Gregoire Alessandrini

French fashion exec Gregoire Alessandrini has become a de facto chronicler of 1990s New York, when he was a film student in New York City and constantly toted around his camera. Having captured a seedier Times Square before the Giuliani-era cleanup in some evocative shots on his blog, New York in the 1990’s Photo Archives, Alessandrini also turned his lens on the Meatpacking District. Before the High Line, before Pastis and the Gansevoort hotel, before the designer boutiques and the high-end art galleries, there were simply… butchers and meat distributors. And lots of litter. And graffiti that blanketed warehouses, dotted with the occasional lowbrow nightclub.

John Heartfield and the Agitated Image

Working in Germany between the two world wars, John Heartfield (born Helmut Herzfeld, 1891–1968) developed an innovative method of appropriating and reusing photographs to powerful political effect. As a pioneer of modern photomontage, he sliced up mass media photos with his iconic scissors and then reassembled the fragments into compositions that utterly transformed the meaning of the originals. In John Heartfield and the Agitated Image, Andrés Mario Zervigón explores this crucial period in the life and work of a brilliant, radical artist whose desire to disclose the truth obscured by the mainstream press and imperial propaganda made him a de facto prosecutor of Germany’s visual culture.

Zervigón charts the evolution of Heartfield’s photomontage from an act of antiwar resistance into a formalized and widely disseminated political art in the Weimar Republic. Appearing on everything from campaign posters to book covers, the photomonteur’s notorious pictures challenged well-worn assumption and correspondingly walked a dangerous tightrope over the political, social, and cultural cauldron that was interwar Germany. Zervigón explains how Heartfield’s engagement with montage arose from a broadly-shared dissatisfaction with photography’s capacity to represent the modern world. The result was likely the most important combination of avant-garde art and politics in the twentieth century.

A rare look at Heartfield’s early and middle years as an artist and designer, this book provides a new understanding of photography’s role at this critical juncture in history.

Typographic Superheroes

The Poster in History

Posters are found in public places all over the world. They are usually visually striking, designed to attract the attention of passers-by and entice them to purchase a particular product or service, make them aware of a political viewpoint, or attend a specific event. The Poster in History is an overview of posters throughout history, as well as a representative survey of mass culture from the time of the French Revolution to 2000. Over 450 posters are reproduced here, 250 in full color, selected for both their historical import and their beauty. Author Max Gallo’s informative text recapitulates the social and political currents of the day and places each poster in its historical context. The book also includes an essay on the development of poster art by art critic Carlo Arturo Quintavelle.

David Klein

David Klein (1918 – 2005) was an American artist, best known for his influential work in advertising. Although he produced illustrations for Broadway theatrical productions, Hollywood films, the United States Army, and numerous corporate clients, Klein is best remembered for the iconic travel images he created for Howard Hughes and Trans World Airlines during the 1950s and 1960s.

By the mid-1950s, Klein had established a reputation as one of America’s preeminent commercial illustrators. However, his most lasting contribution to the art world came in the following decade as he applied his talent to the world of commercial travel. Between approximately 1955-1965, Klein designed numerous award-winning travel advertisement posters, many of which are now considered emblematic of the 1960s Jet Age. Klein produced the bulk of this work for Howard Hughes and Trans World Airlines (TWA), illustrating dozens of posters advertising travel throughout the United States and abroad.

Herbert Leupin

Herbert Leupin (1916-1999) was one of the most important poster artists in Switzerland during the 20th century. His posters are characterized by a simple, laconic and sometimes hyper-realistic style. Leupin became famous for his innovative humorous figures and his fresh and colorful style. His best posters tell small stories and translate the company‘s name into a picture, and his innovative Object Posters for companies like Eptinger, Bata, Knie, Coca Cola and various publishers became world-famous.

During his early years in the early 1940s, Leupin closely followed the Basle style, known as the New Objectivity, of his contemporaries, such as Niklaus Stoecklin. In Leupin’s posters, the advertising message or product was drawn meticulously, using plastic oversized objects, depicted in almost photographic detail. This style called the Magic Realism was used almost exclusively by graphic artists at the Basle School between 1930 and 1950 for advertising consumer goods.

At the end of the 1940s, Herbert Leupin started to detach himself from the Magic Realism and sought new forms of expression. Trying to work more freely and more artistically, he used photographs, collages or just pure text compositions. The 1950s mark a period in Leupin’s career of spontaneous, draught-like, colourful designs with countless associations to the advertised products, the brands and the companies.

Herbert Leupin’s poster art was marked by his passion for graphics, his enthusiastic diligence, and his charming, humoristic and bright colorful style.