The post-1953 thaw brought a new term from behind the Iron Curtain, which subsequently began to characterize Polish design – “modern".
Until then, when it came to objects of industrial design and craftsmanship, terms like "functional," "usable," or "rationally designed" were preferred. The October auction at DESA Unicum "Design. Faces of Modernity" preceded by an exhibition, presents a wide selection of objects primarily from the 1950s-70s. They stand out with abstract patterns, vibrant colors and asymmetrical shapes. The catalog includes both mass-produced items and those showcasing the individual capabilities of designers. However, all the exhibits can be collectively described as "modern."
The auction will feature well-recognized figurines and sets in the "New Look" style, but it will also include unique pieces for collectors (including rarely appearing on the auction market projects such as "The Singer" by Lubomir Tomaszewski, "Lady with a Guitar" by Paweł Karasek or "Great Tit" by Mieczysław Naruszewicz). An important part of the auction is a group of around 30 figurines designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s at the Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw and produced by porcelain and porcelain factories in Ćmielów, Chodzież, Tułowice and Wałbrzych. The modernity symbolized by Picasso will be represented by a large group of faience items known as "picasiaki" from Włocławek. In the furniture category, you will find not only Polish designs under the sign of ŁAD but also timeless international designs, such as a pair of sideboards straight from Czechoslovakia. Among them, there are collector's items as well as those that will fit perfectly into a contemporary, fashionable living space.
The exhibition also couldn't do without neon, which was a symbol of the modern city. It not only served as advertising but also informed, educated, entertained and sponsored businesses, but most importantly, it was a landmark of the city. At the auction, you will have the opportunity to bid on the "Jeweler" neon, which illuminated the everyday concerns of Warsaw residents in the 1980s and 1990s. It was located at the corner of Krucza Street and Aleje Jerozolimskie.
The exhibition at DESA Unicum, titled "Design. Faces of Modernity", will run from October 5th and will conclude with an auction on Thursday, October 12th, at 7:00 PM.