Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Program

May 2, 2017 9:00 PM - May 30, 2017

EUROPEAN FILM POSTERS

POSTERS BY CZECH DESIGNERS OF THE 1960s-90s





MAY 2-30, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION- MAY 2, 9PM

EUROPEAN FILM POSTERS: CZECH DESIGNERS OF THE 1960s-90s
The strong and unique style of this period of Czech film posters was influenced by the political and cultural circumstances of the time. The lack of a free market and commercial advertisements allowed designers to elevate poster design to an artform, which resulted in
very high aesthetic standards that differed from the film poster production of other countries. The exhibition brings together 66 film posters designed by masters of Czech graphic design, characterized by bold illustration, handcrafted elements and an original, playful aesthetic.

Posters on display include films by Federico Fellini, Agnieszka Holland, David Lean, Juraj Jakubisko, Michelangelo Antonioni, István Szabó, Wolfgang Petersen, Claude Lelouch, Luchino Visconti, Nikita Michalkov, Tony Richardson, Ettore Scola, and Karel Zeman, among others.

 

EUROPEAN FILM POSTERS 

Czech Designers of 1960s - 1990s 

Czech film poster design of the 1960s-90s elevated a traditionally commercial medium to a high artistic level – rich in both expression and style, and inspired by new art forms. A major element was the broad use of collage, reviving a tradition of imaginative art and surrealism. Poster language started to employ symbolic, non-descriptive signs, evoking feelings and reflections, impressions and emotions. Poster designers worked toward a poetic encapsulation of a film plot. The film poster outgrew its applied graphic function and became transformed into an independent work of art in public spaces, enriching the visual environment of a cinema, city streets, corners and house interiors.

At the turn of the 1960’s each foreign film screened had its own original Czech poster. Foreign productions did not yet exercise copyright over their own means of promotion in Czechoslovakia. In the state-subsidized culture, film posters did not have to contain sponsors‘ logos; in addition, there were no regulations dictating what poster text should look like. Posters provided artists with creative space, which they learned to use freely and to the fullest. Apart from a film’s title and its director, posters only occasionally featured the names of stars and mentions of Czech or foreign provenance. 

During the early 1970’s the ’apocalyptic bird’ of political repression by the Communists spread its wings over Czechoslovak culture. The borders of the country closed once more, for another twenty years, along with access to unbiased information. The creative process began to be affected by stricter censorship from commissioners, as well as by self-censorship inflicted by the artists upon themselves. What was once prestigious work turned into craftsmanship routine. The number of original artists decreased and some of the incoming designers were more inclined to adjust their style to the prevailing conditions. Yet even under these constraints, the aesthetic standards of the Czech posters were far higher than those of the foreign originals.

 /Marta Sylvestrová, Czech Film Posters of the 20th Century. Published by Moravian Gallery in Brno and Exlibris Prague, 2004/

Venue:

321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States

Date

From: May 2, 2017 9:00 PM
To: May 30, 2017

Organizer:

Czech Center


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