Jerzy Jaworowski

Polish (Augustow, Poland, 1919 - 1975)

The Misfits

printed material | color lithograph with halftone
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  • The Misfits

    Jerzy Jaworowski, The Misfits, 1962; color lithograph with halftone, 33 in. x 22 3/4 in. (83.82 cm x 57.79 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Jeff Galipeaux; © Jerzy Jaworowski

Some of the most fascinating developments in the history of poster design have taken place in Poland. From the 1960s through the 1980s, Polish graphic artists chose not to promote movies through overtly glamorous, Hollywood-style imagery. Instead they deployed a new arsenal of graphic interpretations to convey the essence of each film.

Jaworowski created this haunting image of a horse for the 1961 film The Misfits, starring Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable and directed by John Huston. In screenwriter Arthur Miller's rendition of the contemporary Western, everything that the mustang typically represents is compromised. The horses, too small for riding, are to become dog food. With this lone creature Jaworowski pictures an unforgettable scene from the film in which a hunt for wild horses takes place. The stylization of the horse with terror in its eyes brings to mind the expressive paintings of Pablo Picasso, who so suggestively used equine imagery to immortalize the physicality of suffering in Guernica (1937).

33 in. x 22 3/4 in. (83.82 cm x 57.79 cm)
Acquired 2000
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Jeff Galipeaux
© Jerzy Jaworowski


movies, posters, text, Hollywood, horses, Polish

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