The Poster Art Library; New York (2015) 320 pp. ; 12 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ ;
Beginning a career of lithographic poster art in the mid-1930s, as he did, Bernard Villemot(1911-1989) would have seemed to be handicapped in being underway just as the golden age of the metier was winding down. However, being from a family of very successful and affluent graphic designers, Villemot was, at an early age, exposed to those perennial avant-garde implications of that business which would counteract any sense of facile obsolescence.
The sensual priorities so salient in the cover choice above speak to a non-rational avant-garde in general and the work of painter, Henri Matisse in particular. Villemot was, from the get-go, aflame with the evergreen issues of sexy glamor as a selling point and a comprehensive vocation. Prose and poetry in tandem as a double-barrelled intervention within middling modern commercial life. Continue reading