Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jerzy Flisak, master of the "ugly"

Jerzy Flisak was a drawer, poster, graphic and set designer. Graduated from Jose Marti High School in Warsaw, he studied architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology.

He made his debut in 1950, still as a student, in the competition organized by the weekly magazine Szpilki, where he became graphic editor later.

Furthermore, his illustrations were published in Świerszczyk, Płomyczek, Polityka, weekly magazine Świat, Przeglądz Kulturalny.

Flisak' is the master of a style often described as neglectful.
1- deliberately ugly,
2- non-aesthetic,
3- painted with fat paintbrushes, done almost casually.
4- this "clumsiness" makes for Flisak's inexhaustible humor,

Wiktor Górka

Wiktor Górka (1922-2004) was one of the founders of the Polish poster school, whose most famous work is the poster design for the cult film Cabaret (1973) directed by Bob Fosse with a memorable performance by Liza Minelli.

The poster depicts cabaret dancers’ legs in black stockings as well as Joel Grey’s face in daring makeup, which together form the shape of a swastika. In 1970, Górka went to Havana with a group of Polish artists to conduct design workshops in Cuba.

What's Gorka's touch?

1- make it big
2- pop influence,
3- cartoonish humor,
3- striking color,
4- center symmetry,

Mieczysław Szczuka (the influence of neue typographie)

 Mieczysław Szczuka (1989-1927) is one of the top representatives of the Polish avant-garde of the 1920s, for whom functional art was key. He did very fine photomontages. He designed posters and campaign materials for the Polish Communist party.

Along with his life partner and co-worker, Teresa Żarnower, they produced Blok magazine (initially with the assistance of Władysław Strzemiński and Henryk Stażewski), which initiated the era of functional printing (the idea came from Strzemiński – he proclaimed that the concept of a graphic layout should be equivalent to a literary construction, a visualisation of an idea).

Their most acclaimed work, executed in the spirit of their new typography, was the graphic design for Anatol Stern’s poem Europa (1929).

Jan Lenica's "Janco The New Musician"

Jan Lenica's weird visions

Jan Lenica (1928-2002) is a master of the so-called "slime-and-gore" period of the Polish poster. Click for Polanski's Repulsion (above), here.

Lenica's art was associated with film and theater. He studied in the Faculty of Architecture at the Poznań Technical University. 

Lenica worked in satirical cartoon drawing, illustration, graphic art and graphic design, exhibition design, scenography, posters, animated films. 

Lenica's touch: 

1- surreal images, 
2- dark humor, 
3- absurd, 
4- dadaist photomontage. 

Major awards: National Exhibition of Illustration, Posters and Small Format Graphics, Warsaw, 1955, first prize; Film Poster Exhibition, Warsaw 1956, Central Film Office prize; Toulouse-Lautrec Grand Prix, Versailles 1961; International Film Poster Exhibition, Karlove Vary 1962, first and third prizes, International Poster Biennale, Warsaw 1966, gold Medal; International Tourism Poster Exhibition, Catania, 1971, Gold Medal; Prix Jules Cheret, France 1985.

Franciszek Starowieyski's superrealism

Franciszek Starowieyski (b. 1930) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. He works in graphic design, drawing, theater, television scenography, murals and posters. He was the originator of the so-called "Theater of Drawing." 

No standard typeface either, in the school of Tomaszewski. See how he favors calligraphy over typeface. Are they not related? 

Major Awards: International Biennale of the Arts, Sao Paulo 1973, award; Cannes Film Festival 1974, film poster award; International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, Silver Medal 1974, 1978; International Film Festival, Chicago, film poster Gold Plaque 1979, film poster competition Silver Hugo 1982.

What's Starowieysk's style? 

1- use of fine calligraphy,  
2- theatricality, 
3- female bodies & the skull, 
3- ornamental motifs.

Starowieyski's style, often called "superrealism" (influenced by trends in animation in the late 1960's and early 1970's from artists René Laloux and Roland Torpor) explores violence, dark humor and alien themes.

Roman Cieślewicz (the metaphysical poster)

Cieślewicz (1930-1996) transformed the poster into a metaphysical medium to express ideas that would be difficult to articulate verbally. 

He brought a number of techniques to graphic design: enlarging, montage, halftones images to a scale that turns the dots into texture, setting up an interplay between two levels of information: the image and the dots they create. Cieślewic worked in poster art, book typography, photomontage and collage. 

What's Cieślewicz style?

1- Surreal, 
 2- Russian constructivist avant-garde of the 1920s + the feel of Blok (the Polish group), 
3- Romantic poetic vision + Cold rationalism, 
4- Symmetry pictorial elements.

Major awards: WAG Trepkowski Prize 1955; Film Poster Exhibition, Warsaw 1956, Central Film Office Prize; International Film Poster Exhibition, Karlove Vary 1964, first prize; National Poster Biennale, Katowice, Silver Medal 1965, Gold Medal 1967, 1971; International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, Gold Medal 1972, Bronze Medal 1984; Polish Poster Biennale, Katowice 1973, Gold Medal; Poster Biennale, Lahti 1993, second prize.

Wiesław Wałkuski's monsters

Wiesław Wałkuski (b. 1956) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. 

He works in painting, illustration and posters. After finishing his studies, Wałkuski worked for Polfilm and Film Polski to produce artwork and cover designs. 

What's Wałkuski's secret?

1- shocking surreal
2- have shocking value, 
3- be cerebral, 
4- be aggressive,

Hanna Bodnar

What's the style of Bodnar? 

1- painting + drawing = mixed media, 
2- quizzical images, 
3- lower case, 
4- the female figure.

Henryk Tomaszewski (against standard typeface)

Henryk Tomaszewski (1914-2005) was born in Warsaw and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He taught there from 1952-1985 and was granted the title Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts, London. 

Though he studied commercial art, satirical illustrations and stage design, he devoted himself to poster design for most of his career. He was highly influential as a professor and many of his students went on to become influential poster artists in Poland. 

What do we see here?

1- photo-montage, 
2- dramatic perspectives and 
3- bizarre cropping, 
4- abstract collage with expressive lettering instead of standard typeset typefaces.

Stanislaw Zamecznik

Wojciech Zamecznik (1923-1967) was a distinguished Polish graphic artist, architect, photographer and interior designer. 

Zamecznik's touch:

1- neue typographie for the 1060s
2- to design is to collage

Waldemar Świerzy's

Waldemar Świerzy (1931-2013) style draws on folk art and Twentieth-Century fine art. He incorporates acrylics, crayon, and watercolor into his designs. His Jimmy Hendrix posters are famous for its swirling psychedelic designs. He used to teach at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

Major awards; WAG Trepkowski Award, 1956; Toulouse-Lautrec Grand Prix, Versailles 1959; Polish Poster Biennale, Katowice, Gold Medal, 1965, 1971, 1975, Silver Medal 1977, 1987, 1989, International Tourism Poster Exhibition, Mediolan 1967, Silver Medal; International Biennale of the Arts, Sao Paulo 1969, first prize; International Poster Biennale, Warsaw, Silver Medal 1972, Gold Medal 1976.

what's Świerzy secret?

1- counterculture always lead,
2- be groovy,
3- be pop, 

Julian Pałka (the drama of the human image)

Julian Pałka, born in 1923 in Poznań, he studied at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts. He defended his diploma in 1951 and two years later was employed at his Alma Mater, which he served as rector on two separate occasions. 

He won the gold medal at the International Poster Biennial held in Warsaw (1968) and the All-Poland Biennial in Katowice (1867).

This is what Adam Myjak, one of his students has to say: 
Julian always remained a warm and modest human being. Although retired, he continued to frequent our students’ exhibitions every year,’ said Julian had been seriously ill for several years but he never neglected his teaching duties at the European Academy of Art, where he had lectured since 1993. 

Tadeusz Trepkowski

the largely self-taught Tadeusz Trepkowski expresses a deceptively simple poster aesthetic, seen in the stunning 1948 hand-printed film poster "Last Stage," a stirring drama of survival and tragedy in the camps during WWII. here trpkowski draws on the viewer's vast and often hidden store of associational images. poster evokes a quiet and eloquent note as the bent red carnation -a traditional flower of remembrance in Poland- casts a shadow on the striped prison garb, with the infamous nature of the camps also recalled in the identification patch and number. 

what's Trepkowski's secret? 

1- laconic composition,
2- striking symbols,
3- political honesty,
4- common sense,

young designers of the 1980s seemed to parody their modern terachers

katherine mccoy poster for cranbrook's graduate design program in design, 1989

mcCoy had a compelling belief in theory as a basis for her practice. what we see here, for example the poster is recognized diagrammatically, the four basic nouns and verbs at each corner of the lower filed are related by dotted lines.

juxtaposed verbs are stacked in the center, over collaged designed surfaces, rendering an almost illegible field. this is about overload and density, while the language seems to unlock the complexity of the design.