D. H. Evans Fashion Wise 1950s;Arpad Elfer;30″ x 40″;A-, Silkscreen
We live in a fairly solid context (animal; vegetable; mineral); but we live in something else, not so easily enumerated. To do justice to this latter range of experience graphic designers have hit upon enhancement of the “real” subject by injecting it with repetitive forms or motifs. These riffs, as the Surrealist design above (with its swarm of candle flames) demonstrates, set in relief the “more real” which we all inhabit but seldom acknowledge. Those orange quasi-gems bring to us the dimension of eerie and sustaining zip we all live for. The polka dot sprays on the girls’ housecoats constitute a domestic norm–“fashion wise,” to be sure–but requiring the wisdom of the really strange to seal the deal.
L’Art et le Nu au Music Hall 1926;Walery;12 1/2″ x 9 1/2″;A,Program
The design here would by plying different waters from that of the first image; but, once again, consider how much sizzle is effected by the repetition of forms. If alone, they’re just career girls. As a duo, they’re distinctive angels!
Fourrures Max, Leroy and Schmid 1912;Charles Martin;11″ X 7 5/8″‘;A, P
Here the bolt of mountainous furs, with ribbons of dark pelt tracking across the coat like an alpine road, wittily evokes the degree of protection being expended. The first flood of art deco showing its affinities to the abysses of Surrealism.
Goat in Pyrennes c.1920;Edouard Halouze;11″ x 7″ ;A,P, pochoir
A mountain range so sharply incremental as to suggest somewhere beyond planet Earth. The deer is formed in such a way as to coincide with and develop further the spikes comprising a mission to reach heights given an especially haunting power by the blood-red sun.
PKZ 1929;Marcel Hemjic;50″ x 35″;A-, Japan
The organic multiplicity of autumn leaves establishes a challenge of sorts. And the grid patterns on coat and scarf imply a resilience amidst this buffeting. From there, the fitting and the chromatic taste show their roots in something more (real) than finery.
Wintersport 1911;Hans Rudi Erdt;27″ x 37″;B+,L
Where would she be without that scarf?! She’d be a gal hanging out where the boys are! But, as brought off by that exceptional designer, Hans Rudi Erdt, she’s measuring the distance that stairway separates her from mere earthlings!
Holiday and Educational Tours to N.A. c1948;Albert Fuss;39″ x 25″;A-, L
Why come to New York? One good reason is the spectacular array of repeated windows launching us to a firmament you don’t find at home! “Educational” indeed!
Merce Cunningham and Dance Company 1967 Toronto Performance 1971
Jasper Johns;33” x 23”
This vintage litho is about an elite contemporary dance company and its leader. The ring pattern broaches a rare dynamic target. The repeated rectangular touches at the top recognize less intense fields playing into the full house.
Negrita 1937;Anonymous;15″ x 21″; A,P
The central vignette gives us a sort of symphonic conductor being wrapped up in her work. The additional vignettes (minus the skirt/ launch-podium) give us the human figure constituting a stop-action pattern with a witty topspin!
Asian Performing Music Arts/ UCLA 1981;Kazumasa Nagai (hand signed by artist)
40″ x 29″;A-, L
Planet Earth, and three glorious, intensively repeated patterns that can turn the planet’s blahs to a blast!