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Poland’s poster art

By Martin Rosenberg

Poland’s poster art renaissance began in 1945 and extended through the era of Communist oppression and censorship that ended in 1989. In this period Poland’s leading professors, painters and graphic designers focused their passion almost solely on this art form. For the artists and the public alike, poster art in the streets on the building walls, fences and kiosks represented a form of hope and light and even rebellion. The imaginative art, with images advertising events for music, dance, theater, the circus, sport and film, all within the context of the political and social influences of the times, often presented the only beauty visible in an otherwise grey and depressing atmosphere. This period of intense creativity under oppression flourished with a most unusual compromise between government officials and the artist community.

Film and art
Screening of Freedom on the Fence
Exhibit of vintage posters reflecting Jewish culture and the arts
To benefit the Jewish Cultural Center
Thu, Apr 10, 5pm
Las Moras 47
Cinco de Mayo

This exhibition, including a talk, presents original vintage posters reflecting Jewish culture and the arts. Martin Rosenberg, PhD ( will describe the posters and host a discussion on the remarkable legacy of these courageous artists.

The program also includes a special screening of the film Freedom on the Fence. This 40-minute documentary reveals for the first time the exceptional and inspiring story of how Poland’s history of poster design, under the ever-looming censorship of Soviet rule, influenced the artists in the country and eventually across the world. At the film’s end there is also a reference to the fact that cultural Polish poster art has given way to the commercial/consumer interests of the modern world—with large billboards and mass media technology—all of which signaled the end of the real Polish poster art movement.

Produced by Martin Rosenberg and featuring rare archival footage and exclusive interviews, this is a unique and compelling history. Whether you are an artist, art lover, historian, political scientist or just an interested person, it’s a story not previously told on film, so it is definitely worth seeing. It no doubt inspires dialogue about both art and politics.

Attendees also can bid on an original work donated by the Vintage Poster Gallery on Zacateros. The proceeds go to the Jewish Cultural Center. Phone the Center for details: 185-9191.


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