The recent past is rich with cultural and historic landmarks—and, of course, fantastically creative posters that commemorate them. Icons of the late 20th century include Blechman, Glaser, Haring, Warhol, Yokoo, and more.
29 x 42 1/4 in./73.8 x 107.4 cm
R.O. Blechman’s “New York at Night” is an elegant and refined depiction of the city that never sleeps. The buildings of midtown and lower Manhattan are gently outlined in black ink, while colored details draw attention to some of New York’s architectural wonders: Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building, their spires and facades glowing like jewels in the night. Blechman is an accomplished animator, illustrator, children’s book author, graphic novelist, and editorial cartoonist; he created 15 iconic covers for the New Yorker between 1974 and 1996. This is hand-signed by Blechman.
62 5/8 x 45 3/4 in./159 x 116.2 cm
A glowing blue hand emerges out of the darkness to flip a switch on a Philips transistor radio, while other models sit patiently in the background, waiting to burst out with music. The mystery, the saturated colors, and the bold forms of the radios make this a stunning design by Eric, who created several posters for Philips and other technology companies. Sadly, no other information exists on the artist. Rare!
22 1/8 x 33 in./56.2 x 83.6 cm
Originally included in Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits-Volume 1 album on vinyl, this image of the singer is possibly Glaser’s most iconic design. When speaking of it, the artist mentions being influenced by Duchamp and Islamic paintings, resulting in “a style some now consider peculiarly American” (Glaser, p. 50).
18 1/2 x 27 in./47 x 68.5 cm
“The Galleria Lucio Amelio in Naples was one of Italy’s most well-known galleries and presented exhibitions by Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, and many others. For Haring, this was his only exhibition with Amelio. He spent three weeks in Milan and produced all of the works in the exhibition there, in part in collaboration with his friend Angel Ortiz, also known as LA II” (Haring Posters, p. 107).
Each: 21 5/8 x 29 7/8 in./55 x 76 cm
Kiffer’s two most popular posters employ bold solid backgrounds to let the stars shine: Edith Piaf strikes a typically forlorn pose while belting out one of her raspy romantic songs, while Maurice Chevalier flashes his toothy whites beneath his beloved and famous hat. Kiffer captures them both so well because he worked closely with each; he created several designs for Piaf, and for Chevalier, he prepared virtually all of his publicity for some forty years. Leave it to those who know best to create the greatest homage. These are hand-signed from an edition of 150 copies.
39 3/8 x 59 3/8 in./100 x 150.8 cm
As his most celebrated poster, the importance of this image to Savignac’s career cannot be overstated. It is emblematic of his iconic style: disarmingly simple, almost childlike in its brushwork, relying on basic colors and uncluttered compositional space to impart a cheerful, amusing message to the viewer. The design lets us know in no uncertain terms that this soap is made with milk.
47 3/4 x 68 3/4 in./121.3 x 174.5 cm
Villemot created many posters and advertising images for Bally, all of which are bold, charming, and winsomely designed. Here, our leggy model bounces the world off of her Bally pump, while her shadow gives a hint of the store’s men’s offerings.
24 x 17 1/2 in./61 x 44.4 cm
In 1983, Warhol created a variety of images for Perrier, each taking the product and elevating it through his signature use of silkscreen color-washing. “These posters were intended for publicity in bistros and cafés in France. They won the French poster Grand Prix in 1983, the only award Warhol ever received for his work as a poster artist” (Warhol Posters, p. 85). This is the fuchsia image in the smaller format.
28 3/4 x 40 5/8 in./73 x 103.3 cm
Chances are that if you hadn’t read the title of this piece, you wouldn’t single it out as a poster promoting the dyed kimonos available at the Kyotomo shop. Apart from the Cubist garter-wearer at bottom right, there aren’t even that many feminine elements in the poster. But it is a feast for the eye, a kaleidoscopic deconstructionist playground composed of geometric mish-mash—but between the mish and the mash there appear to be very carefully chosen images: the beach from a verandah, a locomotive, playing cards, electric guitars, a bottle of wine, an arrow-pierced heart, a face, the word “year.” The text in the ad mentions that Kyotomo also “deals with dressing.” And why would they do that? Because most modern women can’t do it, that’s why. If they need to wear a kimono for some formal event, they will go to a beauty salon or a shop like this one to have someone (or several someones) help dress them.
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