Rene Wanner's Poster Page

Winners of the 8. International Theater Poster Biennale in Rzeszow, Poland
(Information from Wladyslaw Serwatowski, Jury President. See also the Call for entries for more details)

Jury members

Ulla Aartoma SF, Ulrike Eckstein DE, Alain Le Quernec FR, Antoni Libera PL, Zbigniew Rybka PL, Wladyslaw Serwatowski PL (president). Gianni Bortolotti could not attend because of a cancelled flight. The jury met early October 2001 in Warsaw and awarded the following prizes:


Honorable Prize "Bohdan Cybulski (1946-2001)"

  • Lech Majewski for "Brat naszego Boga" by Karol Wojtyla at Teatr Wandy Siemaszkowej, Rzeszow (PL)

Michel Bouvet
"Les Perses"

Nikalus Troxler
"Liebe auf Eis gelegt"
("Love on ice")

Lex Drewinski
"Waiting for Godot"

Lech Majewski
"Brat naszego Boga"
("God's brother", play by Karol Wojtyla, now Pope John Paul II)

Wladyslaw Serwatowski sent me the following comments on the awards:

This year's international panel of judges were looking for simplicity, conciseness of composition and lettering. These values determined which posters, out of 234 by 81 artists, will be displayed at the exhibition to open Nov. 9 at the Siemaszkowa Theater in Rzeszˇw, with the presentation of works by the competition winners at Maly Theater in Warsaw Nov. 10. The exposition will include works from the United States, Cuba, China and Japan.

The judges were hardly unanimous in their aesthetic preferences during the final debate on the distribution of awards. Indeed there was a fierce clash between modern and conservative approaches. The verdict, signed by all members of the panel, might have been totally different if not for the absence of the Italian graphic artist Gianni Bortolotti due to canceled Swissair connections from Bologna. This circumstance, however, did not turn out to be a reason to punish the Swiss; despite heated discussion, the poster Liebe auf Eis gelegt designed at Niklaus Troxler's Studio received second prize for its intriguing and innovative form and unconventional typography.

Bouvet, who in 1997 won second prize in Rzeszˇw, this time swapped places with Troxler. The series of Bouvet's large-format posters was made as an interpretation of a play, script and message, following explanations provided by the performance's director. Bouvet's works are a documentation of a set and pursued goal. His poster announcing a new production of The Persians by ancient dramatist Aeschylus won the highest mark.

Drewinski was awarded for his poster for Waiting for Godot at the German Imagine Theater. The design was originally a page in the Year at the Theater calendar. "Discovered" by a student of directing from the United States, it became the poster of the graduation performance of Samuel Beckett's play. As a result, the poster appeared as a digital-print advertisement of a student performance. The poster's economical means of expression perfectly harmonizes with the aesthetics close to the heart of Nobel prize winner Beckett.

The art of the theater poster continues to develop thanks to theaters and designers. In the past two decades, Bohdan Cybulski, a graduate of the Academy of Music and the Theater Academy, played an important role in popularizing of the art of theater poster. As the director of the Jan Kochanowski Theater in Opole, Nowy Theater in Warsaw and Studyjny Theater in Lˇdz, he brought about the publication of some excellent posters and acted as the patron of about a dozen poster exhibitions and one-man shows of poster artists working for theaters in many countries. Cybulski (1946-2001) died in September.

The panel of judges awarded the Bohdan Cybulski Special Prize of Honor to the poster by Lech Majewski for the play Brother of Our God by Karol Wojtyla (the current pope). The play's protagonist, the painter Adam Chmielowski who was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, personifies what Majewski captured in his poster and about which Wojtyla wrote: "There is a picture in him. A non-visual picture, imperceptible to the eye. A picture and a likeness."

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