“A painters’ painter”The ferocious reaction against 19th Century art that Picasso & co unleashed in the early 20th Century is needed now against the 20th Century.Just as the lead up to the First World War and the War itself defined the 20th Century, our Great Depression disaster is defining the present Century ? sweeping away the fictitious values of ?securities? and rubbishy ?art?.The art of the new Century must, in order to reject the trivialisation of the last Century, be about gimmick-free form and structure that avoids formula. The struggle to find representational form that is not a dreary return to the past is most likely to produce radical contrast to the re-hashing of the stale devices of the previous Century.
Posters as an art form were invented by Jules Chéret in Paris in the 1860’s. Their proliferation and refinement were the result of advances in printing technology, a relaxation of laws regulating the press, and a booming demand for the advertisement of ‘modern’ products and of the Parisian lifestyle in the Belle Epoque (1871 – 1914). In journals, books, theater programs, and posters, the graphic arts soon transcended their commercial function and became art objects sought out by art collectors worldwide.