NEW POSTER: INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OF DESIGN IN OUTDOOR ADVERTISING
Alexey Brodovitch [Designer]: NEW POSTER: INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OF DESIGN IN OUTDOOR ADVERTISING. Philadelphia: The Franklin Institute, 1937. First edition, limited to 2,500 copies. Oblong quarto. Wire spiral-bound printed boards.
Unpaginated. 53 gravure reproductions. Boards lightly worn and spotted. textblock lightly thumbed. Interior unmarked and very clean. Scarce. Cover and catalog design by Alexey Brodovitch. A very good or better copy.
11.75 x 8.5 spiral-bound softcover catalogue with 53 gorgeous b/w gravure reproductions printed by the Beck Engraving Company. Includes original essays by A. M. Cassandre, Charles Coiner and Christian Brinton. An amazing, early poster compilation that assembled many rare and unusual examples gathered from around the world and exhibited in Philadelphia in 1937. Excellent snapshot of the state of the art in outdoor poster design, circa 1937, with the original Cassandre essay and Brodovitch design only enhancing its iconic stature. My highest recommendation.
Alexey Brodovitch (1898-1971) is a legend in graphic design: during his 25-year tenure as art director of Harper's Bazaar, he exerted tremendous influence on the direction of design and photography. A passionate teacher of graphic design, advocate of photography and collaborator with many prominent photographers, Brodovitch is often credited with having a major influence on the acceptance of European modernism in America. His use of assymetrical layouts, white space, and dynamic imagery changed the nature of magazine design. He was responsible for exposing everyday Americans to avant-garde artists by commissioning work from cutting-edge artists such as Cassandre, Dali, Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, etc.
Brodovitch played a crucial role in introducing into the United States a radically simplified, "modern" graphic design style forged in Europe in the 1920s from an amalgam of vanguard movements in art and design. Through his teaching, he created a generation of designers sympathetic to his belief in the primacy of visual freshness and immediacy. Fascinated with photography, he made it the backbone of modern magazine design, and he fostered the development of an expressionistic, almost primal style of picture-taking that became the dominant style of photographic practice in the 1950s.
He came to the United States in 1930 to start a department of advertising (later known as the Philadelphia College of Art). There he trained students in the fundamentals of European design, while embarking on numerous freelance illustration assignments in Philadelphia and New York. In 1934 Carmel Snow, the new editor of Harper's Bazaar, saw his design work and immediately hired him to be its art director. It was the beginning of a collaboration that was to revolutionize both fashion and magazine design, and that catapulted Bazaar past its arch-rival, Vogue.
Throughout his career, he continued to teach. His "Design Laboratory," which focused variously on illustration, graphic design and photography and provided a system of rigorous critiques for those who aspired to magazine work. As a teacher, Brodovitch was inspiring, though sometimes harsh and unrelenting. A student's worst offense was to present something Brodovitch found boring; at best, the hawk-faced Russian would pronounce a work "interesting." Despite his unbending manner and lack of explicit critical standards -- Brodovitch did not formulate a theory of design --many students under his tutelage discovered untapped creative reserves.
A sample spread from this volume can be viewed here.
out of stock