Bunkier Sztuki: A BOOK IS MADE LIKE A SWEATER

BOHDAN BUTENKO ǀ A BOOK IS MADE LIKE A SWEATER

October 25th through November 10th, 2013

Opening: Thursday, October 24th, 7.30 pm

Curators: Anna Bargiel, Jakub Woynarowski

Exhibition arrangement and support: Mateusz Okoński

The exhibition held in Bunkier Sztuki, which is the first initiative of Mały Instytut Polskiej Ilustracji (the Little Institute of Polish Illustration), is an attempt to adopt a new approach to the works of Bohdan Butenko, one of the best known and most successful Polish graphic artists, representative of the so-called Polish School of Illustration. Butenko, along with Daniel Mróz, Janusz Stanny, Jan Marcin Szancer, Franciszka Themerson and Józef Wilkoń, is ranked among the greatest in this field. His designs have already shaped the tastes of three generations of readers, and continue to influence artistic explorations of young illustrators.

The exhibition focusses on the phenomenon of “architecture” of books created by Bohdan Butenko. Highly conscious of the aspects of creation, the artist elevated typography and graphic design to the status of art. Butenko designs each volume meticulously, from cover to such details as imprint. ‘You have to knit so that it won’t rip’, he says with his characteristic sense of humour, comparing design process to knitting a sweater. Highly developed aesthetic sense and utmost attention to detail make Butenko’s books works of art, where all features – typographic, photographic, bookbinding – form a multi-level visual narration.

What makes Butenko’s style unique is not only the expert choice of figures and typefaces, but also the ability – rare among contemporaneous illustrators – to find printing solutions that would overcome the constraints of the rough Communist era.

During the exhibition period a debate will be held, featuring Bohdan Butenko, Ewa Gruda, director of Muzeum Książki Dziecięcej (the Museum of Children’s Books in Warsaw), Doctor Anita Wincencjusz-Patyna, art historian specialising in illustration theory and history, and Sebastian Frąckiewicz, editor-in-chief of lubimyczytac.pl (Polish readers’ community website) and comic book critic at “Polityka” (leading weekly newsmagazine).

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