In the 1920s and ’30s, culture and design aesthetics changed around the world. The first World War had ended; the stock market boomed; cabaret culture and jazz music proliferated. Art Deco responded to this renewed sense of possibility and freedom by embracing experimentation, bold forms, geometry, and avant-garde typography. Our 88th auction presents Art Deco works from the leaders of the genre: Broders, Cappiello, Colin, Loupot, Schnackenberg, and more.
19 5/8 x 29 3/4 in./49.6 x 75.5 cm
During the 1930s, Gilroy created a series of designs centering on a zookeeper and his misadventures with his Guinness-loving animals. Here, an ostrich appears to have swallowed his entire pint glass, much to the horror of the poor man in charge.
21 7/8 x 28 1/8 in./55.5 x 71.5 cm
After a riveting job well done, Rosie’s taking a much deserved sandwich break. But beneath her casual demeanor, Rockwell includes an underlying symbol of victory: her foot rests gently on top of a copy of “Mein Kampf.”
31 1/8 x 47 in./79 x 119.3 cm
This is one of the best beach scenes in true Art Deco style ever printed. It’s just one of three posters created by Michel Bouchaud. After his military service, he asked to be demobilized in Algeria, where he joined his brother at Villa Abd-el-Tif and discovered the Mediterranean light. Returning to Paris, he worked on behalf of perfumers, chocolatiers, designers, and jewelers. His work normally concentrated on a smaller, more experiential scale: barrels of Rum Négrita, record covers, and the like. The totality of the Art Deco infusion in this poster is redolent of his will to immerse himself in the creative experience.
30 1/2 x 42 1/8 in./77.5 x 107 cm
Here is a rapturously beautiful and supreme Deco celebration of Corsica, the Mediterranean, and the idylls of beach life from the travel-poster master. The colors are impossibly crisp, especially considering this Grande Dame of posterdom is now 94 years of age. This is actually an advertisement for the PLM railway; the line not only advertised destinations in southern Europe, but also points across the water accessible from those ports. This is the French-language version.
27 1/2 x 39 1/2 in./70 x 100.2 cm
This is a rare version of Cappiello’s classic “Bitter Campari,” with text that instead reads “’Campari’ / l’apéritif.” “Cappiello, steeped in theatrical tradition from his years as a stage caricaturist, often chose pierrots, harlequins, or clowns to represent various products. Here, in one of his most inspired designs, the clown embodies the spirit of the orange peel, a zesty ingredient in [Campari]. This image has become one of the classics of poster design, effortlessly combining the element of surprise with the essence of the product” (Cappiello/Rennert, p. 214). This is the smallest of three formats.
13 3/8 x 20 1/8 in./34 x 51 cm
This portfolio was published at the height of “the Black Craze” in Paris, a period of several years during which black dancers and jazz musicians enjoyed great popularity. It all started in 1925 when the troupe then playing at the Plantation Club in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood was brought to Paris, and lead dancer Josephine Baker introduced the French to that new sensation: the Charleston. Colin, who was in on the whole thing from the beginning, collected the sketches he made of her and of other black performers who followed; these forty-eight plates, published in a limited edition of 500, are the result. The images were drawn directly on the stone by Colin at the Chachoin plant in Paris and then stencil-colored (the term for this technique is pochoir). Pulsating with color and movement, the portfolio contains the very best of Colin’s lithographic work.
35 1/2 x 49 5/8 in./90 x 126 cm
One of the more effective designs for the PKZ men’s store, this handsome image sits on the same level as those by Engelhard and Hohlwein. This printing boasts especially vivid colors.
30 3/4 x 47 in./78 x 119.5 cm
Gontcharova’s long and productive career spanned several countries and many styles. She could be very expressionist, or be in the midst of Futurism, or, as in this poster, at the very core of Cubism. After a successful career of painting and teaching in Russia—as well as exhibiting in all the major European avant-garde shows, including the 1911 Blaue Reiter and the 1913 Der Sturm exhibitions—she went to Paris in 1914 where she settled permanently. There she was involved in all facets of theatrical work, including designing sets for Diaghilev. Illustration also preoccupied her, but she did little in the medium of the poster. This one for the Grand Bal de Nuit at the Salle Bullier is a spectacular evocation of the Cubist style which was seldom used in posters. Whether one sees in it a couple under a tree or some other image, one gets an impression of a vivacious “happening.”
39 3/8 x 55 3/8 in./100 x 140.7 cm
For the Modiano brand of prefabricated rolling paper tubes, Lenhart plays us an engaging optical game of silhouettes: the black outfit of the Garbo-like femme fatale appears like a cutout against the green background, the blouse and the hand seem cut out in turn from the black; standing out from both is the warmly glowing face and the white cigarette. Most elegant! Born in Bavaria, Lenhart studied in Italy and settled there permanently in 1922 to work and teach.
46 5/8 x 62 1/2 in./118.5 x 158.5 cm
This poster is exceptionally rare. Loupot launched into work for St Raphaël Quinquina (an apéritif in red and white varieties) with a series of four posters using these two characters: a portly waiter in red, and a taller, thinner waiter in white. In the first of the series, the characters are floating high above a Chagall-esque Paris; in the second, they’re leaning back, at rest in a café; this one, the third, is the first in which they are reduced to pure Cubist abstractions. “Compared with the two previous posters, it could be said to be a call to order” (Loupot/Zagrodzki, p. 104).
41 x 61 1/4 in./104.3 x 155.7 cm
This haughty lady in fancy headgear, elaborate jewelry, and very little else on her body represents “the girl of your dreams” for a brand of perfume. Rare!
77 x 109 1/4 in./195.7 x 277.5 cm
If Nizzoli’s design for Cordial Campari (see PAI-LXXVIII, 400) references elements of Expressionism, this composition for Bitter Campari calls to mind Cubism. As the table is raked forward and down, the bottles and glass manage to stay upright, lunging toward the viewer in gravity-defying space. While the product stands sturdily off to the left, an apéritif glass gets a magically handsfree splash of soda water, creating the brand’s signature cocktail. It is one of the rarest and most brilliant Art Deco designs ever created. This is the largest, four-sheet format.
34 1/2 x 48 1/4 in./87.8 x 123 cm
Although the design certainly resembles the work of Schnackenberg, this image for Munich dancer Peter Pathe is signed by an unknown M. Pathe—perhaps a relative of the performer. Peter usually performed with Maria Hagen, but here he gets top solo billing; below his frolicking feet are listed other performers and a promise of dancing with a big orchestra, all taking place at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Munich. Rare!
9 1/2 x 13 3/4 in./24 x 35.2 cm
Clearly an admirer of Cassandre, Pichon created this striking geometric design to announce an exposition of photography and cinema at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. Rare!
35 x 47 7/8 in./88.8 x 121.8 cm
In order to promote a Munich wine bar called The Pyramid, Schnackenberg goes all in on the Egyptian theme, but with Art Deco flair. The flattened shapes, geometric lines, and seminude attending server draw on ancient reliefs, while the wine glasses and spindly bread sticks reflect 1920s German culture. Rare!
30 5/8 x 45 1/4 in./77.8 x 115 cm
At the center of this poster, a conductor—yes, that’s him with the baton—raises his hands, signaling that the symphony is about to commence: the second ever AAAA Ball (Aide Amicale Aux Artistes, or “friendly help to artists”). Numerous benefits and balls for artists were held in Paris around this time; this one was an overture to Russian artist émigrés from the Bolshevik Revolution. The artist, Marie Vassilieff, preceded them: she arrived in Montparnasse in 1907, opened her own atelier in 1912, and collected works by Chagall, Modigliani, Picasso, and Léger. She was a nurse for the French Red Cross during World War I, and painted the ornamental panels for the pillars in the dining room of La Coupole. She exhibited puppet portraits in London in 1920 and in Paris in 1923; these were obviously inspiration for this 1924 poster.
24 5/8 x 39 1/2 in./62.6 x 100.5 cm
In a field largely dominated by men, Anna Katrina and her sister Doris Clarke carved out a significant space for posters designed by women. They both created a number of images for the London Underground and various British railways. Here, Zinkeisen uses her sensitive perspective to present a verdant view of Dovercourt, a seaside resort in the county of Essex. A mother in her sun hat leads her child down the path towards the beach, adding a charming feminine touch to the pastel-hued scene.