SPEAKING OF PICTURES: A VINTAGE GRAPHICS BLOG

FORTUNE AND THE EXCITING BEAUTIES UNDERLYING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

IMG_5082When it comes to vintage magazine graphics, we all tend to focus on the often breathtaking covers, and perhaps one or two ads and article illustrations that really pop. In conveying to you what amazing value inheres in such items (so generally seen to be tiny, in light of the bigger scheme of poster art), today we’ll concentrate on simply one issue of Fortune Magazine (March 1937) and unfold its cornucopia of design gems.  Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Modernist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

THE RISE OF PAIN IN DREAMS—PHARRELL WILLIAMS GETS SERIOUS

IMG_4927Billy Wilder made movies (like Some Like It Hot) and collected modern classical paintings. Pharrell Williams makes songs like “Happy” and collects figurines that could not be called happy. In fact they could be called Surrealist, with all the toil that term invokes. But it’s an odd, frustratingly gloomy Surrealism; and it presses us to figure out why it should be so.

Our first instance might well be called “A Boy and his Dog,” with ironic wallop typical of this art/merchandise. (The show, curated by Williams, from which the material here is drawn, is currently off and running at Toronto’s Design Exchange). Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Current Events, Industrial Design, Modernist Posters&Graphics, Surrealist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MEDAL-WINNING OLYMPICS POSTERS !!

IMG_4763-002Olympics posters come to us as  a very mixed bag. Last week we were pleased to see  First Canadian Place, putting up some medal-worthy graphics for the non-stop sport center popping up in the foyer.  Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Current Events, Illustration Art, Modernist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

AIRPLANE GRAPHICS—THE SKY’S THE LIMIT!

Hier Aujourd'hui      Hier/Aujourd’hui Air Show  1931 ;S.Peratt ;46″ x 61 1/2″ 

 In 1931, the composition in the foreground Aujourd’hui was very today (while the white, biplane figure was very yesterday). Time flies. But the mystery and romance of people travelling in the air remains a constant treasure of the modern era.  Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Modernist Posters&Graphics, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WOMAN’S HOME COMPANION–DOMESTICITY WITH AN EDGE

womans-home-companion-april-1927“Woman’s Home Companion” is not a (magazine) name to immediately bring to mind an imperative of the mysterious side of life. Practical food ingredients, toothpaste, floor wax, Arch Preserver Shoes (allowing the little lady to get back on the golf links and become, as before, a “pal” to her husband) etc.—yes; the unknown—no.

But here, in the April 1927 issue, there is a graphic that trips you up! What could be more mundane than kids coming home from school? But artist, Marginel Wright  Barney, shoots for something else—a school of umbrellas as edgy as sharks, and as graceful as a  school of jellyfish!   Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Modernist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ROSE ET NOIR (UPBEAT AND DOWNBEAT)

rose-et-noir-ombre-liberte L’Ombre de la Liberte (1931)Paul Iribe;12  ½” x 10”;litho I of IX from Rose et Noir

In 1931, the Nicolas Paris-based wine store chain, produced a deluxe lithographic project , titled, Rose et Noir. This effort was a bid to offset the surge of interest in cocktails, derived from American jazz-age culture. In addition to a cynical little script, covering the banter of an alcoholic modern couple in Paris, there are 9 full-page illustrations by graphic design master, Paul Iribe (1883-1935), evoking , in exquisite art deco air-brush vignettes the presumed toxicity of imbibing high-alcohol-content beverages. Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Surrealist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

PATRIZIA MOROSO—BRINGING MYSTERY INTO FURNITURE

03-IMG_4490At first glance you might find this an unremarkable glimpse of modern chairs at a design show. But look again, at the details of these two chairs. In the foreground, the chair’s coloration traces (from left to right) an ebbing of its color statement. In the background, the grey seating appears to be laced with wire! In both cases the deficit proves illusory, providing a superb comfort and a playful “crisis,” derived from that highway of infinite physical possibilities coinciding with the intent of mustering comfortable seating. Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Current Events, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Industrial Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PIERRE BONNARD—A COLORIST THRILLED BY WORLDS LACKING COLOR

bonnard-couverture-de-lalbum-56A plaza at sunset, and the starlings fill the skies with their inventive motions. The populace discovers a Paris few of us know.
Bonnard’s subdued lithograph intends to be savored for a long time. Don’t rush away, or you’ll miss some surprising, quiet thrills. Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Illustration Art, Illustrators, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MODERN ART AND THE HUMAN COMPONENT OF DYNAMICS

I think it’s worth revisiting the Guggenheim/Art Gallery of Ontario “Great Upheaval” show, to more closely consider the trajectory of its presentation of a world becoming unglued. There is, in a painting like the one shown here, by Kazimir Malevich, who would soon confine his work to geometric forms adrift upon an abyss, an embrace of the amazing realism effectively hidden for millennia under a scramble of mundane chores. A composition like this seeks to ignite in the viewer layers of mystery surprisingly accessible to a reflective pause such as that induced by a well-prepared exhibition. Continue reading
Share Button
Posted in Current Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LET’S GET AWAY FROM IT ALL—APPROACHES TO TRAVEL GRAPHICS

There are many ways to induce travel dreams, and graphic designers in the poster and other visual areas have to hit upon the one that most effectively meets the client’s needs (and at the same time satisfying the artist’s comprehensive motives). In the 1950′s and 1960′s, the Danish artist, Otto Nielsen, seems to have come upon the right stuff to increase passenger figures on Scandinavian Airlines.    Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Illustration Art, Illustrators, Modernist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment