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Topolski Chronicle Exhibition

December 13, 2013

On 12 December 2013 I went to the ‘Private Viewing’, which turns out will be the only viewing as the exhibition was put up and came down in a day, of Chronicle – an exhibition of reportage drawings by the Residents of Topolski Studio, alongside the original drawings and Chronicles of Feliks Topolski. It was held at Vibe Gallery and Bar, which is tucked away, at least that’s how it felt to me on a dark, damp, chilly London evening, in the Biscuit Factory workshops in Burmondsey.

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The exhibition itself was set up as a series of sketches pinned to the walls alongside some of Topolski’s original drawings as well as prints from the original Topolski Chronicles. The Topolski Chronicles were produced by Feliks between 1953 and 1982 – the full collection containing over 2300 drawings. Find out more at Topolski Century. The drawings were well presented, each set connected by a particular theme, such as the economics of London, much in the same way as each issue of the Chronicle had a theme. There were some excellent pieces of reportage illustration which captured well the Topolski inspired ideal of on-the-spot drawing and reporting from life. If you’ve read any of my other posts on the subject you will know how passionately I believe that there is most certainly a place, in fact  a need, for this sort of work now more than ever.

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I apologise for the fact that most of the pictures  I took were of Topolski’s work – it just turned out that way. However, the couple of drawings I did take photographs of, that weren’t his, are fine examples of the sort of work that was on display. The Residents also produced a new copy of the Topolski Chronicle – printed in the same studio as the originals, presumably on the same press.


One thing I found interesting was that at an exhibition of reportage illustration no-one was recording the event with drawings. So I did some myself.


All in all it was a trip well worth making. I particularly enjoyed meeting Daniel Topolski and his sister, Felik’s children. It’s a shame that it was only a one day exhibition.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 13, 2013 4:27 pm

    Topolski’s work is great. There was until recently a permanent exhibition of some, plus murals he painted, under the railway arches on the south bank, London.

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