Roman Cieślewicz, Changement de Climat, 1976-77

In the 1970s Cieślewicz turned his scalpel on the magazines which had given him employment in Paris in the 1960s. In a number of commissioned and self-initiated series, he mixed contemporary commercial images with reproductions of historical paintings. Renaissance artists Durer, Uccello and Bronzino as well as David all feature. He called the resulting works … Continue reading

Roman Cieslewicz, decorated alphabet from La France mysterieuse published by Claude Tchou, 1964

Sacrifice, Madness, Ruins and Other Polish Dreams

This essay was written for the catalogue accompanying The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland at BOZAR in Brussels, summer 2011. ♦ 46476243 The Spirit that Outlasts Matter On first inspection, Jakub Ziółkowski’s painting The Great Battle under the Table (Wielka bitwa pod stołem, 2006) combines the heroic and the domestic. The … Continue reading

Dlouhý’s ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ (occasional notes on posters)

Bedřich Dlouhý was an occasional poster artist and book designer. Better known as a surrealist painter and a member of the youthful Šmidrové group in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, he designed posters for art house films directed by Alain Resnais, Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini as well as less cerebral fare from Hollywood studios. Dlouhý adopted ‘strangeness’ … Continue reading

Cieślewicz’s ‘Forefather’s Eve’ (occasional notes on posters)

This poster produced by Roman Cieślewicz in 1967 has become an iconic image in the history of the People’s Republic of Poland. Designed to promote a new performance of Adam Mickiewicz’s nineteenth century poetic drama, Forefather’s Eve (Dziady), Cieślewicz’s design captures the simmering frustration with Soviet control over Poland. The central motif seems to be a desiccated landscape or a figure with a hole … Continue reading