The loosening of political shackles in Poland in the 1950s led to an explosion of creativity in the country and a new found love for Modernism. Furniture designers like Roman Modzelewski and Teresa Kruszewska embraced organic forms, while ceramicists and textile designers took inspiration from the freedoms of abstract art. This great period of productivity, from 1955 - 1968, is now the subject of a new show at the National Museum of Warsaw, titled 'We want to be modern'.
Featuring important pieces of Polish design, little seen in the West, the exhibition explores the significance of objects of everyday use - from a phone to a camera - in shaping the modern Polish identity that emerged during that 'post thaw' period. On show is the whole range of applied arts of the period, including ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture and other household objects.
'We want to be modern' also looks at the 'social lives' of the pieces - the ways in which they were presented in periodicals and films promoting modern forms of life, and how they featured in the private interiors of socialist Poland.