Jerzy Flisak (Polish, 1930-2008), El Dorado, 1973 (detail). Polish poster for the American film El Dorado (1967). Lithograph. Courtesy of the Autry National Center, Los Angeles. 95.168.1


Polish Film Posters for the American Western

February 16, 2014June 1, 2014
Hamilton Building - Level 2 — Included in general admission.

Shane, The Misfits, Tom Horn, and Oklahoma! The DAM shows how these movies and other iconic westerns were reinterpreted by Polish artists in Rebranded: Polish Film Posters for the American Western.

Rebranded presents movie posters from the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles that were created during Poland’s communist era. Westerns exported an epic vision of America, making John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Clint Eastwood, and Kirk Douglas legends around the world. Yet Polish artists did not promote these films through overtly glamorous, Hollywood-style imagery. Instead, they used universally recognized symbols of the American West—horse, six-shooter, the cowboy, Stetson, saddle—to express their opinions on violence as a negative force.

For more than three decades, Polish film posters were regarded as one of the country's highest art forms and a source of national pride. Unlike many other art forms in Poland, these posters did not fall within the censor's domain because they were not deemed threats to the social order. Therefore, graphic artists had greater opportunity for self-expression, created more personal images, and pioneered individual styles, and techniques.

The impressive, original, and uncompromising posters in Rebranded not only catch the eye, but also offer an ingenious perspective on some of the most well-known American westerns while providing a glimpse into the poster art form.

Rebranded: Polish Film Posters for the American Western is supported by the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, and The Denver Post.