Friday, May 25, 2018

Roman Cieslewicz at MAD

Yesterday Bill and I were wowed by decades of work by Polish graphic designer Roman Cieslewicz (1930-1996) at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
 Neither of us had heard his name before but as we walked through the show we realized we had been seeing his work and his influence since the late sixties into the early eighties.
Cieslewicz did all kinds of graphic work, posters, book covers and lots of work for magazines. 
I like the simplicity of his work for Zoom magazine. Their motto: Against the pollution of the eye.
 What did it take to achieve this successful innovation with the yin yang symbol?
A printed landscape upside down plus two 3-D elements equals this lovely, fresh greeting card.
 In a video Cieslewicz says his tools are scissors and glue.  
 All this work was done before the age of computers.
I see he is using coloured, paste-on "letraset" letters here. Did you ever use letraset?
Cieslewicz's work from the 60s and 70s evoked strong memories for both of us.
 Bill felt more affection for the period than I did. ;-)
I feel more sympathy for Cieslewicz's conceptual side. "Ça va? Ça va. "
 Don't even have to look at the label -- end of the sixties, right?
 Again, if you look closely, you can see the lettering is cut out with scissors and pasted on.
I have particular affection for this set of collages.
 Still very fresh.
 And fun.
 What that man could do with scissors and glue!
 So -- late 60's, early 70s?
 Cieslewicz himself had a lot of affection for Leonardo's Mona Lisa, did many, many variations on the theme. 
 Culminating in this Mona/Mao mash-up.
 After a heart attack weakened his left hand, Cieslewicz continued to work
but concentrated more on words and the colours red and black
to do his magic. 
One final look at how pages were once put together with scissors and glue.
On until September 23rd

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