|Cieślewicz’s poster for Hitchcock’s Vertigo|
Spread over three sprawling rooms, the exhibition provides a thorough insight into the artist’s oeuvre, whilst also contextualising each of Cieślewicz’s artistic periods using historical details about his life in general. From the surrealistic to the Soviet constructivist, Cieślewicz’s work is informed by several styles which he combined within the one work. What interested me most, though, was the artist’s work as art director with Elle and contributor to Vogue. I didn’t manage to track down the amazing, somewhat surrealistic cover he did for Elle back in what I recall was the 1960s, but it’s on show in the RCA if you’re about.
|A poster for a play by Fernando Arrabal|
|A poster for Polish retail chain, Moda Polska (Polish Fashion)|
The exhibition also just touches on the perpetual question of whether a leftist artist can remain true to his politics if he/she’s working with commercial big-name corporates who aren’t likely to be on the same ideological wavelength. Although his working with fashion magazines and ad agencies ruled him out as a radical, Cieślewicz still sought to forward the cause of the Left and was honest about the projects he undertook saying something along the lines of, ‘I work with companies who have money in order to work for those who don’t’.
Roman Cieślewicz at the Royal College of Art ends today, August 7th 2010.
Images from Revel in New York, Many Stuff, Artnet