WEB POSTER EXHIBITION - Polish theater posters: Last two decades
This web exhibition accompanies the exhibition "Polish theater posters: Last two decades", at the Traverse Theater, Edinburgh, September 25 - October 20, 2008, a cooperation of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute with Traverese Theater and the Poster Gallery Cracow with posters from the Dydo Collection. Text and pictures were kindly provided by Krzysztof Dydo.

Andrzej Krajewski
Rozewicz, Grupa Laokoona

Tomasz Boguslawski

Tomasz Boguslawski
Dostoevskii, Brothers K.

Wieslaw Walkuski
Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost

Polish artistic theatre posters date back over a century. They enjoyed a Golden Age in the late 1950’s, as the impact of Communism diminished. The right of artistic choice was then rediscovered and theatre posters could again ‘speak for themselves’.

During this time, artists such as Henryk Tomaszewski, Jan Lenica, Roman Cieslewicz, Franciszek Starowieyski, Waldemar Swierzy and Jan Mlodo¿eniec launched Polish theatre posters as a cultural phenomenon, fascinating audiences worldwide with their originality. A further generation of artists, born after World War II, enriched the language of theatre posters through new tendencies in design, deriving from both their own individual tastes and cutting-edge artistic movements. The best known of these are Jerzy Czerniawski, Eugeniusz Get-Stankiewicz, Stasys Eidrigevicius, Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Roman Kalarus, Wiktor Sadowski and Wieslaw Walkuski.

Presently in Poland, many artists continue to cooperate with theatres, designing promotional posters for them. The current pillars of the contemporary poster scene are Miroslaw Adamczyk, Wieslaw Grzegorczyk, Sebastian Kubica, Piotr Kossakowski and Monika Starowicz. Their distinctive artistic language and an individual approach to the art of poster-making continue to generate high quality works.

Contemporary theatre posters range from the traditional, informative, ‘text-only’ style to more painterly and expressive works. In the era of endless everyday battles for our attention, authentic theatre posters - despite their relatively modest formats - continue to be highly valued by theatre directors and appreciated by audiences.

In the field of Polish artistic posters, theatre posters continue to play the most significant role. Their freshness and innovation gives them a broad appeal, capturing a wide audience. Through the decades, theatre posters have become desirable items for collectors, and have been widely exhibited in museums and galleries.

This exhibition portrays the art of Polish theatre posters created within the last two decades. It represents works commissioned by over twenty theatres across Poland, bringing together a wide array of well-known spectacles and their visual interpretation by leading Polish poster artists. Playwrights such as Shakespeare, Brecht, Beckett and Chekhov all appear alongside those of celebrated Polish authors, for example Mickiewicz, Wyspianski, Gombrowicz, Mrozek, Witkiewicz and Rozewicz.

The posters exhibited belong to the collection of Krzysztof Dydo, the leading collector and authority of the genre. As well as owning Galeria Plakatu (Poster Gallery) in Cracow, Dydo has also authored various publications on the theme.

Polish posters are recognised and admired across the world. Those chosen for the exhibition provide the opportunity to taste and appreciate their qualities from the unique perspective of a working theatre. We hope that the presented collection will be a visual discovery for many visitors, offering both intellectual challenge and aesthetic pleasure.

Extract from Krzysztof Dydo article
Translated by Ola Wojtkiewicz, curator of the exhibition

Piotr Kossakowski
Beckett, Ohio Impromptu

Agata Leszczynska
Beckett, End game

Franciszek Starowieyski
Sologub, The petty demon

Anna Zabdyrska
Euripides, Medea

home  previous exhibitions  page created on September 5, 2008 / this section is part of Rene Wanner's Poster Page /