Rene Wanner's Poster Page


front cover Olbinski and the opera
with an introduction by Christopher Mount, and texts by Agata Passent; Patinae, Inc., Stamford CT (US) (2000); 92 pages, 196 illustrations, 87 in color, many full page, 24 x 30 cm; hardcover; ISBN 1-878768-01-8; US$ 40.00

The cover is based on the poster "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini for the Cincinnati Opera

Rafal Olbinski, born in 1945 in Kielce, Poland, graduated from the Architectural Department of the Warsaw Polytechnical School, and soon began do design jazz and circus posters that already hinted at the style for which he is now famous - realism with a love for details and surrealistic ideas. He came to New York in 1981, and began to teach at the famous School for Visual Arts in 1985.

For a while, his output shifted from posters to illustration, as is often the case with graphic designer immigrants to the United States during their first years. But like a seed on fertile ground, Olbinski's interest in posters and the pleasures of the large format just broke through.

Around 1990, the theaters began to discover his work, and we were compensated for the meager years by an increasing stream of fantastic posters in good print quality. Olbinski had somehow discovered a way of bringing together the interests of the theater publicity departments, of the opera buffs, of the posters fans, his love for painting, and his economic necessities. The many web sites that offer Olbinski art at reasonable prices (see the link list below) are a testimony to his popularity.

1992, La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
New York City Opera

1993, La Rondine by Giacomo Puccini
New York City Opera

1995, Elektra by Richard Strauss
New York City Opera

This book on Olbinski's opera posters - mostly for the New York City Opera and the Cincinnati Opera - shows each play on a double page spread: the poster, the sketches for it, often with details in large magnification. It also summarizes the plot, talks about the composer, discusses Olbinski's interpretation, in a tone and style as if a dear and knowledgeable friend would take you out for a night at the opera.


Posters for the Cincinnati Opera 2001 season

Biographies of Olbinski
from Patinae Inc.
from The i spot

Web sites selling Olbinski posters
Patinae, Inc., the international agent for Olbinski
S2 Art Group
The Polish Poster Gallery, Warsaw
Museum Masters International
Cyrk, Polish Circus Posters
Art Seek
The i spot
Posters Too
MR Gallery, Chicago

home   other reviews  page last revised on September 22, 2001 / this section is part of Rene Wanner's Poster Page /