Thursday, April 25, 2013

Butterfly Effect

Maya jumps around trying to catch butterflies, what a happy springtime sight

Odilon Redon, Evocation of Butterflies, 1911

Anne Siems, Landing (detail)

David Kracov, Book of Life

Vladimir Kush, Departure of the Winged Ship

for more, visit my previous butterfly gallery here

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cut Out Visions


Last week I gave two lectures about the early 20th century avant-gardes, one of my favorite
graphic design history subjects. While animal representations and children's books
are not commonly found in the work of these artists, there are a few notable exception,
including Hannah Höch's magical Bilderbuch.

Höch was one of the few women to participate in the Dada movement, and one of the main members
 of its Berlin group. Born in Germany in 1889, she studied graphic arts in Berlin and left school to work
 for the Red Cross during WWI. In 1915 Höch had begun a close friendship with the Dadaist artist
 Raoul Hausmann, and at the end of the war she became involved with the movement.
She studied fabric design and textiles, and while working part time for the large publisher Ullstein Verlag, 
she used the company's catalogues to create her early photomontages. Höch and  Hausmann
became pioneers of this new art form, which they used for political satire and social commentary.

Höch and Hausmann in 1920 at the First International Dada Fair. She was the only woman in the show.
 The large photomontage at left is Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer-Belly
 of the Weimar RepublicHöch's most famous work.

In 1922 Höch separated from Hausmann and the Berlin Dadaists. She continued to produce her own art,
 focusing more on feminist and gender issues. After the Nazis took power she remained in Berlin, 
living in a remote area and keeping a low profile while protecting her artworks and Dada memorabilia. 
She continued to produce and exhibit photomontages until her death in 1978 at the age of eighty-nine. 

Boa Perlina




In 1945 Höch created 19 photocollages to illustrate her Bilderbuch (Picture Book), a story of fantastical creatures
 set in a dreamy fairy tale garden, which remained unpublished until 1985. As Gunda Luyken
 writes on the website of The Green Boxthe German publisher which recently reprinted the book: 

 "To counter the grey postwar years, Höch developed in 19 collages and accompanying texts
 a magical world populated by fantastic exotic plants and animals. People play no role here,
 apart from the baby emerging from one of the eggs that Madame Marklet has collected around her.
 ... Although Höch always spoke of her 'picture book', the texts are an essential part of the work.
 For each of the collages, the artist thought up brief, delicate rhymes that sketch out miniature stories
 and are reminiscent of the verses of Joachim Ringelnatz or Christian Morgenstern. 
She gave her impish creatures the oddest names—Loftylara, Brushflurlet, Unsatisfeedle
and Runfast. Although Höch conjured up in images and words a fantastic world, it is one not free
 of human weaknesses like dissatisfaction or disagreement, as represented, for example, by the couple Longfringes.
 All the same, the book exudes a cheerfulness and light-heartedness that the philosopher and writer
 Salomon Friedländer also attributed to the artist herself: 'Basically, you are a fabulous and wonderful girl—
and whoever doesn’t get you must be a dull and totally impossible guy. 
And who does understand you? A child, just like you.'"




Dumblet and her Egg



Thanks to Yesterday You Said Tomorrow and Arthur van Kruining for the scans.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Art Attacks

 Alice and Martin Provensen, The Color Kittens, 1949
(one of my favorite books when I was child!)

Dale Maxey, back cover of Nurseryland Annual, 1969 

Vladimir Pivovarov, 1971, thanks to polny_shkaf

N. Radlov, 1990

Gwen KeravalOscar et l'impala

 unknown author, from L'enfant et la lecture

Anthony BrowneWilly's Pictures

Sandra Boynton, Chlöe and Maude, 1984, thanks to Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves

Nicola BayleyParrot Cat, 1984

 Kurt Vargo for Art Direction Magazine, 1980s

Sunday, April 14, 2013

East Coast Frolics

Thanks to Paul Malon for letting me share these delightful posters
 I just discovered in his wonderful vintage poster set on flickr.
The series of six ads was created by Frank Newbould
in 1933 for the Londor and North Eastern Railway.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Basking in the Light

Žabáček, 1982

The loveliness of the first sunny days of this late-coming Spring inspired me to post some pictures
from the gentle green worlds of Czech artist Jan Kudláček. Born in 1928 in Moravia and living in Prague, 
Kudláček is a painter, graphic artist, and above all an award winning illustrator who since 1963
has published almost a hundred children's books. His distinctive style and brushwork technique 
convey a vibrant and luminous quality to his joyful and poetic illustrations of nature,
 flowers, small animals and fairytale creatures. 

Petruschka, 1970

Holčička a déšt' (A Little Girl and Rain), 1974, thanks to Arthur van Kruining

Svatba v rybníce (Wedding in a pond), 1982, 
all photos thanks to micky the pixel

Svatba v rybníce, 1982

 Zlatý proutek (Golden Wand), 1983

 Jussi ja kalat, 1989

Pohádková lampička (Fairy-tale lamp), 1992

Pohádky pro skřítka Hajaju (Tales for Sprites), 1995 


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