Sevilla 1925;Juan Miguel;61″ x 41″; B+,L
Vintage Spanish lithographic design was not so much about pioneering into the lithographic, technical inventions of the late 19th century nor was it about the audacious historical reflections of that era, which were very much to the fore in the poster art of France, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Holland and Italy. But its genius lay in displaying the sense of rather dark drama intrinsic to Spanish experience, as enhanced by the work of superb lithographic printers.
A major subject of Spanish graphic art was the promotion of annual spring celebrations—loosely coinciding with the Easter season and celebrating both religious and secular mainstays of Spanish life. In the stunning instance of such work above, the secular excitements of music, dance, feasting, horsemanship and bullfighting tend to eclipse the religious aspects. But the Giralda Cathedral of Seville looms large regarding all such events in that city. The magnificence of modelling, attire and setting conveys a special energy not to be found in the graphic work of other countries.
Sevilla 1920;S. Martinez;93″ x 55″; B,L
Big scale, big design and big rewards! This extremely rare poster (as is the first one shown) manages an especially dazzling rendition of the sunlight of southern Spain. Its premium upon the floral treasures of the land is also quite unique.
Spain/Iberia c.1955;Anonymous;36″ x 26 1/2″;A,P
Here the drama of flamenco carries the day! The stances struck in such theatre seem to radiate carnal power akin to the bullfight in their immersion in conflict and overpowering.
Salo de Creacions 1935 ;Gerard;19 ¼” x 13 ¼”;A, L
Many Spanish graphic designs gravitate to black coloration. Here that predilection dovetails with the recherché priorities of art deco at full tide. An attitude of very conspicuous, rather gloomy cool seems de rigueur in transmitting the rewards of striking attire. That much said, I find this a most beautiful litho, somehow finding its way to an architectural register.
Blanco y Negro;June 1933;Cobos;9 3/4″ x 7 1/8″A-, P, journal cover; ~300 pp.
An independent modern girl, an art deco princess with a long neck to lift her to battle readiness.
Revista Ford February 1933;Riu;13 ¼” x 9 3/4”; A-, Magazine; 80 pp
Could be some costume event during a fiesta. This deco cover carries a charge in the wide range of disparate attitudes.
Revista Ford February 1935;Joan Gil;13 ¼” x 9 3/4”;A-, Magazine; 80 pp.
Notice how the tone is far more relaxed in the compatibility of costume and features of setting. A deco typographical strategy which cleverly, with its pronounced black circular figures, traces the ascent in the vignette. Much of Spanish graphic art prides itself on challenges to close attention and subtle moods.
Fallas en Alcoy 1936;Torregrosa y Campil;49″ X 33″ A-, P
Another major public celebration has to do with burning papier mâché figures of politicians, celebrities and famous historical players. The range of frisson and distemper is endless, and vintage Spanish graphic art tackles it with the kind of gusto and brilliance which our poster here well displays.
Yu Li San c. 1950;Anonymous;28″ x 19 3/4″;A, L
Magic would, given the prevailing sensibility of this wonderful land, have to be big; and here we have a beautifully enigmatic protagonist to rush to see when she’s in town. Those blue stars in a burning sky have reached her. What will the outcome be?
Exposicion General Espanola 1928;Francisco Hohenleiter;20″ x 13″; A, L
For a 2-part Expo celebrating the lion-hearts and graceful ways that discovered and explored the new world. Gold, silver and scarlet evoke the dash and daring of a culture too often overlooked in North America.