“SMALL, GRAND WORKS” OF THE MŁODOŻENIEC FAMILY
The exhibition prepared under the Year of Avant-Garde, intended to mark a centenary of avant-garde in Poland, showcases the works of three generations of the Młodożeniec family.
Jan Młodżeniec, a world-famous poster artist, is classed, next to Henryk Tomaszewski, Jan Lenica, Waldemar Świerzy and Roman Cieślewicz, as one of the “founding fathers” of the renowned Polish school of poster. His works are distinguished by their cheerful, oftentimes jocular atmosphere, warm colourway, excellent use of light and his very own stroke style.
The exhibition drawing from the private collection of the artist’s sons, a graphic designer, Piotr Młodożeniec, and a painter, Stanisław Młodożeniec, presents works on paper, gouaches illustration a daily creative work of Jan Młodożeniec. The collection of the Film Museum contains more than 100 original posters of the extensive achievement of the artist. The oldest work dates back to 1952 and was created for film Utro nad Rodinata (Spieniony nurt) directed by Anton Marinovich. Works chosen from our collection by the son, Piotr, comprise part of the exhibition supplementing private “Small, grand works” with a section of Jan Młodożeniec’ work consisting in film poster design. They include signature and well-known posters for films such as: Once Upon a Time in America (Dawno temu w Ameryce) dir. Sergio Leone, The Conformist (Konformista) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, New York, New York, dir. Martin Scorsese or Blue Velvet dir. David Lynch. There is also a poster from Piotr Szulkin’s film titled King Ubu (Ubu Król)which was used by the director in 2003, already after the designer’s death. Jan Młodożeniec was fascinated by the character of Alfred Jarry’s drama and in the 1990s created a series of 40 portraits of the title King Ubu. We also present drawing mini-review from film premieres that were printed in the “Film” and “Miesięcznik Literacki”. Exhibition in the Film Museum has also been enriched with innovative, futuristic poetry of Stanisław Młodożeniec, one of the leading representatives of the avant-garde in Polish poetry of the 20th century and a father of Jan and a grandfather of Piotr and Stanisław. The poems are read by actors: Iza Kuna, Edyta Jungowska and Piotr Machalica.
We also exhibit visual works of Jan’s sons: Stanisław and Piotr Młodożeniec. The exhibition includes Stanisław’s paintings as well as a painting and animations prepared by Piotr to accompany his grandfather’s poems.
Foundation Editions Spotkania is a co-organiser of the exhibition.
Stanisław Młodożeniec (1895 – 1959)
One of the leading representatives of the avant-garde in Polish poetry of the 20th century and a pioneer of this genre. He got involved in the futuristic movement short after his return to the country in 1918. When studying Polish at the Jagiellonian University he befriended Bruno Jasiński and they both joined the Formists. Along with Tytus Czyżewski they started activity intended to promote a new aesthetic direction in Polish poetry in Cracow. They established the Futurist Club “Katarynka”, under which artistic evening events were organised in Cracow cafeterias. Jointly they also published two manifestos of futurism – „Jednodńuwki futurystuw”.
At the beginning of 1921 he published his own volume “Kreski i futureski”. After graduating in 1922 he left the futurist group and started working as a teacher. Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński was one of his Warsaw students. He resumed publishing his works in 1925 with a volume “Kwadraty” published by Koło Miłośników Książki. Since the 1930s he was associated with the peasant movement this period brought about volumes: “Niedziela” and experimental “Futuro – gamy i Futuro – pejzaże”. After the outbreak of World War II he was enlisted into the army and, following an escape from detention camp in Hungary, took a fighting route though Syria, Palestine and Egypt to London. He was involved in the Polish government in exile. He returned to the country in 1957, starting collaboration with Radio Free Europe. Stanisław Młodożeniec sought phonic value in works, searched for sound similarities between works, relied on Onomatopoeia and favoured grotesque and word-formation burlesque.
Jan Młodożeniec (1929 – 2000)
One of the most distinguished artists of the Polish school of poster. An author over 400 posters, book cover designs, illustrations and drawings. An excellent graphic designer and painter. In 1948-55 he studies graphics and poster design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the workshop of Professor Henryk Tomaszewski who supervised his graduation work. Next, he developed his talent in the field of applied graphics. Film poster became his main venue for artistic expression. A poster for history film Prague 1848 developed in 1951 was the first one.
His works we deeply rooted in Polish culture, in particular in folklore. He applied simple means of expression, becoming a master of synthetic communication. He referred to the type of poster designed that he was focused on a “personality poster”. Following this approach he developed manual lettering believing that a thusly prepared letter would be closer connected to the idea of composition. Over the years “Film” and “Miesięcznik Literacki” printed his sketch film commentary, the so-called mini-reviews of film premieres. The works of Jan Młodożeniec are contained in museum holdings and private collections all over the world, among others in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris or Kunstbibliothek in Berlin.
Stanisław Młodożeniec (born in 1953)
An older son of Jan Młodożeniec. In 1972-1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and earned his diploma in the painting workshop of Professor Jacek Sienicki. Until 1981 he held three individual exhibitions in Warsaw and Poznań. He also took part in several group exhibitions. Since the 1980s he has been working mainly abroad. New York – a city where he lives and works – has become the subject of his artistic inspirations. He also draws from the works of great artists of avant-garde and naive art. From the beginning his paintings, both figurative and abstract ones, have been kept in neo-expressionist stylistics. Stanisław Młodożeniec paints some of his works based on photographs, reflecting in a realistic manner moments captured on film during a fraction of a second. He also designs posters.
Piotr Młodożeniec (born in 1956)
A younger son of Jan Młodożeniec. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He started his painting studies under the supervision of Professor Teresa Pągowska, next he studied the art of book design in the workshop of Professor Janusz Stanny, and he graduated in 1981 from the poster workshop of Professor Henryk Tomaszewski. He deals with numerous visual and audio-visual art disciplines – from graphics, drawing and painting, to book and press illustration, to development of animated films and neon light compositions.
Piotr Młodożeniec is an artist working under the sign of Coexistence, where “C” symbolises Muslim Crescent, “X” stands for the Star of David, while “T” represents Christian Cross.
„Jan Młodożeniec. Small, grand works”
20 April – 30 July 2017
Film Museum in Łódź
Pl. Zwycięstwa 1