Warsaw: “Arsenał”, 1955. Octavo (23 × 16.5 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 47 pp. with  leaves of photo-reproductions. Light soil to wrappers; spine extremities starting, a small chip to spine. Internally very good.
A catalog of the famous “Arsenał 55” exhibition of young art, a landmark event for Polish art after WWII. The exhibition was held as part of the fifth Festival of Students and Youth in Warsaw in the summer of 1955, bringing thousands of Western foreigners into the previously “closed” post-War Poland. The exhibit presented 486 works of 244 Polish artists. Because the exhibition placed ethics above the formal considerations, the artists were able to use strong color contrasts, deformations and simplifications reminiscent of primitivist and avant-garde art, breaking with the state mandated Socialist Realist conventions. Critics noted that the artwork presented at the exhibit “bravely turns away from the state-supported Socialist-Realist model through bold individuality. The year ushers in a new era, free of political pressure and open to Western art and ideas, as well as unabashed statements of personal belief” (See Sculpture Undone 1955–1972, p. 183). Notable works from the exhibit included: Marek Oberlander’s “Stigmatized”, Isaac Celnikier’s “Ghetto”, Hilary Krzysztofiak’s “Jaw”, “Jan Dziedziora’s “Meal” among others. The exhibition was attended by and influenced many artists who were later significant in the formation of new Polish art such as Andrej Wroblewski, Alina Szapocznikow, Jan Lenica, Maria Pininska-Beres, Jacek Sempolinski etc. As of June 2020, KVK, OCLC show two copies in North America.
Book ID: P002942