1920’s Constructivist Typographic Posters, top to bottom:
Walter Dexel, Neue Reklame, flyer, 1927.
Neue Wege der Photographie, collage maquette attributed to Walter Dexel, 1928.
Walter Dexel, Ausstellung Kunstverein Jena, leaflet, 1923.
From the catalogue:
A painter, typographer, graphic designer and teacher, Dexel was appointed as the director of the Art Union in Jena, a central German university town. Closely associated with the Bauhaus, he became one of the most prominent practitioners of Contstructivism. In 1935, he lost his position as a graphic design instructor at the Magdeburg Kunstgewerbe Schule, after he was deemed an “entartete” artist by the Nazi regime. Dexel’s advertising work is almost strictly typographic, following the principles of the Neue Typographie.
All upcoming our April 24, 2014 auction of Modernist Posters.
Three posters by Tadanori Yokoo:
Word Image, 1968, a poster for the Museum of Modern Art.
Diary of a Shinjuku Burglar, 1968.
All upcoming in our April 24, 2014 auction of Modernist Posters.
Radioactive Fallout, by an unknown designer, 1955.
The Federal Civil Defense Administration played to fear, elevating Cold War worst-case scenarios as a means of galvanizing the public into action. These posters were distributed across the country, with the blank area at the bottom being used for the names of local businesses that were supporting regional civil defense initiatives.
Upcoming in Swann’s April 24, 2014 auction of Modernist Posters.
Coming up in our Modernist Poster auction at Swann on 4/24!
ALEXEY BRODOVITCH (1898-1971) BAL BANAL. 1924.
22x26 1/4 inches, 56x66 3/4 cm.
Condition A-: soft creases and minor tears at edges; rippling in image. Hand-colored with watercolor. Paper.
Brodovitch was a key figure in the development of 20th century graphic design. Born in Russia, he emigrated to Paris where he first distinguished himself as a graphic designer, working for a host of prestigious clients such as Aux Trois Quartiers, Arts et Metiers Graphiques, Cahiers d’Art and the restaurant Prunier. His designs won him five awards at the 1925 Art Deco exhibition. In the early 1930s, he moved to New York, where he eventually became the art director for Harper’s Bazaar, during which time he hired A.M. Cassandre (as well as other top European designers like Man Ray and Herbert Bayer) to design covers for the magazine. He was also responsible for nurturing and developing young American talents such as Richard Avedon. This extremely rare poster is Brodovitch’s first published work, the result of winning a poster design competition to advertise a ball for Russian emigres in Paris. The image is reflective of the Parisian art movements of the period, swinging between Cubism and the newborn Surrealism. Andy Grundberg cleverly analyzes it as “suggestive of both the influences on him and of his own future directions. The graphics, light to dark inversion of its mask shape, type and background not only suggest the positive negative process of photography but also symbolically represents the process of masking; one trades one’s identity for another, contrary one” (Brodovitch p. 24).
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000
BART VAN DER LECK (1876-1958) [DE RUITER.] 1919.
35x14 3/4 inches, 89x37 1/2 cm. W. Scherjon, Utrecht.
Condition A: minor abrasions in margins and image. Initialed by the artist in pen in lower margin. Paper.
Van der Leck was a painter, architect and graphic designer. Although much of his work, with its fragmented, minimalist and flat color elements, conforms to the tenets of De Stijl (and he did work with members of the group), he never formally signed their manifesto. He was totally uncompromising in his artistic views, which is why he never officially joined them in the first place, and why, after working with them for a short while, he ended up ultimately parting ways. For an exhibition of his own work in 1919 he created this poster which was taken from a painting he did the previous year for the St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge. “Van der Leck had employed many elements of De Stijl in his work for a number of years, such as the use of primary colours and a high degree of abstraction. But by depicting horse and rider in a more or less ‘realistic’ way and utilising the diagonal, the artist was opting here for a personal interpretation that was at odds with the attitudes of De Stijl” (www.stedelijkmuseum.nl). Although the poster was ultimately printed with text (stylized typography), versions were left without any lettering, perhaps for the artist to give to friends, as most of them are hand-initialed. Dutch 155 (var), Dutch Graphic Design p. 90, Muller-Brockmann 181 (var) .
Estimate $7,000 - 10,000
Rare Russian photomontage posters
Swann Galleries, Modernist Posters, Sale 2346
GUSTAV KLUTSIS (1895-1938) [BUILDING SOCIALISM UNDER THE BANNER OF LENIN.] 1930.
Using a photomontage entitled, “Plan for the socialist offensive,” which he had made in 1929, this was Klutsis’ first poster to depict Stalin. “Klutsis now used the cut-and-paste method [of photomontage] with a much more subtle hand, heavily retouching seams between combined photographs in a way that evokes Stalin’s notion of ‘political superimposition.’ This enabled Klutsis to announce, in visual terms, the birth of the totalitarian mentality that occurs ‘when reactionary concepts are superimposed upon revolutionary emotion’” (Klutsis p. 62). Iconography of Power cover, Klutsis pl. 110, Witkovsky p. 64.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000
GUSTAV KLUTSIS (1895-1938) [IN THE STORM OF THE 3RD YEAR OF THE FIVE - YEAR PLAN.] 1930.
Born in Latvia, Klutsis studied at the influential Svomas/Vkutemas art school under Malevitch and Pevsner and then went on to become a founding member of “October,” a group of artists dedicated to serving the needs of the proletariat all over the USSR. Klutsis became the most prolific virtuoso of the art of photomontage, designing emblematic posters to inspire the Communist cause throughout the Twenties and Thirties. In 1938, for all of his exceptional work for the cause, Stalin had Klutsis arrested and executed. Klutsis pl. 129, Witkovsky p. 61, Modern Poster 150, Art and Power p. 245, Arte Societico p. 41.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000
GUSTAV KLUTSIS (1895-1938) [LONG LIVE THE MULTIMILLION - MEMBER LENINIST KOMSOMOL.] 1932.
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000
Modernist Posters, Swann Galleries, 4/24, 1:30
ALEXANDER RODCHENKO (1891-1956) [DOBROLET.] 1923.
13 5/8x18 inches, 34 1/2x45 3/4 cm.
Condition B+: discoloration and remnant of banner in the center of bottom edge; two pin holes along right edge; creases in top of image and in lower left corner. Mounted to stiff paper, with light bubbling along the left edge. With the Rodchenko Archive stamp on the back, and pencil notations in an unknown hand.
Dobrolet, the Russian Society of Volunteer Airfleet, was founded in 1923, as part of Lenin’s New Economic Policy, which allowed for a form of limited capitalism in certain large businesses. As a partially public company it originally sold shares to Russian citizens. Rodchenko was employed to help market the company, and went on to design posters and other advertising material for the company. The text on this posters reads, “To All … If one is not a shareholder of Dobrolet, one is not a citizen of the USSR / One golden ruble makes everyone a shareholder of Dobrolet." During the mid to late-1920’s Rodchenko worked with Vladimir Mayakovsky on advertising campaigns for Mosselprom and GUM as well as Dobrolet. In the 1930s, the company lost its shareholder status and became part of the Soviet collective economy — becoming "Aeroflot." Rodchenko, who was young and virtually unknown when he began his association with Dobrolet, used "simple geometric forms as the material for visual inventions and combinations … by means of pure geometric forms, all the shapes were transformed into symbolic patterns (signs), that could be visually simple and as clearly understandable as letters of the alphabet" (Rodchenko / Luftahansa p. 31). This poster was printed in four different color schemes, including red and black, red and green and red and blue. Rodchenko 82, Modern Poster p. 134 (var), Avant Garde p. 120 (var), Rodchenko / Lufthansa p. 68 (var), Aeroflot p. 17 Hoffnung und Wiederstand p. 161.
Estimate $20,000 - 30,000