Ad Code: 3
from Auction House Records.
"Personnage publicitaire : DUBON du triptyque DUBONNET
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The work of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron Cassandre is seen by some as a
bridge between the modern fine arts and the commercial arts in the
first half of the 20th century. Cassandre worked as a painter,
poster and theater designer, lithographer, typeface designer, as well
as a teacher. Although mainly based in Paris, he spent time
between 1936 and 1938 living in New York. |
It is perhaps
Cassandre's posters that are best recognized. He felt that poster
art was for the painter, a way of "finding again the lost contact with
public. A poster, unlike a painting, is not meant to be easily
distinguished by its 'manner' - a unique specimen conceived to satisfy
the demanding tastes of a single more or less enlightened art lover."
Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, Russia, to
French parents, Cassandre lived between France and Russia until the
first World War. He settled in Paris in 1915, and studied art at
the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the Academie Julian, and also at the
independent studio of Lucien Siron. His painting was influenced
by the work of Paul Cezanne. He also studied at the Academie de la
Grande Chaumiere, and the Ateliers Libres de Montparnasse.
1922 he moved to his first studio in Paris, in Montparnasse. He
decided to sign the advertising designs he created with the pseudonym
'Cassandre', which he sometimes combined (up to 1928) with the name
Mouron. In 1925 he won the first prize at the Exposition
Internationale des Arts Decoratifs, which established his reputation.
married his first wife, Madeleine Cauvet, in 1924, niece of a pioneer
of France's automobile industry. During the late 1920s, working
for various companies, he designed noted posters and typefaces.
Toward the end of 1933, he made his debut as a painter for the
theater. That same year, Cassandre took a teaching position at
the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs; however, the graphic
advertising studio he taught in soon had to close its doors for lack of
funds. Between 1934 and 1935, he taught at a graphic arts school
After a retrospective exhibition of his posters at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York in January 1936, Cassandre signed a
contract with Harper's Bazaar to create magazine covers, working for
Alexy Brodovitch. He also created designs for the ad agency NW
Ayers. He spent the winters of 1936-37 and 1937-38 in New York.
Cassandre designed several projects for posters, but only a few of them
were actually published.
Inspired by his meeting with the
painter Balthus (French realist painter Balthasar Klossowski de Rola)
in 1936, he began to devote a good deal of his time and energy to easel
painting, which he had begun in New York. His work was exhibited
in Paris, and from 1942 to the mid 1950s, he neglected his poster art
almost entirely in favor of painting and set design. None of the
paintings of this period, however, are known to still exist.
the completion of his work in New York in 1938, Cassandre settled again
in Paris. He divorced his first wife and joined the army when
World War II was declared. He was demobilized in 1940, and
resumed work on his painting. In 1941 he met Nadine Robinson, a
dress designer, whom he married in 1947. The couple divorced in
His later years were filled with poverty and depression,
despite his considerable achievements. Many of his posters are
well known today, such as Watch the Fords Go By (1937).
Cassandre's sleek designs of towering ships and speeding trains are
still considered to be quintessential Art Deco images. He was
concerned with precision and strong images. Many of his posters
were figurative, but show a Surrealist influence. His work has
been exhibited worldwide.
After a first suicide attempt in 1967,
Cassandre took his life in his apartment on the Avenue René-Coty in
Paris on June 17, 1968.
articons.co.uk; cerutti miller; linotype library; international roots company.
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