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Cassandre

(1901—1968)


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(Adolf Jean‐Marie Mouron, 1901–68)

One of the most important poster designers of the 20th century, Cassandre lived in Russia until 1918, when he moved to Paris, studying at the La Grande Chaumière and the Académie Julian. His first poster for La Bûcheron dated from 1923 when he adopted the name A. M. Cassandre for his commercial graphic work. His output was closely allied to the work of the other leading French poster designers of the 1920s—Paul Colin, Charles Loupot, and Jean Carlu—making use of the flat, abstract forms associated with late Cubism and the Modern Movement. By the late 1920s his striking geometricized poster designs for railway and ocean liner companies became widely known on both sides of the Atlantic. Prominent among them were such dramatic images as his Etoile du Nord (1927) poster for French railways and that of the Normandie (1935) for the CGT shipping line. Other well‐known commercial work by Cassandre included his poster designs for the Nicolas wine company. He was a member of the Union des Artistes Modernes and, in the 1930s, became interested in Surrealism. Cassandre also had a strong affinity for lettering and typography and began designing typefaces from the late 1920s. His alphabets included Bifur (1929), Acier (1930), Peignot (1937), and Graphica 81 (1950) for Olivetti typewriters. Between 1936 and 1939 he travelled several times to the USA, designing covers for Harper's Bazaar as well as other graphic work for the Container Corporation of America and Ford. Confirming his status as a leading designer the Museum of Modern Art, New York held its Posters by Cassandre exhibition in 1936 and, in 1950, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris also mounted an exhibition of his work. During the 1930s Cassandre had developed interests in theatre design and rediscovered his interest in painting to which activity he devoted much of his energy from 1940 onwards.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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