The Daily Heller: Facing the Faces of Poster Masters

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Max Skorwider is co-curator of the exhibition POSTERIZED: Warsaw International Poster Biennale in Hong Kong. Based in Poland, Skorwider is a professor at University of Fine Arts in Poznań, where he works in the lithography studio and also teaches a course on comic books and graphic novels. “I design posters, curate exhibitions and I am making illustrations for [children’s books] and cooperating with Polityka, [the] biggest polish weekly,” he says.

But what drew me in are his portraits of the Posterized poster artists, below. (FYI: Max is the son of Eugeniusz Skorwider, poster artist and professor, and a former assistant of Waldemar Świerzy for over a decade.) “For me,” the younger Skorwider says, “[this] exhibition that we are making in HK is kind of [an] homage to poster masters.”

“The exhibition opened at PMQ CUBE [on] March 26 (a strict delay owing to the COVID shutdown and the recent civil unrest) until April 16. It represents the history of Warsaw Poster Biennale, presenting artists that received awards since the beginning” in 1966.

Co-organized by PMQ and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Hong Kong, and supported by the Poster Museum in Wilanów, Posterized brings the legendary biennale to Hong Kong for the very first time.

“I will attend the opening from Poland, presented via an online transmission,” Skorwider says. Meanwhile, co-curator Agnieszka Mori will be at PMQ. “The physical exhibition is going to happen, with some control of how many people are visiting the place at one time.”

I was also interested in what Hong Kong’s recent anti-democracy upheaval means for the run of the exhibition. Posterized includes, of course, various designers from China, and Hong Kong politics remain a problem: “Some people from Hong Kong do not want to be connected with mainland China,” Skorwider says. The organizers are aware of the sensitive politics and “what is and what is not possible when presenting (especially the ideological category).”

All told, the exhibition includes some of the “best posters ever produced in this field, and most of [the] works are masterpieces.”

Skorwider’s 40–50 portraits, of which regrettably there are curiously few of the larger number of women awardees, will be presented on one of the walls as a group print, and also as a video projection inside the gallery.