„Change of field of vision. Modern printing and avant-garde” exhibition in ms1

13.06.2014 – 12.10.2014

Modern graphic design and print modernization are ideas developed in the interwar avant-garde circle. The formation of rules for creating visual messages was to help popularize new art and tame it to a wide audience. The exhibition Change of Field of View recalls how this revolution took place, what solutions were proposed by the avant-garde and how and to what extent they were taken over by the mainstream graphic arts of the time, such as advertising, designing books and magazines or propaganda posters.


The point of reference for the exhibition is the idea of functional printing by Władysław Strzemiński, related to the New Typography proposed by Jan Tschichold. Against the background of international relations and mutual inspirations of European artists, projects by Polish artists will be shown. The exhibition is complemented by an exhibition devoted to experiments of the avant-garde, including German, Czech and Russian. The works collected at the exhibition come from several Polish and European collections. They allow us to take a look at how avant-garde artists constructed visual persuasion, the language of propaganda, as well as how they used modern forms in the creation of commercial advertising, popular magazines and books, posters with social overtones and pioneering infographics. The universality of graphics made it an extraordinary communication material and an element combining art with life. Henryk Berlewi, creator of the Warsaw office Reklama Mechano (1924), summarized this situation well, writing: „Our goal was to make ideas part of life. For me, advertising seemed to be the most effective and far-reaching means of promoting our ideas. It is thanks to advertising, this strong agent of commercial propaganda, that we owe the abolition of the line between society and the artist”.


Based on a similar assumption, many avant-garde artists were involved in applied graphics. In graphic design, there was a real possibility of reforming the existing canons. The idea of modern printing was connected with the postulate of moving from applied graphics – understood as handicraft with aesthetic values – to a modern, revolutionary in its morphology, economic, fast and universal visual message. In practice, this path led from projects filled with decoration to abbreviated messages, using basic signs and often purely typographic arrangements, which used geometrised, puristic composition and exclusively photographic illustration. Their purpose was to watch, not read.


The exhibition features prints designed, among others, by such artists as: Hans Arp, Herbert Bayer, Henryk Berlewi, Janusz Maria Brzeski, Cassandre, Tytus Czyżewski, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Fortunato Depero, Theo Van Doesburg, John Heartfield, Karol Hiller, Fernand Léger, El Lissitzky, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, László Moholy-Nagy, Piet Mondrian, Bruno Munari, Otto Neurath, Kazimierz Podsadecki, Enrico Prampolini, Xanti Schawinsky, Joost Schmidt, Kurt Schwitters, Henryk Stażewski, Władysław Strzemiński, Ladislav Sutnar, Samuel Szczekacz, Mieczysław Szczuka, Karel Teige, Jan Tschichold, Teresa Żarnower and many others.


Kuratorka i redaktorka: Paulina Kurc-Maj

Projekt ekspozycji: Marlena Kudlicka

Nadzór techniczny i budowlany: Marian Adamski

Współpraca techniczna: Maciej Balawender,  Marta Pawlak (wizualizacje), Juliusz Malepszak, Marta Pawlak (architekci)

Realizacja: Mirosław Kiliński, Brygada Techniczna Muzeum Sztuki


Koordynatorka: Monika Wesołowska