The Milwaukee Art Museum is staging a wonderful exhibition -- Posters of Paris -- through 9 Sept. I had the chance to see it for the first time this past week. Bought the show's catalogue book too as I found some good inspiration and ideas there for my graphic novel project.
I had known of the work by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha but was delighted to see some new artists. And I hadn't realized how large many of the pieces were. Up to now I'd only seen most of the art in books or via the smaller posters sold for dorm rooms and the like. The impact of size and being able to see the detailed craftsmanship was a powerful experience for me.
These two works of performer Aristide Bruant were about 4x3 feet in size.
This one, Automobiles Brasier by Leonetto Cappiello is 9 feet tall! And the colors! This image here does a disservice to the work. The woman's blouse is a brilliant fuschia and the swirl of colors around the car are a dashing and intense rainbow of vivid shades.
Another amusing aspect was the historical representation of bicycles. In their own way they were as sexy and exciting as Smart phones are today.
Cycles Perfecta by Alphonse Mucha
Déesse by Jean de Paleologue
Marque Georges Richard Cycles & Automobiles
The style and imagery of the posters brought to my mind the illustrations done by John R. Neill for L. Frank Baum's Oz books. Oz was a staple of my childhood reading for many years. Neill's drawings were as captivating as Baum's stories.
Illustration of Mermaid from The Scarecrow of Oz
There is a stained glass quality to the Paris posters and J.R. Neill's Oz covers. So I was not at all surprised, when researching this post, to come upon the work of stained glass artist and Oz Enthusiast, Bill Campbell. This piece, a commissioned work, was inspired by the endpaper illustrations by Neill for Ozma of Oz.
Campbell's work is detailed, playful, and exceedingly well-crafted. He also has an OzShop over on Zazzle where he sells smaller pieces. I recommend this artist highly!