Poster Mystery Solved!

The following is a guest post from our esteemed boss, king of posters, Jack Rennert.

 

Le Pendu, by Toulouse-Lautrec

Of all various forms of art and communication, the poster is the medium that most eschews mystery: its images must directly and convincingly sell its products, services, events or causes. It’s no place for obfuscation.

And yet… In every book on Toulouse-Lautrec, one of his images, titled “Le Pendu” (The Hanged Man), is listed as being one of his 30 posters. Everyone looks at this and sees a print, but not a poster. There’s no text and it doesn’t tell us what it’s about (other than a gruesome scene).

But in the catalogue for our May 4th auction (Lot 583A), we see that this print was intended to be placed inside a large text poster, serializing the novel Les Drames de Toulouse in the Toulouse newspaper La Dépêche. This complete poster is the rarest of all Toulouse-Lautrec’s 30 posters. Mystery solved!

La Dépêche / Le Pendu, by Tououse-Lautrec

Posters & Pervs

The vintage poster world is filled with pervy old men (and we’re not just talking about my dating life).

So here, in honor of those that skeev so hard, are my favorite posters of dirty old men in our upcoming sale:

Toulouse Lautrec

Toulouse Lautrec

“Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just going to slip my hand down your dress. I’m a doctor. It’s totally cool.”

Theo Matejko

Theo Matejko

“I believe you get a better fit if you do the alterations while the client is naked.”

Marcel Vertes

Marcel Vertes

“I’m using these binoculars to get a better view of your beautiful breasts face. Pay no attention to the fact that I’ve positioned a well-lit mirror up the back of your skirt.”

Erich von Kreibig

Erich von Kreibig

“Terribly sorry, miss. I happen to have tripped right into your crotch.”

Henry Le Monnier

Henry Le Monnier

“Candy, little lady?”

Marcellin Auzolle

Marcellin Auzolle

“Just have another drink. I promise I didn’t rufi you.”

Cassandre & High Fashion

I was recently reading an old article in AnOther magazine, only to discover that Cassandre, Art Deco master responsible for the famous Dubonnet posters, was also the genius behind the iconic Yves Saint Laurent logo.

ysllogo1961

Debuting in 1961, the three stacked initials of the fashion house’s founder still remain its logo today.

yslbag

As posters are my life, I think it only fair that my boss fund this purchase so that I can properly represent the gallery.

Of course, knowledgeable fashionista that I am, I already knew that YSL was not Cassandre’s only high fashion collaboration. Starting in the late 1940s, he began working with Hermes, designing everything from playing cards to cufflinks.

cassandrecards2

cassandracards1948

His most important creation for the house, however, was the trompe l’oeil scarf, reissued countless times in a variety of colors. Here are a few over the years:

scarfhermes

scarf2

scarf1968

scarf4

Amputees & Tires

Wanna see the creepiest tire advertisement of all time?

PAI-LXIII-93

Nothin’ like saying your tire brand could allow a legless man beat a horse and a championship cyclist.

Fire your marketing team. Please.

Poster Challenge

Having once said that I can come up with a poster tie-in for any news story, my male coworker just forwarded me the Gawker article on the new laboratory-grown vaginas.

Betcha can’t find a poster to correspond to this, says he.

Oh but I can:

Le Solitaire by Armand Segaud, ca. 1900

Le Solitaire by Armand Segaud, ca. 1900

Yes, that’s a genuine turn-of-the-century vibrator being advertised. Perfect for your straight-from-the-factory lady parts.

Anyone else care to challenge me?

Leonetto Cappiello’s Birthday!

In case you keep track of these things, today is Leonetto Cappiello’s birthday.

Father of Modern advertising, he was the first artist to place his figures in front of a bold, usually black, background, demanding visual attention from the many passersby.

Here are a few of my personal favorites in our upcoming May 4 auction:

PAI-LXIII-136

The artist’s first poster, this image announces the inaugural issue of Le Frou Frou, a satirical journal similar to today’s MAD Magazine.

PAI-LXIII-138

One of a few posters he created for a breath mint brand.

PAI-LXIII-140

One of my favorite images by the artist, this poster perfectly captures the joy of eating freshly shucked oysters by the sea.

PAI-LXIII-143

Possibly his most gorgeous design, this posters advertises cookies!

PAI-LXIII-150

We’re lucky enough to also have some original artwork (known as a maquette) by Cappiello. This is the preliminary design for a poster advertising a tea import company.

PAI-LXIII-159

One of his most iconic images, it’s supposed to be the visual representation of the company’s tagline “sunshine in a glass.”

Game of Thrones Meets Alphonse Mucha

While not normally a huge supporter of fan art, I have to say whoever came up with these awesome images of the women of Game of Thrones as Alphonse Mucha-style heroines is a genius.

mother

Daenerys Targaryen: Mother of Dragons meets La Dame aux Camelias

ygritte

Ygritte the Wildling as Hamlet

sansa

Sansa Stark as The Rose (Part of the Four Flower series)

Brienne

Brienne of Tarth as Medee

margaery

Margaery Tyrell as Amethyst (from the Precious Stones series)

shae

Shae as both La Trappistine and La Dame aux Camelias

tully

Catelyn Tully a bizarre hybrid of every Mucha theatrical poster

cerci

And finally, Cersei Lannister as the Gismonda

Game of Thrones Meets Alphonse Mucha

While not normally a huge supporter of fan art, I have to say whoever came up with these awesome images of the women of Game of Thrones as Alphonse Mucha-style heroines is a genius.

mother

Daenerys Targaryen: Mother of Dragons meets La Dame aux Camelias

ygritte

Ygritte the Wildling as Hamlet

sansa

Sansa Stark as The Rose (Part of the Four Flower series)

Brienne

Brienne of Tarth as Medee

margaery

Margaery Tyrell as Amethyst (from the Precious Stones series)

shae

Shae as both La Trappistine and La Dame aux Camelias

tully

Catelyn Tully a bizarre hybrid of every Mucha theatrical poster

cerci

And finally, Cersei Lannister as the Gismonda

Degenerate Art

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking my mother to the Neue Galerie’s latest blockbuster exhibition entitled Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937.

opfurt

While the entire show was fascinating and beautifully curated, perhaps my favorite part was the narrow hallway connecting the four main rooms on the top floor. Trying to navigate that space with a sizable crowd was nearly impossible – not to mention rather claustrophobic – so it makes sense that there aren’t any pictures of this particular area up online. It’s also easy to use the space as a funnel to see the “better” works on display in other rooms rather than actually viewing what’s on its narrow walls; so, again, I wasn’t expecting this not-quite-a-room to get a lot of press.

It is, however, the space used to showcase posters from both sides of the Degenerate Art debate, which, given my profession, I find engrossing.

dersturm

Of course, there is Oskar Kokoshka’s famous self-portrait poster promoting the avant-garde Der Sturm magazine from 1910 – so iconic that the museum uses it as the cover of the exhibition’s catalog. You see quite clearly all the tropes with which the Nazis took issue: simplistic rendering of lines similar to drawings created by children or the mentally ill; the body as grotesque; an elevation of the primitive artistic styles of African cultures – the list goes on forever.

unddu

What is rarely shown – and what the Neue Galerie presents rather well – are the posters created under National Socialism. While we often regard Ludwig Hohlwein as one of the greatest masters of German Art Deco, he was also the darling of the Nazi propaganda machine, churning out dozens of haunting images in support of the party.

erster

It is interesting to consider how his style, once thought of as so groundbreaking, could be embraced by a movement known for its blasé if not downright dull artistic taste.

So, if you have the chance, head on over to the Neue Galerie before the exhibition closes on June 30 – and pay close attention to the little hallway on the top floor.

Champagne & Kittens

As part of our Posters & The Art of Drinking series, I thought today I’d bring you the cutest darn poster in our May 4 auction.

PAI-LXIII-35

Yes, those are kittens batting around the cork from a bottle of Pol Roger champagne. So much cuter than the image we have of monkeys and Mumm’s, although I am sensing a theme.

Now for some information on Pol Roger:

One of the major champagne houses, Pol Roger is perhaps best known as the makers of Sir Winston Churchill. The brand’s premier label (known as a tête de cuvée) obviously got its name from the English Prime Minister, who is frequently quoted as naming Roger as his favorite beverage. When Churchill died, the company put a black boarder around the label in his honor. Then, in 1984, they announced that their Reserve Speciale (formerly its highest ranking sparkling wine) would now bear the name of its biggest fan.

Obviously, all of this happened well after this poster was created.

Another big indicator of the age of this poster is the fact that the glasses in the background are coupe-style rather than the skinny flutes commonly seen today. As champagnes were sweeter back then, you could have a wide-mouthed glass without losing the aromatics so essential to enjoying the extra-brut (super-dry) style currently in vogue.

←Older