Henri de Toulouse Lautrec’s poster art is what caught my attention the most. What I found most interesting were his series of posters created for the Moulin Rouge cabaret. One poster that I especially like is the “La Goulue” poster made in 1891. Lautrec depicts Moulin Rouge very well by showing most of the emphasis on the woman dancing in the center. The audience in the background are just mere silhouettes, however they clearly show the attire of the men with large top hats. The man in the front is also shown with a top hat, and his facial expression gives off a sense of entitlement. Lautrec creates a poster, that when examined, can easily tell the viewer what Moulin Rouge is all about. The poster gives off a sense of energy and excitement with its bold colors and repetition of “Moulin Rouge,” and its makes the viewer want to be at the cabaret. Moulin Rouge’s reputation did not stay as a “high-class brothel,” and I like how this poster is also a bit risqué with the woman doing the “can-can,” which at the time was considered a bit provocative.
One of the things I've most admired about Toulouse-Lautrec was his ability to portray his 'scene' so well. His images are so expressive and nocturnal at the same tine. His use of color and contrast are very dramatic and yet the moment that he is capturing his subjects in is intimately natural and not posed. His work has a gritty edge, at times a nightmarish quality. While Toulouse-Lautrec is definitely a great master, I was also intrigued by the Arts and Crafts movement and William Morris. His work is so delicate, deliberate and beautiful. Its like elegant prose. And I admire the fact that he was so talented and well-rounded in many arts; painting, writing, philosophy (socialism), embroidery and textiles, etc....no wonder when I think of Arts and Crafts or American Craftsman, I also think 'lifestyle.' The artists so so talented and prolific that they almost can't help but create a 'lifestyle' with their work. You want to be there, in that surrounding atmosphere, and absorb it, collect it, admire it.
"Lifestyle," nice idea.
The color of Isolde attracted me a lot. There are three main colors in this image: Red, black, and white. Reviewing his works, I found that he used to use black-and-white color to render meaningful and rich elements. In some of his work, he used single bright color with black-and-white. And Isolde is one of them. The story of Tristan and Isolde is one of the great romantic love stories of the Middle Ages. In this poster she is drinking poison because she cannot be together with her love. The red, color of blood, is presenting the desperation in her heart, which leave strong impression in my heart.
Aubrey Beardsley caught my attention. Surprisingly, his drawings in black and white captured my attention much more than his work in color. His illustrations for Le Morte D'arthur contain so much detail that it is hard to fathom accomplishing this with only ink as his tool. I particularly like the frame designs that he decorates the text with. His artistic contribution diverges the reader’s attention from the text to the graphic design. Generally, color enhances a piece; in Beardsley’s case, however, I don’t feel that any color is needed. In fact, color seems to stray from his mysterious and obscure style – grotesque as he liked to call it. I was confused by his sudden transformation before his death. What he once proudly called “grotesque” he later (post-conversion to Catholicism) shamefully referred to as “obscene” when he ordered his publisher to destroy all of his “bad drawings.” I was disappointed by the idea that the man who once said “If I am not grotesque I am nothing” would later try to recant his creations.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters were the most interesting post of this set. They are a perfect example of Post-impressionistic art. Take, for example, the poster titled Moulin Rouge. The use of color portrays the vibrant ambiance created by the performers of a Moulin Rouge. This is contrasted by the silhouettes of people in the background, almost saying that the patrons of such a place tend to be shady characters. The physical distortion present in the man portrayed in the foreground and the woman dancing, who I am assuming is La Goulue, is also typical of the Post-impressionist movement. His art truly conveyed the Parisian culture of the time and drew in those were curious as to what that culture entailed. In a way, he was a master of promoting, taking obvious influence from who can be considered the father of modern posters, Jules Chéret. His other drawings are also great, most depicting the time of his life where he practically lived in the brothels. These show the less glamorous aspect of the culture and even the anguish found in some of those who participated in it.
I enjoyed the work of Alfons Mucha, especially his poster for Sarah Bernhardt’s play Gismonda. Instead of the bold outlines preferred by Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha employs delicate, curving shapes and is careful to pay attention to detail. The image is at once reminiscent of neoclassicism (in the depiction of Bernhardt) and romanticism (in the expressive pattern detailing her dress) and the 1970s hippie movement with the flowing hair and exuberance of flowers. The pale color palette heightens the romantic tendencies of the poster. Other posts bring to mind images done in the Middle Ages with the heavy border and intricate design surrounding the image. It is interesting to note that Mucha tried to distance himself from his Art Nouveau style. His statement that art should have a spiritual message seems to be a bit at odds with his success as a commercial artist, but would help explain the ethereal quality often commented on in his work. Looking at his posters brings to mind ideas of medieval chivalry and courtly romance, which I feel would have been a welcome respite to some among all the ultra-modern art of the time period.
As I scrolled though this set of posts, the eyes in the work of Eugene Grasset’s exhibition posting were striking. I feel like eyes are really important in art because it can emphasize or change the theme/feeling. In the exhibition poster, the women looks straight at us (staring) with eyes that are very salient and eerie, but also the dog’s eyes are strange due to a lack of a pupil or any coloring. I do not specifically like looking at this work because it makes me feel awaked, and uncomfortable. It is like the woman is just staring at the audience. Staring has a negative, odd and aggressive social connotation. WKPD’s definition of staring gives a good explanation why staring is eerie. “Staring conceptually also implies confronting the inevitable – ‘staring death in the face’, or ‘staring into the abyss”. Typically, I do not see many pieces that have eyes that are staring right at the audience but the Monet Lisa is famous for her eyes that are always looking straight at into its audience too. People say you can see someone’s soul through their eyes so when the eyes are peculiar the aura around that person or artwork is similar.
Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations are what caught my attention the most, especially his line work, it is impeccable. I especially like his black and white pieces, they are very dramatic with his use of large dark areas contrasted with large blank ones, and areas of fine detail contrasted with areas with none at all. For example "The Peacock Skirt" is a fine example of the details that went into the decoration of the skirt. His creations, especially the black and white ones, allow your eye to move all over the page and wander all about the figures he has drawn.Lysistrata is another impressive black and white piece with much detail, but with his conversion to Catholicism and his sudden turn around pleading to his publisher to burn them was surprising. These were his work, his life, a part of who he was. I'm glad and i'm sure a lot of other people are that his publisher ignored him.
A.H. Mackmurdo’s title page to Wren’s city churches catches my eye in an instinct. The use of zebra like stripes to construe a negative black and white image and then incorporating text into the blank spaces is very appealing to me. The use of only black and white heightens the image so much more so, especially in the times of 1880’s where the beginning of color was becoming so prominent, A.H. does an incredible job in enhancing the old with his new style. From a graphic design standpoint, I feel like an image or ad like this would be very useful and successful in today’s society because the design and contrast is so strong that it automatically grabs attention to the eye.The next individual’s work who grabbed my attention almost immediately is the master of poster art, Jules Cheret. With his typography and painting combined into large pieces, he uses his strokes very loosely around the image to give a fun and sensational feeling towards his images. With his use of women in his paintings not being depicted as slutty or house wives, he is able to appeal to both genders, the man because there is an attractive women on the front of an advertisement (effectively grabbing the males short attention span to notice what is actually being sold) and the woman because he is depicting the free spirited women in a day in age were restraints were still well known with females in society. His posters are very playful and fun like, almost depicting a similar Broadway like composition that would be seen hanging up in time square.
This text will be displayed using Times New Roman. I found the post on Frederic Goudy interesting, and after reading about him and his work, I was surprised to find out that the fonts he created are from so long ago (early 1900’s). It is amazing that we still use typefaces today that were fashioned 100 years ago. By the end of his life, Goudy had designed 122 typefaces, an incredible feat (WKPD). Nowadays, we take the thousands of fonts available to us for granted. We can pick a style to match precisely the effect and feel we are looking for. The options are unlimited, and thus customizable. The process is far easier (aided by the use of computers) than it was in the day of Goudy and other early type designers. However, type designer David A. Berlow comments, “But the digital technology that made designing type simpler has made the profession more difficult. More designers mean more competition and lower prices. And the technology that makes type easier to design has also made it easier to steal” (New York Times). For the full article, go here: ARTICLE Very interesting…
Ignore the "This text will be displayed using Times New Roman." I'm not sure what happened...
I find the art of Henri Toulouse Lautrec to be the most captivating. Perhaps not for the art itself but for the kitsch value associated with it. Where Jules Cheret was the highbrow of posters -- using sex without provocation for more wholesome affairs -- Lautrec was the low brow. His life alone is enough to pique my interest, the oddity of a aristocratic inbreed man who was made a midget due to broken legs as a child. This all adds to the somber but somehow enchanting quality of his works. You can see the comparison of the two in their separate 'portraits' of Yvette Guilbert where Cheret's is young, beautiful and vivacious as opposed to the look of a worn star in the portait by Lautrec. portraying 'dirty' dancing such as the can-can and other unspoken subjects such as in "Alone" really gave his work a feeling of raw, truth. Like the moment and the scene of nightlife -- after hours. The absinthe drunks (like at the moulin rouge (1892)and the obscenity of brothels can be felt through the depictions as opposed to the sugar coated in-bed-by-nine types like Cheret's. I like this brutal, twisted type of honesty the most.
Jean Deville painted in reaction to an overly materialistic society where images were primarily used to represent recognizable items and communicate a message about them (i.e. advertising). His work was figurative and geometrically composed, yet had an abstract quality due to its symbolism. Interpretations of his work are very open. “Mysteriosa” and “Orpheus” garnered my attention because of their mystical qualities. His handling of paint had a tactile quality; He created the appearance of different textures on the canvas. He also used light effectively to convey depth and airiness. Within the painting, however, there was a presence; whether it was mystical, spiritual or esoteric, there were overtones that go beyond figures and forms on the canvas. His work reminds me of a more modern version of Rembrandt because through the use of light and expression there is a deeper significance to the work; it is not just art for art’s sake. The renaissance painters created work with religious overtones like DeVille created work with spiritual overtones.
For me, Beardsley's style is incredible. The simplicity of the lines and color makes it very visually pleasing I think. His use of delicate lines as well as intricate shapes makes his work very interesting to look at, and the abstraction behind his ideas definitely works for this “Decadence” technique. Also, his illustrations involve provocative depictions that are executed in a very bohemian and free spirited way, which is what I think, makes his pieces very appealing to me.Other pieces I really enjoyed were Delville’s. Definitely just by looking at them you can sense all that emotion and drama that is captured in his way of working and projecting his ideas and style. Also his pieces look so different in comparison to what others were doing during that time, which I think is why they caught my attention so much. The mysticism and use of light in his work is what makes these pieces work. The spiritual context in which they were done, I think is very important to mention too, because of the spiritual beliefs of Delville. Later on he joined a Theosopical Society and even became secretary of this movement, meaning his art really meant something for him and had a purpose, wasn’t just “art for art’s sake”, as Liam mentioned before.
I found Jules Cheret's work very captivating, especially the posters he created with the combination of warm and cool colors. His lithographic posters elevate lithography to an art form. "La Glue" his first poster, was created for the Moulin Rouge brought together innovation, modernity and established an artistic quality. Furthermore, Cheret's work has also influenced the advertising industry by reaching commercial effectiveness. He perfectly portrayed the lifestyle of 19th century, background of cultures, and women in France. Unlike other artists, he illustrated women in a very colorful and modern way. What I like most about his works again, is his choice of colors and the magical scenery he creates within. (novel covers) When you see his work, you directly get the fun,magical,and fantastic side of life. It takes you to a dazzling world of books,music,dance,and art. Cheret's work illustrate the colorful and joyful side of its time in a very effective way. Imagine how much success he achieved by inspiring the artists and the society while his posters were being displayed at the bookstores, concerts, operas, ballets, stores, on pharmaceuical products, beverages, magazines, and many other places.
What impresses me most about Eugene Grasset's work is his diversity. Grasset created and designed a whole list of different things from furniure fabric and cermamics to poster art and products. As seen by both of the works chosen on the blog, he was capable of painting in very different styles. The first painting has a morose feeling with the manipulation of color playing a large role. The piece is obviously supposed to evoke emotion in the viewer and it does an excellent job and should leave an imprint in the viewer. The second piece has a much different stylistic approach and is meant for a poster. This one was used for the Maitres de L'Affiche which serves a very different purpose and Grasset was able to fulfill it with his mastery of poster art. His work was an important part of the Art Nouveau movement and he affected the spread of this movement in America.
I have always been a fan of Toulouse Lautrec. His style and subject matter is influencing my current body of work (i.e. Burlesque Poster Series). His posters and paintings were a direct influence of his present, reflecting the socioeconomic standing of his lifestyle. My interest is particularly in his portrayal of nightlife, which I have reinterpreted into my own images of the female performer in contemporary culture. His images of performers show a sense of brutal reality, stripping them of their mask of glitz and glamour. I am interested in the garishness of this glamour, as well as the fleeting moment of the performance. I am also interested in his advertisements that balance image and type. La Goulue is a beautiful example of combining the flat forms of the silhouettes, the line drawings of the 2 figures in the foreground and the bold hierarchy of type. My most current series of side-show performers uses these same elements, but focuses on the integration of undulating type and decoration much like the work of Alphonse Mucha.
In this set of posts, I was instantly drawn to the Art Nouveau style of Eugene Grasset. His detailed poster designs have Egyptian and Japanese influences, which stemmed from his travels. In 1877, after sculpting and creating jewelery and furniture fabrics, he turned to graphic design and quickly profited from designing postcards and stamps. Yet it was his poster designs that he became famous for. His designs typify the styles that make up the Art Nouveau motif. Attention to detail and highly stylized, curvilinear forms are major elements seen in the Art Nouveau style. If you look at the image, Trois femmes et trois loups, the detailed curvilinear lines ad structure and interest to the piece. The intensity of the contrasts (color, line, light, etc) is what makes the design so intriguing and enthralling. With his works so intense as they are, it is no wonder that his pieces are considered integral works in the Art Nouveau style.
I adore the work of Alphonse Mucha!! I was first introduced to this artist in Carlos Aguirre’s illustration course. He has created a style that is now immediately recognizable. I respect the fact that although he had the ability to draw and paint wonderfully realistic portraits, he was just as adept at stylizing figures. Prior to researching his work, I had only seen his finished illustrations and was unaware of the many beautiful, traditional figure sketches he had done. Ashley mentioned his pale color scheme; I think that this is one of the things that attracts me most to his work. Also, though I dislike most illustrations that fill the page with decoration, Mucha does this in an appealing way. His patterning and repetition of line never gets old. He designed posters, coins, theatrical scenery and costumes… the list goes on. I am amazed at the ability of certain artists to just come up with a style and stick with it, allowing it to permeate everything they do. Many often try but fail to influence others with their style. The "Mucha style", on the other hand, became Art Nouveau- an entire section of art history!
I had the pleasure of visiting the Mucha Museum in Prague last summer. At the time I had seen very little of the artist's work and knew almost nothing about his life, besides the fact that he was Czech. What struck me the most was his versatility- he did everything from illustrations for magazines, posters and advertisements to designs for jewelry, carpets and stage sets. A copy of the first poster Mucha created for Sarah Bernhart's play in Paris is one that I distinctly remember seeing on display. His lush floral designs, which usually accompany a lovely woman for some reason is what I love the most. It is really sad that his death was due, in part, to the horrible interrogations he endured after the Gestapo invaded Czechoslovakia in the late 30s.
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