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News: Ryszard Kaja poster exhibition in Warsaw
received from Wieslaw Rosocha

Ryszard Kaja

Exhibition poster by Ryszard Kaja
We invite you to the poster exhibition
accompanying 22nd International Poster Biennial in Warsaw

Ryszard Kaja - Posters

4 - 20 June 2010
Polish Poster Gallery, BUW University of Warsaw Library, ul. Dobra 56/66, Warsaw

Ryszard Kaja, born in 1962 in Poznan, Poland, a painter, a graphic designer, a stage designer and poster designer. The continuator of family artistic traditions. His father - a well-known graphic designer, a stage designer, his mother - Stefania – was a ceramist and a painter. He studied at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznan (nowadays Academy of Fine Arts), and received the diploma in painting at the painting studio of professor Norbert Skupniewicz.

He made his debut as a stage designer at the Great Theatre in Lódz in 1989, creating the artistic setting for the spectacle entitled „Ernani” by Verdi, for which he was awarded his first golden mask. He was a full time main stage designer of the Great Theatre in Lódz, Opera and Operetta in Szczecin, Great Theatre in Poznan. Now he is living in Wroclaw.

The years 1989 – 2000 could definitely be called the theatrical period, as at that time, he provided much over a hundred stage designs both domestically and abroad, on almost all important stages of music theatres in countries such as France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Israel and Egypt, and the mutual penetration of the world of painting and stage design became his recognisable artistic showcase. He favoured work in opera, but also decided to cooperate permanently with ballet, drama, sporadically film industry.

Many times and on many stages he prepared stage designs for the leading Polish opera scenes, including such spectacles as: "Ernani" and "Rigoletto", “Madame Butterfly”, "Carmen", "The Barber of Seville", „Magic Flute”, "Don Pasquale", as well as "Fiddler on the roof", "Tosca" and others. He created artistic visions for, among others, the following ballets: "The Nutcracker" and "Swan Lake", "Giselle", ”Macbeth”, “The Mad Fiddler”, "Romeo and Juliet”. At the drama theatres, he prepared designs, among other things, for the following performances: „A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, "Road to Mecca", "Ladies and Hussars", "Happy Days", ”Plume”. Frequently he was only an author of costumes for many spectacles, including "Boris Godunov", "La Traviata", "Crime and Punishment" and others

The fascination with the baroque style and its theatrical expression resulted in cooperation with the National Museum in Poznan, where Ryszard Kaja prepared, among other things, the artistic settings for exhibitions such as ”Vanitas” and „Sarmatian traditions in art and culture”.

Since 1999, he has been attracted for a short time to the world of architecture, a few projects related to decoration of interiors of a few premises, private apartments and passages to the Old Brewery in Poznan were proposed to him. His interiors are strongly inspired by the atmosphere of theatre, they are, so to say, artistically directed.

Ryszard Kaja has the courage to be an unfashionable painter is based on his ostentatious individuality. The main inspiration for all his works is the specific perception of the world derived from the prose of Bohumil Hrabal. For years he has drawn a cycle of small painting forms on paper, applying mixed techniques, called ”Hrabals”. One of the most favourite artistic forms are monotypings. Also he brings with him numerous portfolios of works from his foreign trips, including: „Indonesia – Flores” , ”Altiplano”, ”Mauretania”, ”Bangkok”, ”Iranian portraits”, and others- these are more documents of his trips inside himself than away from the country. What is visible in all his works is the praise of everyday life and affirmation of commonness.

Occasionally, Ryszard Kaja deals with the business graphics, designing and creating book illustrations or covers for theatrical programmes. But, what made him successful, was poster making (he is the author of posters for “Tosca”, “Viva la Mamma!”, ”Orpheus in hell”, ”My fair lady”, "Märchenbilder", ”Zbychu Kaja –retrospective, Polish Poster Gallery ”, ”Madame Butterfly”, ”Nabucco” , ”The Barber of Seville”, ” Dydo Poster Collection”, „Cappella Musicae Antiqua Orientalis”, ”Fiddler on the Roof”, „Blumen und Gartenkunst”, ”The Fairy Queen” and many others).

A meticulously kept journal, a document of time in which the subjective truth about past and loose but also well-thought out associations are encoded, has become his favourite form of expression. Both in the journal and in the graphics, drawings and posters, on stage and in interiors, Ryszard Kaja creates his own theatre.

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