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POSTER OF THE MONTH - January 2010

French vintage poster Paris-Beziers Jouets 1901
Pal
57" x 42 3/4"
A-, L


Segueing from our Surrealist exhibition to works for the Christmas season, we have chosen a poster by the not only delightful but challenging Pal. There was to be, in December 1900, at an establishment with links to the capital and that provincial town far to the south, Beziers, an expo of "jouets" [toys, playthings; but also, victims, laughing-stocks, sport of the whole town]. Thus the lovely lady in a jester's costume, was caught in the act of giving a preview of the targets of youthful indiscretion in the year to come. This would considerably widen the market beyond that of small children.

With her top-curl mimicing the bells of her cap, this saucy clown exudes Belle Epoque savoir-faire and the gusto with which it plunged into the new century. The characteristic superlative modelling, composition and lithographic finish convey an engaging confidence about sweeping out old and rigid solemnities. In that topspin it coincided with
the energies sustaining the Surrealists a generation
later.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - February 2010

Vintage ski poster 8 Jours de Neige 1938
Roland Hugin
38 1/4" x 24 1/4"
A,L


"A week of fresh snow pays off in a year of youthful vivacity ('rosy cheeks')." The illustration gives that slogan, for the French National Railway, a special piquancy. It suggests that getting into the swing of ski country can recapture the tang of being a child, or an apt playmate for a child. The pristine lines, color values and harmonies and fine modelling deliver an especially appropriate sense of exhilaration, a zest including a very French refinement of perception.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - March 2010

Surrealism Graphic Design La Belle et La Bête c. 1950
Jean Denis Malclès
63" x 47"
A,L


To put into play our Surrealist show for the Fall and Winter, we are delighted to propose this sumptuous poster classic for Jean Cocteau's La Belle et La Bête ( Beauty and the Beast) (1946). Surrealist artists chose for their task elicitation of a "more real" state than the mundane world of attending to material well-being. That state would be not only enjoyed for its radiancy but would carry with it a realm of darkness and danger. The claustrophobic danse macabre of Cocteau's scenario, concerning a beautiful woman facing down her father's would-be executioner, and the latter, both grotesque and loving captive to her beauty, is conveyed by this composition about opposites needing one another. Though la Bête dies of a broken heart due to la Belle's family's machinations, she comes to realize how she has been ennobled by his strange courtship. Accordingly, the graphic here marks an eerie and
touching wedding celebration.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - April 2010

Vintage Swiss poster Erika Pudding 1944
Donald Brun
50" x 35 1/2"
A,L


One thing you can always count on from a Donald Brun poster is a delightful delivery of the appeal of small creatures like domesticated animals and small children. The poster here, coming to us very recently, is an early effort, revealing a bit wider range of graphic interest.

Of course there is the charm of a little critter; but this time it's an insect, something of a no-go for illustrators wanting to land the account. (Disney's Jiminy Cricket might have been a precedent.) The happy bee with his expressive little hands has a rather shocking tongue. But, seen from the point of view of color harmonies, it becomes a constituent of the strategy of conveying the special flavor of the confection by way of the masterful deployment of tones of brown as spiced by reds, blues and whites. Also in play are the vivid and subtle lines of the icing and the dish.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - May 2010

Art Deco Poster Holiday and Educational Tours to N.A. c. 1948
Albert Fuss
39" x 25"
A-,L


In a marked departure from most travel promotions, this smashing art deco composition pays no attention at all to natural novelties. It wants to reach those whose curiosity about world history far outstrips any interest in natural history. Here the wonder of the world up for exploring is New York City, in its exuberant varieties of skyscrapers. The jaunty art deco craft seen coming into port seems right at home amidst those design and engineering splendors, and we can imagine the forward-looking passengers deriving from their trip over a heads up in readiness for learning about a brave new world.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - June 2010

Vintage American Poster New York Go Greyhound c.1950's
Rod Ruth
39 1/4" x 29 1/4"
A-,L


In the 1950's America was,in spirit if not quite in fact, a suburban society. Getting on with life after the War meant finding and funding a detached house in a subdivision appropriate for raising children. The nicely-proportioned lawn in Central Park, shown by this enticement to visit New York, would be bigger than that at home but similarly a dream come true. Reflected in the pond, as if they were not quite real, are the inverted presences of "skyscrapers," exciting to visit but hard to fathom. Perhaps in this way the bus line hoped to persuade a market, who would much rather drive their own car, that you could only get into trouble that way.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - July 2010

D.H. Evans Fashion Wise c.1950s
Arpad Elfer
40" x 30"
A-,P, Silkscreen


The "wisdom" on display in this poster certainly does not confine itself to the cosy homilies of domestic bliss, nor does it travel the route of a joyous involvement with seductive gorgeousness. The mother and daughter come to light in a photo component designed to fiercely temper any untoward lightheartedness. These gals are consecrating some kind of mission sent flying by Mom's shopping smarts. The candles they carry and the disembodied flames flaming all about in the silkscreen suggest a comportment to the world not altogether benign. If this is a child's bedtime vignette, it is set some time after the witching hour.

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - August 2010

Lloyd Triestino Africa,Europa c.1937
Anonymous
38 1/2" x 25 1/2"
B+,L


Upon a desert sands rendition of the map of Africa, the unknown artist has superimposed the two cruise ships plying the water routes directly south of Italy (also shown in map form) for the Lloyd Triestino line. The coloration also implies the heat of the tropics.

The ships speak for themselves in their streamlined elegance, and, as juxtaposed with the exotic locale, they seem to refer to a proprietary position by virtue of a kinship in beautiful mystery. This would, then, be a bit of political as well as commercial promotion, very redolent of the era.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - September 2010

Furness/Starlit Nights c.1953
Adolph Treidler
38 3/4" x 29 1/4"
A,L


The seductiveness of the "Starlit Nights" promotion, for cruises to Bermuda in the 1950's, stems from a multiplicity of factors. There is the tropical night sky and its enlivening spree of stars, almost a form of magic from the point of view of Northerners unaccustomed to entrancement so sweet and comfortable. Joining with that accent upon comfort is the top deck of the cruise ship replete with charming facilities and a bevy of attractive pleasure-seekers. Closer inspection of this venue introduces the more remarkable eventuation exposed by this easy-going poster. The passenger party-goers could have been at home at a country club in Pennsylvania. And yet, here they are, far from home, far from suburban affairs, gathered around that dreamscape scarlet smokestack and under the strangeness of that dazzling Southern sky. These are not high-stakes adventurers, but a special drama emanates from their finding themselves somehow changed, however slightly and temporarily,

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - October 2010

American National Ballet Theatre 1953
Fratini; Studio Favalli
77" x 51"
A-,L


There is a long and distinguished heritage of dance graphics within the production of poster advertisements. The lithographs of Toulouse Lautrec were the ignition point. In accordance with that artist's preoccupation with a decadent outcome of natural dynamics, those early offerings comprised faded, slightly ludicrous performances. Later artists, notably Paul Colin, pursued more vigorous possibilities, deploying lithographic intensities and large-scale formats for the sake of more direct and simple excitements than Lautrec cared to spend time on.

The poster we're so happy to present here, very much in the vein mined by Colin, features two members of ballet's royalty, coming together for a performance in Rome in 1953. Cuban ballerina, Alicia Alonso (b.1920)--whom we were very lucky to see performing in Toronto in 1980 when, incredibly, she was 60 years old--was, in addition to a phenomenon on stage, the artistic director of the Cuban National Ballet for several decades. Her partner here, Igor Youskevitch (1912-1994), was a star with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and
American Ballet Theatre.

The almost life-size format of this dashing art work,
accentuates the sheen and heft of ballet's mystery.

Further information about the dancers:
Alonso:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/arts/dance/03alonso.html?_r=1
Youskevitch:http://michaelminn.net/andros/biographies/youskevitch_igor/


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - November 2010

Vintage Italian Poster Olio Radino (1950)
Gino Boccasile
55" x 39"
A-,L


Gino Boccasile was never one to overplay the excitements of modernity when promoting a product, and with this work, for the perennial Italian treasure of olive oil, he could almost be resorting to the 18th century. Here the emphasis is upon good old-fashioned vintage quality ( "pregiata") fruit and the purity of its impact. Accordingly, the salad bowl is a chaste white, as are the server's apron and headscarf. The long golden thread of the oil's course toward the lettuce and tomato salad is like an exclamation mark moved by an exquisite (" squisito") gift of nature. In the gifted central figure, however, we find Boccasile's single contemporary preoccupation, namely, an improvement upon Italian femininity by modern priorities. Or is it the other way around?

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POSTER OF THE MONTH - December 2010

New York World's Fair 1939
Albert Staehle
30" x 20"
A-,P


Albert Staehle's upbeat vignette for his World's Fair poster approaches the 70th anniversary of the event, and enjoys, if that is the word, an eerie link to recent developments.

"The World of Tomorrow" was to be saluted, at Flushing Meadows, by means of showing the preparedness, in 1939, of products and ideas, for the plunge into a new level of well-being. Here we have a pretty guide rounding up her charges toward a vantage point for the evening's fireworks, playing atop the Trylon and Perisphere. In keeping with the flush sheen of the whole composition, her gIt may not occur to a viewer today that the launch of this effort was sparked by the Great Depression. A group of retired city policemen had, in 1935, devised the exposition with a view to lifting New York and America (and the world) out of its personal and economic doldrums. As we now face an especially challenging future, this little momento reminds us of the considerable strategy and heart onstream not that long ago.raphic presence is full of youthful delight.
It may not occur to a viewer today that the launch of this effort was sparked by the Great Depression. A group of retired city policemen had, in 1935, devised the exposition with a view to lifting New York and America (and the world) out of its personal and economic doldrums. As we now face an especially challenging future, this little momento reminds us of the considerable strategy and heart onstream not that long ago.


Click here to inquire about this poster.