Michał Piekarski ‘Free Poetry’

Michał Piekarski ‘Free Poetry’
Solo Exhibition June 5, 2023 – September 30, 2023
Exhibition Curator: dr Anna Kłos

Michał Piekarski is a graphic artist who has a passion for typography and letters, creating compositions from fonts. He is the author of graphic design projects for books, albums, postage stamps, posters, and magazines. He resides in Warsaw. He obtained his diploma in poster design from the Graphic Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, under the guidance of Prof. Maciej Urbańczyk in 1979. In 2019, he earned his doctorate from the Graphic Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He is a lecturer at the Higher School of Applied Informatics and Management (WIT) under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He leads the “Publication Design” workshop and collaborates with numerous publishing houses, including BOSZ, Burda, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku, Paskal, Rosikon Press, Muza, Arkady, and Poczta Polska. www.michalpiekarski.com.pl

Retroavangarda Gallery is hosting an exhibition of graphic works by dr Michał Piekarski from the past three years. The exhibition includes dozens of typographic posters that draw inspiration from visual poetry and the works of famous Polish poets. In these compositions, the artist has utilized his own designed typeface, Sobota Bold Condensed. The works are presented as high-quality digital prints in sizes of 70 x 100 cm and 50 x 70 cm. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog (ISBN: 978-83-67320-86-3).

Organizers: Retroavangarda, WIT – Warsaw School of Information Technology, Apollo Rida

Since graduating from the Academy of Fine Artsi in Warsaw in 1979, Michał Piekarski has devoted all his creative and professional activity to typography and lettering. He has worked for many leading Polish and foreign publishing houses. He has designed posters, magazine layouts, books and even postage stamps. He has successfully coped with many typographical challenges in his professional work, over the years bringing typographic design to perfection. This vast knowledge of publication design has translated into his teaching success. For many years, Dr Michał Piekarski has been teaching a course in Typesetting & Publishing at the Warsaw School of Information Technology (WIT), passing on the principles of typesetting to students. These classes are highly valued among students and form an important part of the entire study programme. The exhibition at the Retroavangarda Gallery includes graphic works by Michał Piekarski designed during the last three years. It consists of several dozen typographic posters in the spirit of visual poetry, loosely based on poems by well-known Polish poets. In these works, Michał Piekarski uses his own typeface, Sobota Bold Condensed. Colour as an accent, the directions in which the text is arranged and the variation in the scale of the letters create clear rhythms, making some compositions stronger, dynamic, and others calmer, more subtle. Light, or the space between the letters, plays an important role in them. In Piekarski’s designs one can find visible inspiration and the author’s fondness for the pre-war avant-garde. One can see echoes of the futurist activity of Tommaso Marinetti, who was one of the first to experiment in the field of modern typography. Influences from the Bauhaus and the Dutch avant-garde (Piet Zwart) can also be seen. Michał Piekarski juggles with letters with great ease, scattering them over the format of his choice. He willingly breaks the rules of conventional text writing. But to be able to break the rules, you first have to know them. This is what complete professionalism is all about, and Dr Michał Piekarski’s work is a wonderful example of this.

dr Anna Kłos
exhibition curator

photo report from the opening of the exhibition:

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