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Buntownik bez powodu (Rebel Without a Cause) Polish movie poster

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Mar 28th, 2021. Artwork published in .
Buntownik bez powodu (Rebel Without a Cause) Polish movie poster 1
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

Ryszard Kiwerski (1930–2015) was a Polish painter and poster artist. In the late 1960s, he was active as illustrator and designer in Warsaw, where he worked for the press and television, and also created several posters for foreign films. During this period, Kiwerski employed the photomontage technique a lot. His poster design for Buntownik bez powodu shows his mastery in this field. Originally released in the U.S. in 1955 as Rebel Without a Cause, the film starring James Dean and Natalie Wood came to Poland in 1970. In stark contrast to the American poster, Kiwerski doesn’t rely on the iconic imagery of the protagonist in his red jacket. He rather shows parts of a sports car that have been transformed into a kinetic sculpture – apparently the result of a violent crash – hinting at the actor’s premature death – with Dean’s stern face subtly integrated between the symmetrically arranged tires.

The typeface is Hermes-Grotesk, which appears in many of Kiwerski’s poster designs, and was a frequent choice by other Polish poster artists, too, including Bronisław Zelek. Kiwerski used it in all-lowercase letters. Everything but the title is shown in letterforms that are silhouetted against the dark background by a negative outline and shadow. Through this manually added effect, the words reinforce the dynamics of the image: They resemble flying debris. Or stars in the night sky.

In the 1970s, Kiwerski left Poland and settled in Paris. See more of his works on the official website as well as on Polish Poster Gallery.

Buntownik bez powodu (Rebel Without a Cause) Polish movie poster 2
Source: Poster Museum. License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Hermes-Grotesk




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