Małgorzata Gurowska is a visual artist specialising in graphic design (including art books) and graphic print.
She is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, which she attended between 1996-2001. She defended her diploma with Chancellor's Distinction (Prof. Rafał Strent's Graphic Print Workshop) and two annexes (Janusz Stanny's Illustration Workshop and Prof. Sławomir Ratajski's Drawing Workshop). She works as an assistant at Prof. Zofia Glazer's Drawing Workshop at her alma mater.
Her portfolio includes projects for, among others, Bęc Zmiana Foundation (logo, Notes na 6 tygodni publication, posters), Arteria Art Foundation, Saturator Club, Studio Gallery, Królikarnia, Czuły Barbarzyńca bookshop, Yours Gallery, Powszechny Theatre, Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, Museum of Caricature, and Antalis Poland.
Gurowska is a member of the Association of Applied Graphic Designers (STGU); she participates in its exhibitions and prepares design projects for it. Since 2004, she has been a co-member of the art group CMYK (together with Grażyna Lange and Monika Hanulak), which specializes in book art. She used to run the z o.o. Gallery in Warsaw, which was later renamed to Ltd. Gallery. The beginnings of her fruitful work lie in poster design.
Małgorzata Gurowska's posters are unique through their graphic precision and vividness. No smudges, distracted splashes or blurs. The colours are clearly defined and the outlines are clear, while the lines follow natural, controlled hand movements. One will recognise focus, tension, and concentration. The whole is complemented by a block of text: unobtrusive, informational, disciplined.
Examples of the above include Fine Game from USA (2004), Red Riding Hood (2005), Osmosis. An Installation by Michał Dudek (2005), The Young from Warsaw (2007), 48th Kraków Film Festival (2008), Eat Me (2009), The Gallery of Poster… (2009), and The Painting Fashion Theatre (2009), an abundance of poster ads for the Studio Gallery, Saturator, as well as one which stands out among the human and animal modulors – Helvetica (2008).
There is no room for routine: the basis for each piece is a fresh idea. Though Gurowska's posters based on silhouettes are evidently rooted in the tradition of the Polish School of Posters, and clearly borrow from Kazimir Malevich's sacral frugality and precision, they remain personal puzzles and a testimony to their author's original and witty sense of humour and serenity.
Gurowska's art books are undoubtedly related to applied design and informational posters, but prepared in a somewhat different style. They operate in a quiet zone, on a low-key level – they don't need to force their way through the motley mess of a city. Even though (just like its relatives from the streets) they are based on a pictogram and geometry, they contain more levity, fun, and an occasionally soft mark, hand-drawn irregularity, cheekily twisted typography, and atypical construction.
Gurowska's typical figures become softer in the bilingual picture book Couleurs, colours (MeMo, 2008). It is a children's guessing game in an unusual form, which allows readers to peek at the consecutive pages through a little hole. The volume Tuwim is an effect of cooperation with the graphic design group Wytwórnia. Gurowska illustrated Birds Gossip (Ptasie plotki), Two Winds (Dwa wiatry), and The Locomotive (Lokomotywa). The book received the Bologna Ragazzi Award, the 2007 Polish IBBY Section Book of the Year title, honourable mention in the Polish Association of Book Publishers competition The Most Beautiful Books of 2007, and a special mention at the International Illustration Biennial in Bratislava (2009). In 2010, Orecchio acerbo publishing house released it, with a different cover (with The Turnip/Rzepka by Monika Hanulak instead of Anna Niemierko's Trąbalski the Elephant/Słoń Trąbalski).
The books A Game: Twelve Steps to Love (Gra: 12 kroków do miłości), Crayfish is Coming (Idzie rak), A Flea (Pchła), and Let's Talk About Colour (Porozmawiajmy o kolorze) can all be viewed on the web page www.2006.bookart.pl.
Despite an impressive oeuvre reflected in the awards and honourable mentions she's received, as well as her presence at numerous national and international exhibitions and events, Małgorzata Gurowska is still referred to as an “emerging” artist. She owes this partly to her young age, but also to her fresh, slightly rebellious, youthful designs.
Author: Sylwia Giżka, November 2010, transl. Ania Micińska, August 2015