From the 1960s through the ’80s, Polish posters were among the most innovative of any European or Asian nation–and the U.S. too–and in every genre of graphic design. Paradoxically, it was also an Iron Curtain country governed by strict dictates. But that’s why the art was so sly and symbolically astute. Getting under the censor’s radar was a national sport, doing so through theater and other cultural posters was the way to artistic freedom.
To see many of these great images, some for the first time in years, including Tadeuz Trepkowski’s famous 1952 “Never” (above), Roman Cieslewicz’s 1963 “Friar Marek” (below), and Mieczyslaw Gorowski’s 1982 “The Police” (bottom), visit MoMA’s Polish Posters 1945-89 now through November 30. Organized by Juliet Kinchin and Aidan O’Connor.