There seems to be no end of amazing talents who live in or emigrated from Poland. Although never taken for granted in American design history circles, most of the West’s appreciation focused on the great Polish Poster revolution of the late 50s and 60s.
Among the masters is Andrzej Krajewski (b. 1933), who was somehow unknown to me until I found a book of his book covers and jackets edited by Tytusa Klepacza (with text in Polish and English). He writes, “I met Andrzej Krajewski and appreciated him because of his posters; he often tells me that ‘the poster is all-important.’ But you cannot look at the work only through the prism of the poster. If you do, the picture is incomplete and impoverished.” And so, this eponymous book published by Korporacja Ha!art in Krakow provides a look into a rare but inspiring collection of varied styles that range from mid-century Modern to eclectic ’70s.
Krajewski emigrated to the U.S. in 1985, so not knowing of his work is doubly distressing. But a good portrait is offered in this book by noted RISD design professor Krzysztof Lenk: “Krajewski is a remarkable figure. Handsome, gifted with great powers of observation and a perverse sense of humor. … His fascination with America inspired him to adopt cultural values, such as music, comics and movies, but also to identify with its material civilization. … Thus in the early grey sixties, to us friends, he looked as though he had come to us straight from the set of an American film, or even a number of films, as he creatively and constantly changed and complimented his ‘Western’ style. To this day, he proudly recalls that he was the first in Warsaw to wear cowboy boots.”