozeniec / Poland
16th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1998
Silver medal in the category of posters promoting culture and art

If you win you finish up early? by Satoji Kashimoto / Japan
16th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1998
Gold medal in the category of advertising posters

Extreme – Absolute Ultimativ by Georg Staehelin / Switzerland
16th International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1998
Gold medal in the category of posters promoting culture and art

Polish Film Posters, 1950s.

by Sandi Vincent

Julian Palka (1923–2002) / Les Enfants du Paradis / French film poster, 1955

Mr. Palka was a graduate of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. He worked in poster, book and magazine illustration, display design.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Polish film posters from the mid-20th century have attained iconic status. Operating behind the Iron Curtain, a diverse group of Polish artists communicated their own unique style through their poster art. In the 1950s two state organizations were responsible for commissioning film posters in Poland, both Film Polski (Polish Film) and Centrala Wynajmu FilmowCWF (Movie Rentals Central). The creators of the posters were hired as artists rather than graphic designers and were given a considerable amount of latitude in their work. The death of Stalin in 1953 allowed for an even larger degree of artistic freedom resulting in a decade-long golden era for the formidable Polish Poster School. (More resource links provided below.)

Józef Mroszczak (1910–1975) / Borys Godunow / Russian film poster, 1955

Mr. Mroszczak studied in the School of Decorative Arts and Artistic Crafts in Cracow and Kunstgewerbeschule and Graphische Lehr und Versuchanstalt in Vienna. He was professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw from 1952 to 1975. He worked in poster, exhibition arrangement, applied graphics art and had been a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI).

Roman Cieslewicz (1930–1996) / Zanim Simon ujrzal swiat / Hungarian film poster, 1955

Mr. Cieslewicz graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow in 1955. Having arrived in France in 1963, he became a naturalized French citizen in 1971. He worked for many publishers of books and periodicals either as a graphic artist or as an art director. He also created the graphic design for the magazines Opus International, Kitsch and Cnac-archives. Cieslewicz took part in numerous group exhibitions of graphic, poster and photographic art. Beginning in 1975 he taught at the Ecole Superieure d’Arts Graphiques (ESAG) in Paris. He was a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI).

Józef Mroszczak (1910–1975) / Diabel wcielony / French film poster, 1956

Jan Mlodozeniec (1929–2000) / Przed potopem / French film poster, 1955

Mr. Mlodozeniec was a graduate of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and specialized in book and magazine layout, studio graphic work, and since 1953 in poster design.

Julian Palka (1923–2002) / Panna de Scudery Fräulein von Scuderi / German film poster, 1955

Jan Lenica (1928–2001) / Dzieci Hiroszimy / Japanese film poster, 1955

Mr. Lenica was a graduate of the Architecture Department of Warsaw Polytechnic. He lived and worked in France since 1963 to 1986 and then lived in Berlin since 1987. Lenica was a professor of graphic, poster, animated cartoon for many years at German high schools. He worked in illustration, graphic art and graphic design, scenography, poster, animated and satirical cartoon.

[ All images via Gebrauchsgraphik No. 11, 1956 ]
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>> Polish Film Posters flickr set
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

See/learn more:
Freedom on the Fence
– Film documentary about the history of Polish posters
The Legacy of Polish Poster Design
– Smashing Magazine
Polish Poster Art – Wiktor Sadowski
Classic Polish Film Posters – English translation link at top right

Classic Polish posters for purchase:
Les Affiches
– Vintage Polish Poster Gallery
The Art of Poster – Polish Poster Gallery

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sandi          VincentSandi Vincent grew up in the bay area of California surrounded by mid-century modern architecture and other influences responsible for her affinity for the period and its pop style, including her early exposure to The Monkees, The Avengers and Gerald McBoing-Boing. Sandi now resides in Portland and is a board member of a local nonprofit preservation group, the Mid-Century Modern League. In her day job at a community foundation, she sports the web/social media/print materials coordinator title.

Follow Sandi on Twitter > @SandiV
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .