Polish posters from the 60s and 70s

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‘Polski Plakat’

The Polish poster miraculously owes its rich post-war development to the communist regime. Polish artists were given free rein to let loose their creativity with a particular expressive and graphic language, on the condition that the political message was conveyed adequately. However, this enthusiasm soon diminished and the most gifted creators resorted to designing cultural posters. Their artistic freedom was maintained so they could produce an individualized poster in regards to observation, layout and contents.

Therefore, the ‘Polish School’ is characterized by an open, unique and neat design. Henryk Tomaszewski (1914–2005) can be considered as the founding father and most prominent representative of this approach, but many other Polish creators have earned a special place in the world of posters with their graphic masterpieces.

Polish posters possess a rich history and are famed for their undisputable artistic value. This is demonstrated by the current relevance of this selection of posters from the 60s and 70s. The exhibited posters originate from the Catapult and Luk Mestdagh collections.

The exposition runs until Sept. 29, 2023.

  • SwierzyWaldemar,MIZOGUCHI,B1(98x68cm),1969
‘Mizoguchi film retrospective’, 1969, B1 (98x68 cm), Waldemar SWIEZRZY
  • _SwierzyWaldemar_1971_PoskromienieZiosnicy_DSC_8941
‘Poskromienie zlosnicy’, 1971, A1 (84x59 cm), Waldemar SWIEZRZY
  • JutroMeksyk_1965_StachurskiMarian_DSC_8959
‘Jutro Meksyk’, 1965, A1 (84x59 cm), Marian STACHURSKI
  • Swierzy-Waldemar_1978_Bez-znieczulenia_DSC_8821
‘Bez znieczulenia’, 1978, B1 (98x68 cm), Waldemar SWIEZRZY
  • HilscherHubert_1970_WarsawAutumn_DSC_8895
‘Warsaw Autum’, 1970, B1 (98x68 cm), Hubert HILSCHER
  • SwierzyWaldemar_-_międzynarodowy-rok-ksiazki_DSC_8890
‘Międzynarodowy Rok Ksiazki’, ?, B1 (98x68 cm), Waldemar SWIEZRZY
‘Polish School of Posters’

‘The gallery of the Poster is the street’ — this concise sentence from Henryk Tomaszewski appropiately illustrates the phenomenon of the Polish poster. In the grim reality of post-war Poland unusual posters — rich in artistic expression, symbols, metaphors and peculiar shapes and colors — emerged in the reconstructed streets. The poster, designed by excellent artists, became an art form and the street turned into its drawing-room.

During the 60s, it was coined ‘Polish School of Posters’, as recognition for its uniqueness and innovativeness. Up until today, the posters of Polish artists are particularly diverse and attract conspicuous people. Furthermore, it encompasses different art forms and continuously explores new means of expression.

  • _Tomaszewski-Henryk_1971,Jazz-Jamboree-71_DSC_8873
‘Jazz Jamboree 71’, 1971, B1 (98x68 cm), Henryk TOMASZEWSKI

Polski Plakat
(April 1 – Sept. 29, 2023)

Location: Catapult, Rubenslei 10, 2018 Antwerp (Belgium)
Visiting hours: Monday – Friday 10 AM – 6 PM, weekends and official holidays by appointment only (anton@catapult.be)
Exhibition design and curation: Catapult

Posters from the Catapult and Luk Mestdagh collections