May 03, 2018 - Sale 2476

Sale 2476 - Lot 189

Price Realized: $ 3,900
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
26 1/2x38 1/4 inches, 67 1/4x97 1/4 cm.
Condition B: repaired tears at edges, some into central image; archival tape on verso; creases in margins and image; minor loss in upper left corner; pin holes at edges. Hand-signed and dated by the artist in ink. Paper.
A Polish graphic artist turned activist in the Communist era, Jerzy Janiszewski is best-known for this ubiquitous logo for the Polish Solidarity movement in 1980. In a 2011 interview with the artist, Janiszewski explained: "I observed how the movement grew, how people helped one another, how people from the outside helped those inside . . . I also wanted to do something, to help, & thought that it could be made through art" (Clash of Ideologies p. 177). He observed signs on shipyard walls that said "Solidarity," and with the encouragement of his poet friends, he decided that single word conveyed everything he needed to create an impactful statement. He "took [the logo] to the shipyard and within 3 days it was everywhere - on materials printed by the movement, foreign correspondents were also using it" (ibid.). There is a long-standing "iconography of the crowd" that has been utilized by poster designers throughout history in depicting sociopolitical movements; Janiszewski "adopted this motif, subjected it to typographical interpretation and substituted the national flag for the socialist hero" (Political Posters p. 57). The artist eventually settled in Spain, founded his own studio where he worked on design projects such as film and theater posters. He continued his legacy of creating important symbols when he designed logos for the Polish Presidency for the E.U. and the "Sejm" - the lower house of the Polish parliament. Clash of Ideologies p. 176.