Art News

Postwar Poster Fest

Darrell Hartman

Art of the Modern Movie Poster
opens December 3 at Lincoln Center’s Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery. Yes, the main purpose of these splashy broadsheets is (or, in the case of these historical specimens, was) to get butts into theaters. Now, though, they’re part of art history: Just ask the collector who dropped $700,000 on a poster for Fritz Lang’s Metropolis a few years ago.

There are 20 post-WW2 works on display, from a Belgian poster for Orson Welles’ 1952 film Othello to Shepard Fairey’s 2005 Walk the Line. Other highlights include the iconic poster for Blow-Up, featuring Vanessa Redgrave, legs splayed on a red background, and Kurosawa’s own crayon design for his 1980 epic Kagemusha. Japanese posters for A Man and A Woman and Fellini’s 8 1/2 demonstrate innovate integration of calligraphy, and photomontage. More than the others, the Polish designs—handwritten script against a backdrop of snowy mountains for Spellbound; blocky, quasi-abstract figures for Rocco and His Brothers—were linked to the avant-garde.

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