The Polish School of Posters.
Produced in a unique moment in history - when posters were one of the only permitted artistic outlets by the ruling Communist state - the Polish School of Posters broke all the design conventions with their highly expressive interpretive style.
After the Second World War, under strict Soviet rule, the Polish People’s Republic suffered great repression and hardship. Yet from there sprang an explosion of creativity which lasted for decades - but peaked during the sixties and seventies when the most collectable posters were designed.
Successive generations of Poland’s greatest artists and graphic designers focussed their talents into the specialist medium of posters. The State relied on this relatively cheap means of propaganda to promote the work of their Ministry of Art & Culture. Key founders of the Polish School of Posters forged a deal that these posters would not be subject to censorship. Indeed, once a poster was commissioned, the State encouraged the artist to create something totally unique.
So, instructed to reject Western values but free from commercial restraints, the artists enjoyed unprecedented creative freedom. The posters are highly original, bold and witty. When you compare the posters to those being produced by Polish artists’ international peers, you can see how ground-breaking they were, and ahead of their time. We want to do all we can to recognise and celebrate the work of these artists - many of whom are sadly no longer alive. This extraordinary art movement is just as important as the French posters of the late 19th and early 20th century, or the Swiss Design - but not nearly enough people know about it!