After the end of the Second World War, Polish posters were initially used above all as an instrument of propaganda, dominated by Stalinist artistic doctrine and marked by the stylistic forms of expression of Socialist Realism. However in the early 1950s, poster art in Poland took on a new form which was defined by imagination, the graphic quality and the focus on the task at hand. Under their slogan “art promotes art”, primarily younger artists increasingly designed art posters for cultural events, which were characterised by a stylistic freedom and the search for new forms of expression. In the early fifties, the extraordinary creativity of this group, their conceptual diversity and concerted dedication in designing new posters, was consolidated under the banner of the Polish School of Poster Art. This school proclaimed no set style, nor was it guided by a manifesto. Rather its representatives used the poster as an artistic form of expression, and generated freshness and novelty through the use of humour and colour, which attracted attention nationally and internationally – including in non-socialist European states.
Within the Kunstbibliothek’s internationally outstanding collection on the history of graphic design, the collection of Polish poster art constitutes a seldom-shown treasure, which can now be seen in part in the foyer of the Kunstbibliothek.
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