The art of the Polish poster is perhaps the field of Polish art which is the most well-known and the best-loved in Western Europe. It was one of the fields of Polish cultural life which – along with cinema – managed to cut through the iron curtain and take root in the minds of a Western public. ‘The Polish Poster School’ has, through force of circumstance, become one of the very few Polish ‘brands’ which are present in Western cultural life.
The works which are on show during the exhibition ‘Enfant terrible. La nouvelle affiche polonaise’ are the result of an artistic selection process of several dozen posters recently created by Polish graphic artists of a certain age as well as those from the up-and-coming generation; the connection between these posters and ‘The Polish Poster School’ is ambivalent, even openly indifferent. Very different from a stylistic point of view, these pieces of work are inspired both by the classics of the genre and contemporary graphic trends. Their authors use the vector image, industrial graphic methods, photography and painting techniques in a highly interesting way. What the exhibited works have in common is their freedom of expression, the way they deal with their subject matter in a brave and intelligent manner and the search for innovative and original graphic solutions.
It’s no accident that these posters, with their contemporary and original form present themes which are linked to culture (in a broad sense), including niche culture and club culture. These thematic areas allow artists to take risks with form by playing with different graphic means whilst still attracting people who look at posters for their authenticity and freedom of expression. As for the involvement of these artists in cultural life and artistic activity, this has helped stimulate the development of graphic design projects in Poland.
Exhibition curators: Magdalena and Artur Frankowski, Zofia Machnicka
Organisers: Polish Institute – Cultural Service of the Polish Embassy in Brussels, Bozar EXPO