Artists of the Polish School of Posters

by Contemporary Posters on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The artists of the golden age of the Polish School (1950s-1980s) possessed a genius not seen in one country since France at the end of the 19th century. These award-winning artists are divided into three periods: (note – artists are listed in alphabetical order within generation.)

The First Generation
(post-World War II)

The founders of the Polish School of Posters were Eryk Lipinski, Jozef Mroszczak, Henryk Tomaszewski and Tadeusz Trepkowski. Each contributed to its unique style: a painter’s palette, the quick sketch style – full of humor and unexpected associations, a strong feeling of color, surrealistic metaphors, concise composition & use of symbolism.



THE COLLECTOR MOVIE POSTER (Columbia Pictures, 1965)
Poster Year: 1968
Style: Polish A1
Size: 23″ x 33″
Artist: Eryk Lipinski


The Second Generation
(the 1950s and 1960s)

These artists (born in the 1920s and 1930s) include Roman Cieslewicz, Wiktor Gorka, Hubert Hilscher, Jan Lenica, Jan Mlodozeniec, Marian Stachurski, Franciszek Starowieyski, Waldemar Swierzy and Maciej Urbaniec.  They

continued the work of the First Generation but in a more restrained, intellectual style. Some artists of the second generation drew upon the fantastic and surreal while others favored abstraction. They popularized Polish poster art outside of Poland.
Spartacus Movie Poster (Universal, 1960)
Poster Year: 1970
Style: Polish A1
Size: 23″ x 33″
Artist: Wiktor Gorka





Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean Movie Poster (Warner Brothers, 1972)
Poster Year: 1975
Style: Polish A1
Size: 22.5” x 33.5”
Artist: Jan Mlodozeniec
This poster is included as Plate Number 78 in the Western Amerykanski book.

The Third Generation
(the 1960s-1980s)

Born during and after World War II, artists include Jerzy Czerniawski, Stasys Eidrigevicius, Marek Freudenreich, Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Lech Majewski, Rafal Olbinski, Andrzej Pagowski, Wiktor Sadowski, Jan Sawka and Wieslaw Walkuski. They introduced more aggressive designs intended to surprise, provoke or disturb the viewers’ beliefs and values, often through camouflaged political and/or social messages. This generation firmly established the Polish School of Posters’ recognition throughout the international art community.

Un Chien Andalou
Movie Poster (Les Grands Films Classiques, 1929)
Poster Year: 1996
Artist: Wieslaw Walkuski
Extremely disturbing design by Polish modern artist Walkuski for this 1996 rerelease of of director Luis Bunuel’s “Un Chien Andalou”


Lion Ringmaster by Rafal Olbinski
Genre: Circus, Cyrk & Magic
Year Printed: 1980
Size: 27″ x 39″

Superman III Movie Poster (Warner Brothers, 1983)
Poster Year: 1983
Size: 27” x 38”
Artist: Waldemar Swierzy
Best design by Waldemar Swierzy for the 3rd episode of the Superman series starring Christopher Reeve

See our previous Polish blog postings
The Art of Polish Posters – Polish School of Posters – Part I
THE ART OF POLISH POSTERS – Politics and Poster Art – Part II

Check back with this blog as we continue to show great polish poster art and continue the story of the Polish School of Posters!

Check out more Polish posters here!

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