Friday, July 1, 2011

Posters on Parade at Bloomsbury, 2

by Stephen J. Gertz

CAPPIELLO, Leonetto. Contratto.
Color lithograph, 1922.
Printed by Les Nouvelles Affiches Cappiello.

Last week's vintage poster sale at Bloomsbury Auctions - London brought some beautiful, striking, and unusual work into the spotlight.

CAPPIELLO, Leonetto. L'Oie d'Or.
Color lithograph, n.d.
Printed by Devambex.

We begin with examples by Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942), the great Italian designer living in Paris whose innovative poster designs led to his being considered a father of modern advertising.

CAPPIELLO, Leonetto. Axa.
Color lithograph, 1931.
Printed by Devambex.
In contrast to earlier, painterly styles, Cappiello developed a startling approach with bold figures popping off  dark, often black backgrounds in stark contrast.

CAPPIELLO, Leonetto. Le Nil.
Color lithopgraph, n.d.
Printed by Vercasson.

Cappiello arrests attention, captures imagination, and holds the eyes hostage.

CAPPIELLO, Leonetto. La Tuberculose.
Color lithograph, c. 1930.
Printed by Devambex.

BONARD, J. Cafes Migora.
Color lithograph, n.d.
Printed by Azemard Cousins.

I don't drink it but I've love to wake up and smell the coffee if I woke up and saw this poster. Indeed, its electric, neon-like quality is so glowing I'd wake up, smell the whole world, and get a buzz from the colors, forget the caffeine. I've yet, alas, to find out anything about J. Bonard, its designer.

CASSANDRE (pseud. of Adolphe Mouron, (1901-1968).
Philips Television.
Color lithograph, 1951.

Adolphe Mouron aka Cassandre (1901-1968), the Ukranian-French artist, is, perhaps, best known for his 1935 poster design for the cruise ship Normandie, an iconic image. Establishing his own advertising agency, Alliance Graphique, he led the field with clever solutions to graphic challenges. And because typography is such an integral part of poster design, he also designed fonts. Above, an image from the emerging world of commercial television; the future is now.  But there's an unsettling, '50s sci-fi B-movie movie quality to the poster; cue the theremin, the future may not be as advertised. And, last time I checked, it wasn't.

LEVIN, M and TROYRVIKOV, V. Towards the Stars.
Color lithograph, 1968.

The space race provided opportunities for both the U.S. and Soviet Union to unify their respective citizens behind grand goals and inspire national pride. Until the U.S. eclipsed the U.S.S.R.. in 1969 with the first moon landing, the Soviets were ahead, proud, and prolific propagandists. I've yet to find out anything about Levin and Troyrvokov, the designers of Toward the Stars, but its image of a human space ship is simple, dramatic, and instantly memorable.

We switch gears into reverse, and travel further back in time...

ANQUETIN, Louis (1861-1932). Marguerite Dufay.
Lithograph in color, 1894.

Printed by Ancourt, Paris.

Who can forget Marguerite Dufay, the Parisian music hall trombonist, a comique excentrique entertainer known for her muscular performances? Work that 'bone slide, Maggie, 'great for the triceps!

ANONYMOUS. Veuve Amiot.
Color lithograph, n.d..
Printed by G. Bataille.

The above, anonymously designed poster for champagne Veuve Amiot, with its Art Nouveau and oriental influences, likely dates from around 1900-1910 before Cappiello altered the graphic design landscape. Cappiello later designed posters for Veuve Amiot.

GORDE, Gaston. Uriage les Bains.
Color lithograph, 1936.
Printed by Gorde & Boudry.

Forgive the whiplash but we snap back to the mid-1930s for Gaston Gorde's (1908-1995) unusual  Uriage les Bains, a hybrid of angular Art Deco and curvilinear Art Nouveau with a  hint of  Maxfield Parrish.

PAL (pseudo. of Jean de Paléologue 1855-1942).
La Peoria.
Color lithograph, n.d.
Printed by P. Lemenil.

During the 1880s, Peoria, IL was a major manufacturing center for bicycles, with the factories of Rouse Hazard Co. and Charles Duryea exporting bikes around the world. Just about anything stamped "Made in America" signaled quality. Little is known of lithographer and artist Jean de PalĂ©ologue, aka PAL, an American working in France. 

METLICOVITZ, Leopoldo (1868-1944). Fleur de Mousse.
Color lithograph, 1898.
Printed by Mouillot Fils Aine.

Leopoldo Metlicovitz began his career in 1891, joining the Ricordi lithograph workshop. He  became the firm's most prolific artist and, ultimately, art director, later offering his services to others. You can almost sense the aroma of the "foam flowers" that have captured and enraptured the woman in the image. It smells like ecstasy.

Of related interest: Posters on Parade at Bloomsbury 1.

Images courtesy of Bloomsbury, with our thanks.

1 comment:

  1. No one would pass these by. Everything is so interesting, creative, so many details. It's some kind a source of inspiration))


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