Birth of the Modern Poster
10 February –13 May 2007
Jules Cherét 'Folies-Bergère: la Loïe Fuller' 1897 lithograph Collection of the National Gallery of Australia Gift of Orde Poynton Esq. CMG 1996
click to enlarge
Drawn exclusively from the National Gallery’s Collection of International Posters, Birth of the Modern Poster examines the evolution of poster art from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The exhibition opens at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra on Saturday 10 February 2007.
Some of the greatest artists and graphic designers have worked in the context of the poster. Artists often produced works that, while considered ephemeral in terms of their original purpose, have become collector’s items in their own right. Born in 1836, Jules Chéret is widely regarded as the ‘father’ of the modern poster. Among his most well known works are the posters he designed for the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris (including the posters advertising its opening in 1889) and for the Folies Bergère. In addition to works by Cheret, the exhibition showcases posters by Alphonse Mucha, Théophile Steinlen, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard.
Another artist Leonetto Cappiello, known for his influence on modern advertising, was a harbinger of a design aesthetic which would have a far-reaching influence on many of the poster artists of the modern period, an influence that can still be felt today. Maurin Quina, Cappiello’s most famous poster depicts the image of the cheeky green sprite that recalls the nickname and effects of the infamous beverage of the Belle Époque, la fée verte[the green fairy]or absinthe. It is also the finest example of his manipulation of brand identity, and of his adaptation of poster art to meet the demands of a new and modern era.
The years 1890 - 1930 saw the production of iconic images of the period by some of its most renowned artists. Featuring approximately 45 works, Birth of the Modern Poster highlights the artists who produced them and the social environment in which they lived and worked.
The exhibition is curated by Mark Henshaw, Curator of International Prints, Drawing and Illustrated Books.
Saturday 10 February – Sunday 13 May 2007
Orde Poynton Gallery
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra