Conrad Festival 2013

literature and art

Bohdan Butenko

Bohdan Butenko

A book is made like a sweater
The exhibition at Bunkier Sztuki, initiating the activity of Mały Instytut Polskiej Ilustracji (Small Institute of Polish Illustration), is an attempt at taking a new look at the works of Bohdan Butenko, one of the best-known and most-awarded Polish graphic artists in the world, representative of the so-called Polish School of Illustration. Next to artists such as: Daniel Mróz, Janusz Stanny, Jan Marcin Szancer, Franciszek Themerson, and Józef Wilkoń, Butenko gained the fully-deserved status of a classic, and his graphic designs aesthetically educate already the third generation of readers, also influencing artistic experiments of the younger generation of illustrators.
The exhibition focuses on the phenomenon of “architecture” of books by Bohdan Butenko – an exceptionally conscious creator, who made printing technique an art. Butenko designs each volume beginning with the cover, and finishing off with details such as the publisher’s imprint – comparing the design process to weaving a sweater, he says with his distinct sense of humour: “You have to knit well, so that it doesn’t fray”. Thanks to his flair for aesthetics and attention to detail, books prepared by Bohdan Butenko become art objects in which all of the bookbinding, typographic, drawing, and photographic elements combine to form a multidimensional artistic narration.
During the exhibition, a meeting with Bohdan Butenko, Ewa Gruda (director of the Museum of Children’s Books in Warsaw), Anita Wincencjusz-Patyna, PhD (art historian specialising in the history and theory of illustration), and Sebastian Frąckiewicz (editor-in-chief of, cartoon critic for Polityka) will take place.

25 October, at 00:00 Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Bunkier Sztuki pl. Szczepański 3a

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