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POSTER OF THE MONTH - January 2021

Vintage French auto poster Bonhomme Antar 1930
Dormoy
31 1/2"x24 1/2"
A-,L
I particularly like this French vintage poster, from 1930, for its attention to acting upon both the mundane and the magical. Antifreeze could be a subject that few want to hear about. Yes, persevering in bad weather does touch many. The jaunty vehicle being seen, right as rain, in the distance, shows being small because it tends to be seen as a small and petty subject.
However, instead of flogging a strictly nuts and bolts moment, our deft graphic artist here knows very well how to get things really moving. The road is not only pretty nasty, but pretty gorgeous. The apparition of those motions has provided a glimpse of not only the remote but also the universal. Our little uncanny figure has been mindful that the poetry of life is not a frill. Getting somewhere well, has a topspin which few, unfortunately, choose to notice.
The whole deal here comes with more than scientific know-how. The tableau uses its small, intense area of color, only to become submerged with a grey-white void (including striking compositional touches) beyond creature comforts. It reminds (the alert) that something far more daunting looms in the picture, and only in its range does the "grands froids" (the big chill) "depart" without disaster.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - February 2021

original vintage airline travel poster SAS South America c. 1960
Otto Nielsen
39 ½” x 24 ½”
A-, P
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most recognizable cities in the world. Despite being dropped into a corner of a less renowned continent, there has arisen a mystique in most eyes to visit soon.
The history there has produced a remarkably strong concern for celebration. Notably, the place becomes a haven of street display and (samba) dance in the days before Lent, no doubt a highlight.
But our artist here, Otto Nielsen, one of the very best posterists of the early days of modernist graphics, chooses not a particularly catchy vision to entice us, but a sense of treasure perhaps even more rewarding. As you see in the work, the famous Sugarloaf Mountain is very down-played; the huge sculpture of Christ the Redeemer is not shown at all. And the renowned beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema are also all but hidden. What is, however, is the largely woven crowd enjoying the sun and sky. When all is said and done, your best bet in Rio, Nielsen says, is the blue deep sky and folks who'd rather connect than make a statement alone. The "fabulous" is everywhere. Special warmth is remarkable.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - March 2021

vintage French golf poster La Cote Basque 1957
Bernard Villemot
38 3/4" x 24"
A,L
Though not specifically about Spring, this is a lovely Villemot poster that seems almost to personify the season that we will all celebrate in a few weeks! In showing off the range of sports and recreational activities to be enjoyed along France's Southern Atlantic shore, it gathers up the tests of skill in a configuration paying homage to more simple gratifications.
The eighteenth hole has been fashioned as a cylindrical (and horse friendly!) mint green valley, the graceful trees of its edges accentuating a drop toward the beach and sea. Little inlets heading toward Spain invite us to meander at will, something easier to do on a fresh Spring day than when the Southern sun is really cooking.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - April 2021

original vintage Italian travel poster Trentino Dolomiti 1951
Mario Puppo
39" x 26 1/2"
A,L
Whether overt or hidden, we live within forces which exert directions. Such magnetism might imply that we're the playthings of crude dynamics, wheeling into a void. On the other hand, we know that something far more attractive embraces our days.
Our Poster of the Month for April, that thrust of spring, provides a wherewithal to recognize that the tempering of physics and its mathematics is no mean force. In fact, it is one's own intentions which can exert as much frappe in the scheme of things. The magnet, in our image here, has been intercepted by a higher power, the power of finite sensibility (which the world of science imagines to be in full control).
It's the land of Italy and its care of the personal. The modest--even tiny--event is not a place to show off crude, expensive dynamics, but instead vignettes of simple joy, to be there at that moment. However, we are in the hands of, arguably, the greatest of modernist Italian posterists, namely, Mario Puppo (1913-1989). His seemingly casual scattering of lovely verdancy, plays, ironically, against the hard and sterile mountain range.


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POSTER OF THE MONTH - May 2021

original vintage travel poster Italy Pan American c. 1950
A.Fine
42” x 28”
A-, L

There are many graphic approaches in the always highly anticipated world of vintage travel posters. One major tack is to hit the viewer with a facsimile of some attraction so close to the powerful facts that you want to go there and absorb it in person. Another strategy, the one chosen by the artist of the current instance, is to come up with a distillate of the atmosphere so unlike that of one's home that you wouldn't dare miss it.
The delicate color shift in the title---covering the nation's flag---opens the curtain on a place where structures and people oscillate between heaven and earth. We have the Leaning Tower of Pisa and a correspondingly leaning carabinieri (Italian National Police)---each in a state of mysterious elation (the welcoming party being faceless in the spirit of will-o'-the-wisp Futurism). We have monumental architecture that fades into an uncanny, euphoric spaciousness. This essence of Italy at its finest exerts a great seduction, powerfully speaking to our innate need for discovery.
A special feature of this work is its sophisticated color design and glorious color lithography, imbuing the vignette with rich, delicious energy.


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