Postwar Tendencies, pgs. 313-315


“It may appear easier to follow the development of the poster in recent times, but in fact the poster today has acquired a much greater importance and a much more complex character than it had in the past.  Earlier it was possible to single out the middle European poster, or the French poster, or the Russian poster, or the French poster after Cheret, and so on, but now national and cultural distinctions can no longer be made.”  p. 313

“A poster should never be thought of as a painting; it should be considered only in the context of the specific publicity campaign to which it belongs.  Among other things, a publicity poster on a wall is a reduced image of a more complex advertising message that establishes a dialogue with the viewer.  Beacause of this, a history of posters abstracted form their social context and the specific advertising campaigns in which they figured would be incomplete and misleading.

I would suggest, therefore, that to trace the development of postwar posters, one should try to reconstruct the context in which they appeared.  Only by considering them as part of their respective publicity campaigns, rather than as the work of individual artists, can a historically accurate appraisal of them be made.” p. 315


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