Staatliches Bauhaus Ausstellung by Joost Schmidt, 1923

Poster Volley, vol. 1

A conversation between postermongers Michael Buchino and Julia McNamara.

Staatliches Bauhaus Ausstellung by Joost Schmidt, 1923

Michael Buchino

Helluva way to introduce a movement.

Beethoven by Joseph Müller-Brockmann, 1955

Julia McNamara

The circular composition of the Bauhaus announcement made me think of this Müller-Brockmann poster.

I love the geometry and grid used to express Beethoven’s music. The placement of the black areas are not just arbitrary, but have a basis in math and are a response to music. He was also influenced by Bauhaus.

L’Intransigeant by A.M. Cassandre, 1925

Buchino

Speaking of work that’s governed by geometry…

I have a version of this Cassandre poster burned into my mind that I’m beginning to think is a false memory. But, to your point, I love how you can express emotion with shapes.

Here, news along the wire is directly connected to the crier’s ear. But the rigid geometry is a play on the newspaper’s name, L’Intransigeant, and the motto “Le plus fort” (“The Strongest”). An intransigent is uncompromising. So a geometric approach that matches just makes sense.

Metropolis by Heinz Schulz-Neudamm, 1927

Buchino

Just a couple years later Schulz-Neudamm is using harsh geometry to an even more dramatic effect for Fritz Lang’s film, Metropolis. I love the sense of mass created by rotating the buildings 45°. The dystopian future lies in those extraordinary angles.

Star Wars by Olly Moss, 2010

McNamara

That reminds of C3PO, whose head was modeled after rescue masks worn by firefighters around the turn of the century. I wonder if Lang found inspiration there, too.

Olly Moss is a badass — yet he admits he was intimidated to do this series!

Moss, via WIRED:

There is such a wealth of great Star Wars art out there already… my main aim was to make a set of Star Wars posters that were a little different from what people are used to seeing from the franchise, but still retained that essential Star Wars feel.

Totally nailed it, like he always does.

Archival Image of Anomalous Event Involving Alleged “Starman” • 14 April 1972 • Courtesy BBC 2 by Grey Jay, 2014

Buchino

Let’s go back to the circles and the grid. A Portland designer and illustrator, Grey J., made this poster for the Ziggy Stardust gallery I curated. He finds incredible beauty in the grid and combines all sorts of meaningful elements.

McNamara

Ohhhh — that Grey Jay is a good one. So conceptual. One of those pieces that is visually interesting by itself but then you learn the thought behind it and it’s a total diamond drop.

The tale of its genesis is here on Medium.

Kino Eye by Alexander Rodchenko, 1924

McNamara

So the BBC 2 story sends me to Rodchenko’s Kino Eye. “All new approaches to art arise from technology and engineering and move toward organization and construction.” I wonder what he’d think of guides and grids in Adobe.

Books by Alexander Rodchenko, 1924

Buchino

Yeah, Rodchenko! Roots in Constructivism, influencing the Bauhaus. And…we’re full circle.

Kinda digging how L’Intransigeant and Books are both criers, but Cassandre used rays to depict info going in and Rodchenko employs them as the shout.

The works aren’t too far separated by time. Do you think those guys ever Instagrammed with each other about it?

⚡️💎⚡️


Poster Volley, vol. 2
Poster Volley, vol. 3
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