MODERN LIFE, ACCORDING TO VINTAGE GRAPHICS

We’re arrested, in strangely stimulating ways, by graphic productions thrilled to be advanced while now appearing quaint. Our 1939 depiction of a propeller-driven giant over Machine-Age New York may be now long-surpassed in its hardware; but let’s see if its sense of epochal excitement could be more than pathetic obsolescence. The soaring perspective and twilight configuration and color allude to something mysterious we would be well to approach with care.
Another 1930’s sunset bent upon amazement, and here the landlocked vehicle takes on the aura of a space craft! The work’s sense of streamline barely rooted in the Machine Age broaches the question of remoteness and melancholy about that mystery having become a beacon.

This cover by the always-reflective, A.M.Cassandre, re-positions lunch-bucket grittiness, leaving it inhabiting a distant planet in a distant galaxy. Resources of composition, color and shading inject the viewer with a sudden taste for daring and adventure! Classic painterly forces perform here a subtle sabotage of all that the classical movement stands for.
It is necessary to touch upon an instance of delighting in the modern even farther back—in the Belle Epoque, in fact—to more fully assimilate the pitch to sky’s-the-limit glimmering from, in one sense, very archaic experiences. Here the artist points out the elemental feature of fire in the product of a gas lamp, emphasizing thereby not the machinery of the moment but the alliance with a thrust inexpressible power.

Quaint, yes. But, in some ways up-to-the-minute. Girls bargaining for both old and new excitements.
Fashion priorities are not arbitrary. They speak to intimations of integrity and power that those with enough leisure can see themselves aspiring to. And, as this design sharply indicates, that aspiration has much to do with solitude.

This three-quarters-of-a-century-old poster celebrating a design expo fashions Paris as a city of the future, an aerie communing with astronomical spaces. The little planes may be pokey; but they’re fueled by boundless aspirations.
                        A less than completely modern phone; but utterly enchanting!

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This entry was posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists, Surrealist Posters&Graphics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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