Very Good. Item #6189
Text on poster: To be /or/war/ not to be? Date: 1975. Height x width: 98cm x 66.5cm. Printing information: lower left corner: logos of KAW and WAG Ł.Z.Graf. Zam. 312/D. 1350; lower right corner: Poster from an international competition organised in Poland // Mieczyslaw Wasiłewski -- Poland. Condition: 1 closed tear (1 cm) at bottom edge; Minimal tanning at top edge (0.5cm).
Mieczysław Wasilewski, graphic designer, was a student of the renowned eminence in Polish poster art, Henryk Tomaszewski. Wasilewski studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1960s, taught at the Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Sztuk Plastycznych/PWSSP in Gdańsk in the late 1980s, and went on to serve as professor at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.
What is now seen as the height of Poland’s poster creativity was a paradoxical by-product of the height of Communist Party control over public messaging related to the arts and cultural endeavors from the mid-1940s to almost the end of the century. What had been, before the war, and dating back as early as the mid-19th century, florid and often text-heavy formats, where fonts and textual layout bore a predominant or equal burden with imagery in conveying information, yielded in the five decades after World War II to the primacy of the image on its own. Visuals became mischievous, allegorical, satiric, and parabolic, and so fantastically creative that they could make innumerable apolitical or counterpolitical appeals while eluding the specific controls of verbal censorship.