Saturday, November 18, 2017

your turn no. 10

Starowieyski's Czerwona Magia, 1970s

Anything to say about the polish poster? Pick your favorite, go ahead,

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jerzy Flisak, master of the "ugly"

Jerzy Flisak was a drawer, poster, graphic and set designer. Graduated from Jose Marti High School in Warsaw, he studied architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology.

He made his debut in 1950, still as a student, in the competition organized by the weekly magazine Szpilki, where he became graphic editor later.

Furthermore, his illustrations were published in Świerszczyk, Płomyczek, Polityka, weekly magazine Świat, Przeglądz Kulturalny.

Flisak' is the master of a style often described as neglectful.
1- deliberately ugly,
2- non-aesthetic,
3- painted with fat paintbrushes, done almost casually.
4- this "clumsiness" makes for Flisak's inexhaustible humor,

Jan Sawka

Mr. Sawka studied art, printmaking and architecture during a period of political ferment throughout Eastern Europe, including the widespread student protests throughout Poland in 1968 that set off a brutal government crackdown on dissidents.

His poster designs for avant-garde theater groups became well known for their wordplay and their deadpan style, in which symbols of protest were often stitched into the graphics.

By the mid-'70s, foreign art critics had begun noticing the black humor in his work and raving about his subtle style of anti-authoritarianism.

what's the Sawka's secret?

1- go against the grain (political, social),
2- use hand held typeface,
3- the image says it all,
4- humor drives the design,

Awards: 1975 Oscar de la Peinture in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France for painting and the Gold Medal at the 1978 Warsaw Poster Biennial. In 1981, when martial law was imposed in Poland, the AFL-CIO sponsored a bipartisan fundraiser that sold Sawka's Solidarity poster in the millions to provide immediate support to the besieged Solidarity movement. In 1989, Sawka designed a 10-story tall set for The Grateful Dead's 25th Anniversary tour. In 1993, he created his first full multi-media spectacle, "The Eyes" in Japan. This was the beginning of his collaboration with Japanese studios and corporations, which includes the creation of high-tech interactive sculptures and monumental installations, as well as designs for full-scale monumental architecture. Sawka designed "The Tower of Light Cultural Complex" for Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., presented to the Royal Family in 1996.

Mieczysław Szczuka

Teresa Żarnower (1895-1950) was Mieczysław Szczuka’s partner in both life and art. She belonged to the interwar period with its constructivist avant-garde environment and is considered a pioneer of this trend in Poland. She was a co-creator of the magazine Blok

In her posters and photomontages she combined her political engagement and picks of the avant-garde. Żarnower also designed covers for left-wing publications, including Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Poems (1927), which remains a classical example of modern cover design. She combined the author’s photograph with vertical and horizontal divisions. Żarnower’s most recognised poster is probably the parliamentary election campaign poster designed for Worker-Peasant Unity (1928), which shows the punishing fist of the workers’ society hitting the wall of a prison.

Wiktor Górka

Wiktor Górka (1922-2004) was one of the founders of the Polish poster school, whose most famous work is the poster design for the cult film Cabaret (1973) directed by Bob Fosse with a memorable performance by Liza Minelli.

The poster depicts cabaret dancers’ legs in black stockings as well as Joel Grey’s face in daring makeup, which together form the shape of a swastika. In 1970, Górka went to Havana with a group of Polish artists to conduct design workshops in Cuba.

What's Gorka's touch?

1- make it big
2- pop influence,
3- cartoonish humor,
3- striking color,
4- center symmetry,

Mieczysław Szczuka (the influence of neue typographie)

 Mieczysław Szczuka (1989-1927) is one of the top representatives of the Polish avant-garde of the 1920s, for whom functional art was key. He did very fine photomontages. He designed posters and campaign materials for the Polish Communist party.

Along with his life partner and co-worker, Teresa Żarnower, they produced Blok magazine (initially with the assistance of Władysław Strzemiński and Henryk Stażewski), which initiated the era of functional printing (the idea came from Strzemiński – he proclaimed that the concept of a graphic layout should be equivalent to a literary construction, a visualisation of an idea).

Their most acclaimed work, executed in the spirit of their new typography, was the graphic design for Anatol Stern’s poem Europa (1929).

Jan Lenica's "Janco The New Musician"

Jan Lenica's weird visions

Jan Lenica (1928-2002) is a master of the so-called "slime-and-gore" period of the Polish poster. Click for Polanski's Repulsion (above), here.

Lenica's art was associated with film and theater. He studied in the Faculty of Architecture at the Poznań Technical University. 

Lenica worked in satirical cartoon drawing, illustration, graphic art and graphic design, exhibition design, scenography, posters, animated films. 

Lenica's touch: 

1- surreal images, 
2- dark humor, 
3- absurd, 
4- dadaist photomontage. 

Major awards: National Exhibition of Illustration, Posters and Small Format Graphics, Warsaw, 1955, first prize; Film Poster Exhibition, Warsaw 1956, Central Film Office prize; Toulouse-Lautrec Grand Prix, Versailles 1961; International Film Poster Exhibition, Karlove Vary 1962, first and third prizes, International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1966, gold Medal; International Tourism Poster Exhibition, Catania, 1971, Gold Medal; Prix Jules Cheret, France 1985.

Franciszek Starowieyski's superrealism

Franciszek Starowieyski (b. 1930) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. He works in graphic design, drawing, theater, television scenography, murals and posters. He was the originator of the so-called "Theater of Drawing." 

No standard typeface either, in the school of Tomaszewski. See how he favors calligraphy over typeface. Are they not related? 

Major Awards: International Biennale of the Arts, Sao Paulo 1973, award; Cannes Film Festival 1974, film poster award; International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, Silver Medal 1974, 1978; International Film Festival, Chicago, film poster Gold Plaque 1979, film poster competition Silver Hugo 1982.

What's Starowieysk's style? 

1- use of fine calligraphy,  
2- theatricality, 
3- female bodies & the skull, 
3- ornamental motifs.

Starowieyski's style, often called "superrealism" (influenced by trends in animation in the late 1960's and early 1970's from artists René Laloux and Roland Torpor) explores violence, dark humor and alien themes.

Roman Cieślewicz (the metaphysical poster)

Cieślewicz (1930-1996) transformed the poster into a metaphysical medium to express ideas that would be difficult to articulate verbally. 

He brought a number of techniques to graphic design: enlarging, montage, halftones images to a scale that turns the dots into texture, setting up an interplay between two levels of information: the image and the dots they create. Cieślewic worked in poster art, book typography, photomontage and collage. 

What's Cieślewicz style?

1- Surreal, 
 2- Russian constructivist avant-garde of the 1920s + the feel of Blok (the Polish group), 
3- Romantic poetic vision + Cold rationalism, 
4- Symmetry pictorial elements.

Major awards: WAG Trepkowski Prize 1955; Film Poster Exhibition, Warsaw 1956, Central Film Office Prize; International Film Poster Exhibition, Karlove Vary 1964, first prize; National Poster Biennale, Katowice, Silver Medal 1965, Gold Medal 1967, 1971; International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, Gold Medal 1972, Bronze Medal 1984; Polish Poster Biennale, Katowice 1973, Gold Medal; Poster Biennale, Lahti 1993, second prize.

Wiesław Wałkuski's monsters

Wiesław Wałkuski (b. 1956) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. 

He works in painting, illustration and posters. After finishing his studies, Wałkuski worked for Polfilm and Film Polski to produce artwork and cover designs. 

What's Wałkuski's secret?

1- shocking surreal
2- have shocking value, 
3- be cerebral, 
4- be aggressive,

Hanna Bodnar

What's the style of Bodnar? 

1- painting + drawing = mixed media, 
2- quizzical images, 
3- lower case, 
4- the female figure.

Henryk Tomaszewski (against standard typeface)

Henryk Tomaszewski (1914-2005) was born in Warsaw and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He taught there from 1952-1985 and was granted the title Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts, London. 

Though he studied commercial art, satirical illustrations and stage design, he devoted himself to poster design for most of his career. He was highly influential as a professor and many of his students went on to become influential poster artists in Poland. 

What do we see here?

1- photo-montage, 
2- dramatic perspectives and 
3- bizarre cropping, 
4- abstract collage with expressive lettering instead of standard typeset typefaces.

Stanislaw Zamecznik

Wojciech Zamecznik (1923-1967) was a distinguished Polish graphic artist, architect, photographer and interior designer. 

Zamecznik's touch:

1- neue typographie for the 1060s
2- to design is to collage

Waldemar Świerzy's

Waldemar Świerzy (1931-2013) style draws on folk art and Twentieth-Century fine art. He incorporates acrylics, crayon, and watercolor into his designs. His Jimmy Hendrix posters are famous for its swirling psychedelic designs. He used to teach at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

Major awards; WAG Trepkowski Award, 1956; Toulouse-Lautrec Grand Prix, Versailles 1959; Polish Poster Biennale, Katowice, Gold Medal, 1965, 1971, 1975, Silver Medal 1977, 1987, 1989, International Tourism Poster Exhibition, Mediolan 1967, Silver Medal; International Biennale of the Arts, Sao Paulo 1969, first prize; International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, Silver Medal 1972, Gold Medal 1976.

what's Świerzy secret?

1- counterculture always lead,
2- be groovy,
3- be pop,