Golden Debut exhibition


Venue: Salon Akademii Gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 5, entrance from ul. Traugutta


The opening: Friday, 6th June 2014 at 5 p.m.
(free entrance)

Exhibition open: 7th June – 4th July, 2014
Monday - Friday, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.


Announcement of the results: 7 p.m. (CEST), 7 June 2014 at the opening ceremony, the Poster Museum at Wilanow, Warsaw.


As we all know, the only thing that never changes is that things change. The formula of the International Poster Biennale has changed over the years. Venues have changed and organizers, the rules, the categories, as well as the character of the main and the accompanying exhibitions. The category of the Golden Debut was introduced in 2002, during the 18th edition of the Biennale. The Organisational Committee together with the Programme Council, the Poster Museum in Wilanów and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw passed an amendment to the rules of the International Poster Biennale, based on which a new, separate category B for young artists was established. It was named Henryk Tomaszewski Golden Debut and was founded as a result of reflection stemming from the many years of practice. Up until that moment the Biennale competition favoured acclaimed graphic designers who were already well-known on the arts scene, as they had access to better technical facilities, had more experience and were offered more opportunities, if only in terms of job information. Young and beginning artists usually had less chance because of technical limitations, lack of commissions or poorer skills.


The Henryk Tomaszewski Golden Debut has become an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of graphic design competitions. The International Poster Biennale is the only event offering a chance to participate in the competition and the following exhibition to rising talent. The name of Henryk Tomaszewski, the greatest poster artist in Poland, prominent graphic designer, wonderful teacher and extraordinary person, is a symbolic and literal ennoblement of the award. The Golden Debut is supposed to celebrate the introduction of a beginning artist into the world of graphic design. The adjective ‘golden’ brings associations with an Olympic gold medal and adds more glory and prestige to the ‘debut’ category. We should remember that ‘golden’ means ‘precious’, but also ‘authentic’. The competition is then not only about the high value, but also about the originality and uniqueness of a debut. Such were the works awarded in the past. The previous Golden Debut winners were: Dominika Różańska (2002), Franz Scholz (2004), Aleksander Czyż (2006), Anita Wasik (2008), Bob Lei (2010), Zofia Klajs (2012).


The International Poster Biennale is a multithreaded event. The main exhibition of the A category will take place at the premises of the Poster Museum in Wilanów, the Golden Debut (the B category) at the Salon Akademii Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and the works of the Jury members will be displayed at Centrum Kultury Łowicka. This year’s Jury panel includes Stephan Bundi (Switzerland), David Crowley (UK), Kenya Hara (Japan), Jerzy Porębski (Poland), Silvia Sfligiotti (Italy) and Jakub Hakobo Stępień (Poland). The first stage of the competition was an online evaluation of works submitted in an electronic form. Each project was evaluated on a scale of 0–5 and the posters with the highest numbers of points, proportionately to the distribution of votes, have proceeded to the exhibition and to the finals of the competition. A total of 3,814 works were submitted by 1,672 artists to the 24th International Poster Biennale. As for the Golden Debut competition, 1,213 works were entered and 64 from them will compete at the second stage. During the second stage, the Jury will come to Warsaw for a two-day session at the Poster Museum in Wilanów and will jointly decide on the winners in the both categories.

The Golden Debut exhibition will take place at the Salon Akademii Gallery located at the premises of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Displaying works right in the heart of the academic arts centre has a symbolic dimension. The organisers hope for a positive response from the artistic circles, since an academic institution, the source of creative tension and activity, is a place where you may expect some intellectual ferment, inspired and enhanced by the competition and award established as a tribute to our prominent graphic designer and teacher. It is here, at this exhibition, where you may expect the biggest surprises and real novelties. On the other hand, only the future will tell if the choices are right. The Golden Debut award serves as a kind of motivation, granted in recognition of a promising start, but also to encourage further work. The accompanying exhibition is beyond the divisions of the artistic environment because the participants take their first steps into a career in poster design. We should not reveal the names or present the works selected for the second stage at this moment, if only to observe the rules of the competition. The exhibition will then be a huge surprise to everyone. And what will we see for sure at the Henryk Tomaszewski Golden Debut show? The answer is simple – the future!


Rafał Nowakowski, curator