cover image A M Cassandre

A M Cassandre

Rizzoli, Mouron, Henri Mouron. Rizzoli International Publications, $60 (315pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0651-5

For Cassandre, designing a poster meant telling a story. He would take an objectthe Normandie ocean liner, a locomotive, a record, a wine bottle, or whateverand make it the center of attraction through bold geometry and witty pictorial drama. Aside from their strong nostalgic appeal, his famous posters of the 1920s and 1930s are memorable for their innovative graphic solutions and their frequent references to such painters as Ernst, de Chirico and Picasso. Cassandre, whose real name was Adolphe Mouron, was a highly influential commercial artist. This oddly impersonal biography by his son shows us the frustrated but prolific easel artist, successful theatrical designer, and creator of elegant typefaces and magazine art. Though the author fails to satisfactorily explain Casandre's suicide, excerpts from his writings quoted here shed light on his uncompromising artistic ideals. Numerous full-page color reproductions make this a volume graphic aristts will want to own. (February)