Masterpieces of Graphic Design More than a century of graphic design innovation is on display at International Poster Gallery from September 15 through November 30, 2005 at 205 Newbury Street in Boston.
and Dada - all of which strongly influenced poster design. In the Soviet Union, the film poster became a showplace for the avant-garde artists who felt art should serve the building of a socialist society. Prusakov’s 1928 Glass Eye, for a film about the camera and its objectivity, shows a filmmaker’s body transformed into a camera. In the Stenberg Brother’s poster New World Journal (1926), its readers become a phalanx of robotic soldiers.
The preeminent figure of this era was A.M. Cassandre, whose sleek designs of towering ships and speeding trains are considered 20th Century icons. He assimilated his knowledge of avant-garde movements into a popular style often called the Machine Age Style, or Art Deco. Cassandre’s rare Triplex (1931) features the somewhat anonymous "Everyman" typical of the 1930s who is protected by unbreakable auto glass – all conveyed in a graphic shorthand, which illustrates Cassandre’s axiom that a poster should communicate like a telegram. Outstanding Swiss artists, such as Otto Morach, also captured the essence of Machine Age design in such posters as PKZ Jedermann (1928), which was pared down to the essentials, the angular figures becoming anonymous behind their beautiful PKZ suits.
The show includes several Art Deco classics such as U. di Lazzaro’s Crociera Aerea of 1933 and four pieces from the 1939 New York World’s Fair. In addition, pioneering commercial use
of photomontage is seen in Herbert Matter’s great All Roads Lead to Switzerland (1935) and Francis Bernard’s elegant Arts Menagers of 1933. Switzerland’s fascination with the Object Poster from the 1920s to the 1940s is well represented by posters of everyday items hyper-realistically blown up into modern icons.
After WWII stone lithography was abandoned due to high cost in favor of silkscreen and offset printing. The show focuses on the mid-century modern movement known as the International Typographic Style. Through its use of san-serif type, an orderly design grid and emphasis on photography, the poster became a truly graphic medium. The work of Josef Mueller Brockmann, Armin Hofmann, and others is highlighted.
The radical poster styles of the 1960s also appear: Vermine Fasciste, a poster for the student uprisings in Paris of 1968, Richard Avedon’s solarized portraits of the Beatles (1967), and Milton Glaser’s Bob Dylan (1966) capture the era. A final chapter of the show is devoted to Post Modernism, a term used to describe styles from the 1970s to today, reacting to the canons of the Swiss Style which dominated the world for two decades. A provocative display of posters from today's graphic design masters Gunther Rambow, Lex Drewinski, Ikko Tanaka, Rosemarie Tissi and Siegfried Odermatt, Ralph Schraivogel and others reveals the dizzying array of design possibilities pursued around the globe.
Since its opening over 10 years ago, IPG has gained a reputation for its world-class collection of original vintage posters. Owner James Lapides has written extensively on posters, and is widely recognized as an expert in the field. In addition to gallery shows and special exhibitions, IPG's award-winning website, www.internationalposter.com, offers the