Much Appreciated Gift to Myself From Poland

An especially relevant for these times Polish poster from 1952 by Tadeusz Trepkowski (left).

Today I received in the mail a gorgeous book of Polish poster art entitled The Art of Polish Poster, by Dorota Folga-Januszewska and Lech Majewski, second edition 2021, published by Bosz (The Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw). It spans reproductions of posters from 1588 through 2013. It is an English edition.

This book is not easy to come by in the U.S. That is probably because poster art is so different here, focusing less on symbolic graphics and unique typography, esp for performances and movies, where one must see photos of the stars, scenes, etc. In other words, a more literal approach.

This kind of art in Poland really took off during its Communist era, when people had to be careful how they expressed themselves publicly. But what I really like about it is the strong feelings evoked by bold visuals and original typography, and how these posters communicate an event in a manner both distilled and potent, mysterious and thoughtful. I think that it’s a good way to entice a viewer to see what’s going on, but all these posters also stand up as art on their own.

To receive this book as I have been recovering from illness really cheered me up. It’s inspired me in a direction related to the one I am working toward artistically at this time, while I leave the phases I have been exploring for the last 12 years behind.

Here are some more posters from the book: