The exhibition curated and produced by Pattern Recognition brings together the best historical and contemporary examples of illustrated children’s books of Poland, presented in form of objects, wall cuttings and multimedia applications. More than 15 artists are included. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Pattern Recognition.
WHEN: Thursday 26 October – Sunday 3 December 2017
WHERE: MAMA, Murray Art Museum Albury, NSW, Australia
The long tradition of book illustration in Poland dates back to the 1920s. From the beginning, it engaged writers and visual artists. Among them were great poets, such as Jan Brzechwa and Julian Tuwim, responsible for texts of high literary value, and leading artists, like Franciszka Themerson, Jan Marcin Szancer and others. Their outstanding and intellectually entertaining books were, and still are, very attractive in form and content.
In the post-war era, illustrated and picture books became especially popular. In addition to their literary value they were highly educational – they shaped the minds of the youngest readers, teaching them about the world in its micro and macro scale. Another important aspect was the development of aesthetic and literary sensitivities of the children.
Culture of children’s illustrated, and picture books, is still strong in Poland. Young designers and graphic illustrators cherish this phenomenon skilfully uniting history with modernity and garner numerous prestigious awards. The last decade saw the revival of this area. The publishing houses play an important role in this process, willing to publish books illustrated by contemporary authors, despite their often bold, avant-garde form. The books with illustrations by artists from several decades ago are also being reprinted now.
The publications presented in the exhibition are all characterized by beautiful graphic design. Among them there are many examples of old and new books where the illustrations are as important as the text. New and vintage books reflect important trends in Polish art, e.g. the Polish Poster School, and the graphic design famous and recognizable all over the world. Because of their high artistic value. Many publications illustrated by renowned Polish artists have been reprinted several times. Not only have these books been – and still are – a beautiful medium of conveying literary values, but also a link between few generations of Polish people; and now they are a highly valued collectors’ items.
The exhibition includes a wide range of historic and contemporary books – from classics, such as Lokomotywa (Locomotive) illustrated by Jan Marcin Szancer, or the Elementarz (Primer) illustrated by Janusz Grabiński, to the recent publishing hits, led by Mapy (Maps) by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński, published in over 20 countries, and recognized by the New York Times as one of the most interesting and beautifully illustrated children books.
Aleksandra i Daniel Mizielińscy
Agata Dudek i Małgorzata Nowak
Jan Marcin Szancer
Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland