While researching about the “Conceptual Image” for a presentation for History of Graphic Design, one will come across the Polish Poster.
At first, they were befuddling. Then, intriguing. The poster beckoned with layers of mystery, asking to be pondered over and understood. It was sometimes rowdy and rambunctious, yet at other times, quiet and contemplative. Certainly, the former caught my eye most easily, but the latter held it.
Here is one of my favourites so far:
This piece was just before the era of the Conceptual Image, but Gronowski is not called the Father of the Polish Poster for no reason. He is “one of the first artists to consciously integrate the typography with the illustration”, choosing to offer “a different look into the subject, often displaying a penchant for the light and the humorous which endeared him to the viewers.” (The Legacy of Polish Poster Design, Smashing Magazine)
In Artistic Lithography (1920), the quiet, stable composition is very comfortable. The largest shape is the man, clad in a snuggly red robe, which further accentuates the warmth of the piece. Visual and narrative interest comes in the form of the the black cat, who is on its haunches, apparently bristling for some unknown reason. Adding to the mystery of the narrative is the tiny lift of the corner of the man’s lips.
I love the soft edges made by the airbrush that the artist chose to use. It adds a softness that makes the piece really approachable and welcoming!